Birmingham 2022 Festival: first attraction announced

Published: 17 September 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

Wondrous Stories by Motionhouse Credit: Iain Jamieson

The first details have been unveiled of the Birmingham 2022 Festival: a six-month celebration which will spotlight creativity and culture in the West Midlands.

Running from March until September 2022 as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the £12 million festival will feature hundreds of creative commissions across the region including theatre and dance.

The festival will open with Wondrous Stories, a large-scale production by Leamington Spa-based dance-circus company Motionhouse. Wondrous Stories will be created and directed by Kevin Finnan MBE, the company’s artistic director, who was choreographer and movement director of the London 2012 Paralympic Games ceremonies.

He has pulled together a team of artistic collaborators including Birmingham-based choreographers Sonia Sabri and Jamaal Burkmar, composer Sophy Smith and digital artists Logela Multimedia.

There will be seven performances of Wondrous Stories from Thursday 17 until Sunday 20 March 2022, with in-person audiences and those watching via a live stream expected to total more than 80,000.

Finnan commented, “I'm absolutely delighted to be making Wondrous Stories. We travel the world with our touring productions and in recent years have made several large-scale events for major international celebrations. It's wonderful to be creating this spectacular show right here in our home region, working with an extraordinary team of talented artists and performers to thrill audiences in Birmingham.”

Raidene Carter, the festival’s executive producer, added, “the projects announced today are just the tip of the iceberg of the extraordinary festival programme we’ll announce in January. In many ways it’s going to be audacious and bold but it’ll also provide a space for thought and conversation—we can’t wait to share it all in what will be a landmark year for the region.”

Further details will be released at the Birmingham 2022 Festival web site.