“Disruptive” programme at Fierce Festival in Birmingham

Published: 19 July 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

The “UK’s leading biennial festival of live art”, Fierce has announced the full programme for its 2019 festival, the second under artistic director Aaron Wright.

Performances and more will be presented by a line-up of artists featuring “bold new voices and highly acclaimed international practitioners”. The festival will explore themes such as identity politics and the body, our current political and ecological crisis, the ethics of representation, participation, altered states and queerness. There will be more than 50 events including two world premières and 14 UK premières, showcasing work from more than 35 artists, some of whom will be making their UK debuts.

Artistic director Aaron Wright commented, “brace yourselves! Fierce 2019 is coming and we reckon we’ve put together the most disruptive and joyous programme of performing arts you’ll find in the UK this year.”

Physical theatre maker Davy Pieters of Theatre Rotterdam will invite audiences to experience How Did I Die, a murder mystery “like never before”. Dance artist Mariana Valencia from New York will present her solo performance ALBUM, a show that unites text, song and dance, as part of a six-date UK debut tour. Receiving its world première is Fierce commission Familiar, a new collaboration between dance artist Gillie Kleiman and theatre-maker Greg Wohead. Alexandra Bachzetsis from Zurich brings Private: Wear a mask when you talk to me to the festival. This new dance work explores the reproduction of gender behaviour and sexual identity.

Fierce is “committed to programming work which tackles challenging issues prevalent in today’s political and cultural landscape”. Andrew Tay and Stephen Thompson’s Make Banana Cry is a “critical and destabilising dance show questioning Asian stereotypes via the format of a catwalk fashion show”.

Fierce 2019 will take place across Birmingham and the surrounding area from Tuesday 15 until Sunday 20 October. The full programme is available at the Fierce web site.