Birmingham’s always been a place for stirring up a bit of trouble, a bit of controversy, enjoying a frisson of something a little bit special from Joseph Priestley defending the revolutionaries in France and having to flee the city to The Winterval Debacle to the decision to take away our HP sauce and make it somewhere else.
I love how Birmingham opens it’s heart to everyone who visits the city and gives them a warm welcome. I love it’s arts scene, it’s creative community and the city has (another) long tradition of innovation in the arts.
I’m quite excited about a new Arts festival that’s about to spread out over the whole city & take over. SHOUT is a festival of LGBT art, music, dance, theatre and sport. It also has a dollop of political and community activity. (There is literally something for everyone and if you can’t see something that doesn’t stir an emotion you need to check your pulse)
The festival has come about through a number of key partnerships between the LGBT community, arts organisations and lots of dedicated volunteers and they’ve pulled together a really diverse and exciting programme.
For full listings of events you should check out the SHOUT website: http://www.getreadytoshout.org/
Here’s some of my personal highlights:
- Tough Time, Nice Time 4th – 7th Nov at the Birmingham Rep. Performed by Ridiculusmus (an innovative and brilliant theatre company) the show isn’t suitable for the under 18s because it features an exchange of outrageous stories of sex, celebrity and genocide.
- The Pansy Project. 19th – 21st Nov. Artist Paul Harfleet revisits locations where homophobia has been experienced and plants pansies. These pansies act as a living memorial to abuse and serve to change the atmosphere of the place. Having been a victim of homophobia near where I live in Edgbaston I’m keen to see if I can get Harfleet to visit my estate to plant a pansy.
- The After Wrap Party Party event. 29th Nov. 10.30pm The Village Inn. Topping and Butch are performing. They’re brilliant! And this event is free. (My favourite word)
- The urban sports day 7th November. Sports happening right at the heart of Birmingham’s gay scene. For one day only the Southside Car Park at the bottom of Hurst Street will be transformed into an arena hosting various football, badminton and rugby events. The day is completely free and no pre-registration is required. (I might pop along and cheer or something)