THERE'S ONLY ONE PLACE TO BE THIS AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND AS BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME'S FREE OUTDOOR FESTIVAL SUMMER IN SOUTHSIDE RETURNS TO THE CITY
On Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 August the Southside area of Birmingham will be buzzing with life and laughter as a number of celebrated entertainers from both the UK and overseas are welcomed to perform on and around the main Hippodrome Square, spilling out to include the Arcadian Piazza, Hurst St and Inge Street (which will both be closed to traffic on Saturday and Sunday).
Confirmed artists for Summer in Southside so far include:
Tangle by Australian company Polyglot; a giant weaving play space using coloured elastic to create a vibrant, live interactive artwork made by children and their families.
Bench by Mimbre, a small and beautiful acrobatic performance about the everyday theatre and dance of life. Loneliness and happiness, bag-ladies and runaway brides, spell-binding moments mixed with the comic and ordinary. Highly-skilled acrobatic theatre using circus and dance to illuminate human connections.
Larger than Life by Scottish company Orkestra del Sol, a sensational new outdoor presentation for 2015. The show weaves Honkstep (the Orkestra's original brass-driven dance music), comic characters, crowd interaction and daft moments into a new show for all the family. No previous experience of Honkstep is required for viewing this performance, but please do bring your dancing shoes!
Bruce Airhead, the metamorphosis of man into a 6ft balloon in this original comedy show. Bruce Airhead, with a volunteer, uses a voice-activated vacuum cleaner to inflate a six foot balloon. Then to the crowd's disbelief, wearing only brightly coloured lycra shorts and choreographed to music, Bruce slides his toned Australian physique completely inside the balloon. First his head, then his torso until finally the last leg slowly disappears from sight. Worth waiting for the explosive finish.
Broadcasting on 69.9FM is Bramble FM a comic travelling radio roadshow. Watch as the Bramble FM caravan hosts a surreal and hilarious rock roadshow fronted by Maureen Clarke and Lesley Beauchamp. With a thumping soundtrack of world class music provided by their legendary stable of DJs these two architects of idiocy present absurdly popular regular features, eclectic dance moves and in-the-moment improvisation.
The Lift by Wet Picnic is a roving theatrical experience that envelops its audience, welcoming them into a world of captured moments, giving them a surreal experience that they won’t forget. An elegant elevator (on wheels) arrives accompanied by three bellhops. The audience are invited to step inside and choose a moment by selecting one of ten different ‘floor’ buttons. Each button triggers a particular scene or event which is performed for both the audience member in The Lift and those on the outside looking in.
The international award-winning acrobatic duo Skate Naked have been performing their particular brand of insane comedy for 20 years, winning both European and world titles in street performing. Their latest show WHIPLASH is mix of mail-biting stunts and ridiculous situations.
Fresh from Glastonbury 2015, Dolly the Giraffe is a made-to-scale interactive puppet who loves to munch leaves, nibble hats and have a good old poo! A walkabout act for all ages by VIP Puppets.
Plus Full Stop from Scribbled Theatre – a bus stop where anything can happen.
More acts will be announced over the coming weeks.
Birmingham Hippodrome’s Director of Creative Programmes Graham Callister said “This year’s Summer in Southside offers audiences a packed programme of fun as the streets around Birmingham Hippodrome are taken over by a mix of live street theatre, comedy, dance, puppetry, visual arts and music. We’re looking forward to welcoming back the thousands of visitors who attended last year’s event in Birmingham’s most vibrant and diverse district.”
On Saturday 29 August there will be additional outdoor acoustic performances by local artists in the Arcadian, provided through a new partnership formed with Birmingham Promoters and The Glee Club. There will also be an after-party event on the evening of Saturday 29 in Thorp Street’s StageSide bar from 8pm to 11pm, hosted by Birmingham Hippodrome’s Youth Ambassadors.
Youth Ambassador Heather Kincaid said “Keep an eye out for the Birmingham Hippodrome Ambassadors, who will be on hand with tea, coffee and comfy seats over the weekend. Come and chat to us about your festival experiences, share a photo or read our blogs and tweets online. Plus, on Saturday night, we're excited to present a special after-party, ‘Stick-it-On’ with music and lots more.”
On Sunday 30 August, alongside the outdoor performances, there will be morning workshops in DJ’ing, MC’ing, B-Boy, break-dancing and street art, followed by an afternoon of hip hop battles supported by new urban street art festival City of Colours.
There will also be a special preview event for people living, working or visiting the area on Friday 28 August from 5.30pm - 8pm.
Summer in Southside is a completely FREE event open to all, and will run from 5.30pm to 8pm on Friday 28 August and from 10.30am to 8.00pm on 29 & 30 August. For further information on the event and programme schedule please visit www.summerinsouthside.com