Black Country Touring have been working with the Arena Theatre and mac, as part of r:evolve over the past few years, to develop more theatre by diverse minority artists living in the West Midlands.
Things That Can’t Be Said, our first performance poetry production, has finished touring and was warmly received by audiences. Last year we recruited and commissioned 5 spoken word artists: Michéle A.L. Barzey, Marcia Calame, Cheri Gillings, Vincent Gould and Shaun Welch to respond to the theme of the project’s name.
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We also provided a structured professional development programme for the artists, including a two-day residential retreat, master-classes with established poets and broad diverse performances for them to see.
The stories in the piece were of relationships, transitions, struggles and domesticity. The piece was set in a run down bar and the characters that frequented the place told the stories.
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A range of bright, exciting and emotive work has been produced over the past year, which will be showcased at the festival at Black Country venues as well as the Arena and mac from 4 – 15 March.
There’s something for everyone from 19th century Black musical theatre with a professional and community cast in Joey Boy,written by Garry Morris and produced by r:evolve in association with Nu Century Arts; to work produced by developing artists from Ulfah Arts. In Danger! Gulaam Fatima, we are rescued by them as female superheroes; they will be supported by the delicately mighty Mancunian poet Shamshad Khan and the ever-resonating Black Voices.
Other festival shows include A Story on Every Corner, where world stories were gathered locally and are retold by two animated storytellers, Peter Chand and Chris Lowe. If Only the Dead Could Listen, written by Gëzim Alpion and directed by Marcus Fernando,is about an asylum seeker’s demise within a new system, where he doesn’t understand the rules. We meet three lost and disturbed characters in The Bench (a short one-man show), which is an exploration of alcoholism, homelessness and abandonment by Vimal Korpal, another developing artist.
Danger! Gulaam Fatima (suitability 11+)
by Ulfah Arts (developing artists); Shamshad Khan and Black Voices
4 March 7.30pm Bantock House, Wolverhampton (BSL signed)
Joey Boy (suitability 13+)
A r:evolve production in association with Nu Century Arts
6 March 7.30pm Community Action Project, Smethwick
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For more informantion see [fancy_link link=”http://www.r-evolve-theatre.co.uk/” target=”blank”]www.r-evolve-theatre.co.uk[/fancy_link]