This looks fantastic – the highlights of Birmingham’s international theatre event BE FESTIVAL 2013 will tour in Liverpool this month, introducing three emerging European theatre companies to UK audiences. Each of the pieces presented have been selected for their capacity to transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries, and the performance, at the Unity on October 22, will conclude with post-show discussions.
Winner of both the first prize and audience prize at the BE fest this year was Danish company Out of Balanz with their piece Next Door, described as “combining intimate storytelling with high octane physical theatre to explore what really connects people”. Tao Te by Hungary’s Ferenc Fehér won the ACT Arriaga international touring prize: fusing freestyle dance and martial arts, it presents two men who are dragged through a series of conflicts and struggles in search of a harmonious and virtuous life.
Completing the touring trio is Al Cubo by Betti Combo of France, described as “a heady mix of circus and mischievous theatre” as three buffoons help and defy each other in equal measure striving to create the tallest construction and attain perfect balance. You can get a taste of all three in the enjoyable trailer below.
BE FESTIVAL co-director Mike Tweddle said: “These companies brought the house down and charmed the jury at a sold out BE this year. As programmers we felt the pieces represented a diverse, innovative, challenging and exciting snapshot of the festival. It’s a small but illustrative picture of the best new European theatre being made.”
At a time when financial instability dominates public discourse on Europe, BE FESTIVAL says it aims to build meaningful connections between artists and audiences from a diverse range of backgrounds, bringing people together in unique and imaginative ways. Acknowledging the racial and cultural tensions that are so often associated with periods of economic crisis, the festival hopes to recognize the shared values and experiences that unite people from across Europe, while providing space to debate the existing problems and the potential future of the continent.