Birmingham Weekly Arts Roundup, June 12 – 18

The World Cup kicks off this week, but whether you’re a football refusenik or you just fancy a break from it all, there are plenty of great artsy options to get your teeth into.

At the Library of Birmingham on Saturday (June 14), it’s the latest instalment of Those Were The Decades, a series of study days celebrating the Ikon’s 50th birthday through the changing cultures of the past half-century.  We’re up to the 1970s, so as well as a look at the pioneering photography of Daniel Meadows, there are screenings of Derek Jarman’s cult punk film Jubilee and the glam-rock/heavy-metal documentary Motorcity Music Years.

CONVERSATIONSThe Barber Institute has two fine new shows opening on Friday (June 13).  Conversations rounds up four centuries of portrait printmaking, with works by the likes of Picasso, Rembrandt and Goya displayed in pairs to highlight each artist’s interpretations.  Meanwhile, A River Runs Through It rounds up prints and drawings by the likes of Turner and Whistler highlighting the importance of waterways.

Ort Gallery’s new exhibition opens on Saturday (June 14), a thought-provoking show in which Famina B explores her identity as a young British Muslim through print, sculpture and installation.  Also, the RBSA’s New Curators show opens on Monday (June 16), while Richard McIlwraith’s vivid abstract paintings are on display at Artrix in Bromsgrove from Wednesday (June 18).

Some fine theatrical choices this week, not least at the Rep.  After Shakespeare, Alan Ayckbourn is the world’s most frequently-performed English-language playwright – his mid-’80s tragicomedy Woman In Mind opens on Friday (June 13), in which the delusional main character sees her fantasy life collide with her pedestrian reality.

Then, opening on Wednesday (June 18), Zimbabwean farce comes to the Rep in The Epic Adventure Of Nhamo, where the humble main character finds himself the hero of a TV drama.

Elsewhere, on Saturday (June 14) the Mac welcomes The Festival Players to its outdoor Arena for a traditional all-male performance of Macbeth, while on the same night the Crescent begins its run of The House Of Bernarda Alba, the final play from Spanish dramatist Federico García Lorca, with the titular matriarch wielding a controlling influence over her five daughters.


And opening on Wednesday (June 18), the Birmingham School of Acting come to the Old Rep with The Bright And Bold Design, a play exploring the relationship between art and politics.


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