West Midlands to host Midsummer Festival

Published: 11 June 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Motionhouse’s dance-circus production WILD Credit: Dan Tucker
Showcasing highlights: Sonia Sabri Company Credit: Roy Peters

A free, one-day online festival celebrating arts and culture in the West Midlands is to feature performances never seen before.

West Midlands Culture Response Unit is organising the Midsummer Festival which will be held on Saturday 20 June. WMCRU has been created to ensure the recovery of the cultural sector in the West Midlands.

The festival will feature work influenced by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There will be open-air events in a wide variety of settings across the region, including a live performance of short excerpts at Compton Verney art gallery and park which was the setting for Peter Hall’s 1968 film adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Dames Judi Dench and Helen Mirren.

Performances will be streamed online throughout the day with work including WILD, a dance-circus production from Motionhouse, a series of recordings by Pentabus Theatre including Here I Belong by Matt Hartley and Crossings by Deirdre Kinahan and Rosie Kay’s CITY—BREATH—WATER, a “poem of dance responding to the beauty and harshness of the city of Birmingham”.

Dance and music company Sonia Sabri will showcase some of the best highlights of its performances and there will be an opportunity to be part of a live conversation with its artistic and music directors, Sonia Sabri and Sarvar Sabri.

Designers from the Royal Shakespeare Company will provide a workshop on how to create your own fairy bower at home.

Erica Love from WMCRU said, “COVID-19 has decimated the cultural sector. It’s more important than ever for the West Midlands to come together and support each other. The festival is set to be a great event and we look forward to welcoming audiences through our virtual doors.”

Midsummer Festival can be accessed through the Make It WM web site.