World-class theatre up close: Internationally acclaimed double-bill to open thrilling new season in the Patrick Studio
- Sell-out Edinburgh Fringe success, Translunar Paradise, to visit Birmingham Hippodrome’s Patrick Studio
- Birmingham Hippodrome welcomes European premiere of Aakash Odedra’s #JeSuis, winner of the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award 2017
Birmingham Hippodrome is thrilled to present a brand new season of world-class performance in its 200-seat Patrick Studio this Spring. Offering an alternative to large-scale productions on the Main Stage, the Patrick Centre studio programme continues to expand, bringing audiences closer to world-renowned performers from across the globe through its distinctive programme of immersive drama and dance.
Opening this season’s programme, multi award-winning Theatre Ad Infinitum return to Birmingham with their hit show, Translunar Paradise on Wed 31 Jan; an exquisite story of loss, grief and enduring love told through mask and movement set to live accordion accompaniment.
Original performers George Mann and Deborah Pugh are joined by Sophie Crawford to retell, with precise gesture and touches of humour, the story of widower William who escapes to a comforting world of fantasy and memories rather than confront his grief. From beyond the grave, his wife Rose returns to help him let go.
This poignant, life-affirming tale uses intricate and lifelike hand-held masks – created by Madame Tussaud’s senior sculptor Victoria Beaton – to travel back and forth through William and Rose’s relationship, wordlessly conveying a lifetime of memories in 75 minutes.
Theatre Ad Infinitum specialize in developing new and original theatre for a multi-cultural audience. Following a 20 minute work-in-progress presentation at BE Festival in Birmingham UK in July 2010, Translunar Paradise was awarded the 1st Prize Development Award and subsequently received generous support from The Lowry Salford Quays, Midlands Arts Centre Birmingham, Redbridge Drama Centre London and The Ustinov, Bath in the UK.
The show premiered at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and experienced an overwhelming response from audiences and professionals alike receiving three awards and three award nominations, selling out its run at The Pleasance Dome, and picking up four & five star reviews across the board.
Following this success the show went on to win a total of nine awards internationally and has since toured extensively in the UK and internationally. The piece returned to the Edinburgh Festival in 2012 and sold out for a second consecutive year.
This will be followed by the eagerly anticipated European premiere of Aakash Odedra’s #JeSuis – a powerfully physical work portraying the frustrations of life in a homeland that doesn’t know the meaning of ‘home’ anymore, where freedoms and choices become a luxury and the main hope is to stay safe.
Birmingham-born Aakash Odedra – a supremely talented dancer and a choreographer – has been working with seven dancers from Turkey over the past two years. He first met them when he taught a workshop at Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul and their collective responses to the misinterpretations of their country inspired him in his creation of #JeSuis.
Wrapped up in issues of displacement, refuge and instability, #JeSuis is about lives in conflict and how the media dictates the stories we see. It settles its lens on a group of dancers whose place in the world is presented as that of unwanted neighbours from a place where human catastrophes are a daily given.
Preview performances of #JeSuis at Edinburgh Festival Fringe won the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award 2017. Naomi McAuliffe, Amnesty International’s Scotland Programme Director, said:
“#JeSuis is a powerful wake-up call to everyone on the climate of violence and oppression that people in Turkey are currently enduring. To see attacks on freedom of expression portrayed through the medium of dance was incredibly powerful and accessible….A production addressing freedom of expression in Turkey is particularly resonant for us as an organisation as our colleagues from Amnesty International Turkey are currently languishing in jail.”
Tickets for both productions are on sale now. For further information and to book, call 0844 338 5000 or visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com
For press enquiries please contact Kate Evans (Communications Executive) on 0121 689 3065 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes To Editors:
Wed 31 Jan, 8pm
FREE Pre-Show Talk – Wed 31 Jan 6.30pm
Learn more about the show in this FREE Q&A with Performer & Co-Artistic Director of Theatre Ad Infinitum, George Mann. A valid ticket for the performance is required.
The pre-show talk will last approximately 30 minutes.
Thu 15 and Fri 16 Feb, 8pm
Age Guidance 14+