Birmingham Weekly Arts Roundup, March 27- April 2

The 2014 Flatpack Film Festival draws to a close this week, with plenty of highlights still to look forward to.  This World Made Itself, Miwa Matreyek’s combination of enchanting visuals and live shadow puppetry, plays at the Library of Birmingham on Thursday (March 27), Millennium Point has early ’70s sci-fi film Silent Running on Friday (March 28), the Mac presents the UK premiere of Bill Morrison’s The Great Flood on Saturday (March 29), while the Electric Cinema rounds up the work of irreverent splicers in Lost And Refound on Sunday (March 30).

The Frontiers Festival marches on too, showcasing the cream of New York’s avant-garde music.  On Sunday (March 30), there’s a performance of Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint at Birmingham Conservatoire’s Recital Hall, while Apartment House and Leo Chadburn perform tracks from Lou Reed and John Cale’s Songs For Drella at the Library of Birmingham.  Decibel, the festival’s ensemble in residence, play early Philip Glass works at Ikon on Tuesday (April 1), while on Wednesday (April 2), the same venue hosts Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening Meditation.

Elsewhere, it’s a busy week at the Rep.  The Epic Encounters season continues with Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s iconic musical The Threepenny Opera, opening on Thursday (March 27).  Then, on Saturday (March 29), the Young Rep present a double bill featuring Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle alongside an adaptation of William Golding’s Lord Of The Flies.  Another Young Rep double bill opens on Wednesday (April 2), combining Macbeth with Alfred Jarry’s riotous King Ubu.

Lots going on at the Mac, too.  On Thursday (March 27), Dublin dance-theatre combo junk ensemble are in town with The Falling Song, a critically-acclaimed, highly physical examination of flying and falling.  On Saturday (March 29), Sound and Fury present Going Dark – the story of a planetarium narrator facing blindness, the production earning rave reviews for its dramatic lighting and sound design.  Then, on Tuesday (April 1), Freshold Theatre share the work in progress In Loving Memory, a one-hander examining identity and escape.

In other theatre action, the Belgrade’s Spanish Golden Age season continues, with the comedy Don Gil Of The Green Breeches opening on Thursday (March 27) and dark thriller Punishment Without Revenge getting underway on Friday (March 28).  And over in Bromsgrove, Artrix examines the relationship between religion and faith in Tabletop Games on Saturday (March 29).

In the visual arts, the highlight comes at Grand Union, with the opening of Maia Conran’s new solo exhibition Here Is The Yard.  Taking as its starting point three short video recordings, Conran has created a large panorama, a sculptural sound installation and a discrete video work.  The show opens on Friday (March 28).

Ikon continues its anniversary celebrations with Those Were The Decades, a series of all-dayers focussing on the social and cultural context of the past 50 years.  It kicks off on Saturday (March 29) at the Library of Birmingham with a reappraisal of the 1960s and the rise of counterculture – the highlight being a screening of Haskell Wexler’s influential film Medium Cool.

Elsewhere this week, Inside/Outside presents work from present and past members of Digbeth project Stryx from Thursday (March 27), The Wig invites nine artists to create work based on a 1969 brochure marking the launch of the QE2 in The Cunarders from Monday (March 31), while one of the darkest periods in African history is re-examined at the Herbert from Tuesday (April 1) in 100 Days: The Rwandan Genocide Twenty Years Later.

And there are two new shows at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists from Monday (March 31) – an exhibition from the Birmingham Watercolour Society and Found, a group show from three quatrefoil artists.


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