New fringe festival for Birmingham

Published: 6 July 2013
Reporter: Steve Orme

Birmingham Fest which runs from 12 until 28 July

Birmingham Fest, a new performing arts festival celebrating the second city’s arts scene, will get under way on Friday (12 July).

Four venues will take part: the Old Joint Stock Theatre, @A E Harris, the Blue Orange Theatre and The Crescent.

Festival creator and organiser Darren Haywood said, “For a long time I’ve felt that Birmingham is missing a fringe theatre festival, so here it is!

“Artists and companies from across the UK will showcase their work in an exciting programme of events.

“We have a varied selection of shows and not just from the region. We even have one from overseas.”

The programme at the Old Joint Stock Theatre opens with Taking Care of Business, a selection of short plays by Birmingham’s new writing collective Big Script, on Friday at 7PM.

More new writing follows with Parklife, “an extraordinarily lively and moving account of five characters as they take their lunch in Pigeon Park in the grounds of St Philip's Cathedral, right in the centre of Birmingham”.

The piece was devised by theatre company inamoment which is centred on the work of Birmingham-born theatre creator Frank Bramwell. During rehearsals actors, the director and writer all brought their collaborative talents together to create the final product.

Parklife will be staged at the Old Joint Stock Theatre on Friday at 9PM, Thursday 18 July at 9PM and Saturday 20 July at 3PM.

Rod Dungate and Martin Drury will present a collection of short plays in Off The Straight and Narrow at the Old Joint Stock Theatre on Thursday 18 July at 7PM, Saturday 20 July at 9PM and Wednesday 24 July at 7PM.

Silence Presents will stage a double bill of Mary E Davis’s comedy Nul Points and Appointment by Ian Kendall on Friday and Saturday 19 and 20 July at 7PM.

Nottingham Dance Collective will be performing Around the World in 80 Days on Sunday 21 July at 3PM.

This Way Madness Lies by Augustus Stephens will be staged in the function room at the Old Joint Stock on Friday 26 July at 7PM.

Tea At Five is the story of the rise and fall of the four-time Academy Award-winning Hollywood star Katharine Hepburn, told by the legend herself.

This one-woman show will be performed on Friday 26 July at 7PM and Saturday 27 July at 3PM and 7PM.

It will then be the first show that the Old Joint Stock takes to Edinburgh.

Full details of Birmingham Fest are available at