Highlights of the three-day festival included:
A stunning exhibition of paintings by artist Tom de Freston was showcased in the Michel-Saint-Denis rehearsal room. The exhibition titled ‘Poor Tom’ is part of an ongoing project developed by de Freston as part of his Creative Fellowship at the University of Birmingham, centred on Shakespeare’s character Poor Tom.
Audiences were treated to a reading from Professor Ewan Fernie (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham), Professor Simon Palfrey (Oxford) and Tom de Freston’s pioneering new book, Macbeth, Macbeth; a collaboratively written masterpiece which responds to Shakespeare's play by weaving its own parallel and terrifying fiction.
A contemporary selection of creative performances was staged by University of Birmingham Drama and Theatre Arts students. ‘Ideas People’ included six innovative pieces, devised, produced and performed by second and third year Undergraduate students in the RSC’s The Other Place theatre.
The 2016 Playwrights' Workshop featured extracts from the plays of four new playwrights on our postgraduate Playwriting Studies course. Rehearsed readings of ‘Blood in Paradise’ by George Boundy, ‘Comb’ by Grace Darbs, ‘Aaron’ by Richard Cedric Hodgson and ‘Zombiegate’ by Matthew Gabrielli were performed by professional actors, directed by Gwenda Hughes and Milli Bhatia.
Public screenings of 12 short films by MA in Film and Television Research and Production students and first year English students took place in The Other Place exhibition area. The showcased work centred on creative responses to pieces of text - visualised, dramatised and even re-conceptualised through film.
A walking workshop with acclaimed author, and University of Birmingham Creative Fellow, Helen Cross gave participants the opportunity to create new poems and stories as they travelled along the banks of the River Avon and through the streets of historic Stratford on foot.