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Wondrous Stories

Wondrous Stories, the opening show of the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Festival in March 2022, will be conceived and directed by Kevin Finnan, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Motionhouse.

Kevin will collaborate with choreographers Sonia Sabri and Jamaal Burkmar to develop the choreography for the show. Participants from Critical Mass, a new inclusive dance collective of up to 300 young people, led by Birmingham 2022 Festival and DanceXchange, will get the incredible opportunity to work with the three creatives and their respective teams of professional dancers to make the choreographic content of Wondrous Stories. Critical Mass will form part of the large cast of the production, performing alongside, choirs, aerialists actors, and Motionhouse performers, which will be revealed from the 17 – 20 March 2022 in a series of seven, free, outdoor shows as well as being live-streamed around the world.

About Wondrous Stories

Wondrous Stories is the spectacular, free, open-air show that kicks off the Birmingham 2022 Festival, a six-month celebration shining a global spotlight on creativity in the West Midlands that will sit alongside the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The cast features Motionhouse’s internationally-renowned professional dance-circus company alongside a mass cast of hundreds from Critical Mass, Freewheelin (an inclusive wheelchair dance group), Motionhouse Youth, Motionhouse community class participants, Timmins Academy and the Centre for Advanced Training programme run by DanceXchange and Sampad. Birmingham’s Choir With No Name will be singing in the show, with spoken word from Raza Hussain and Sebbie Mudhai. Jamaal Burkmar and Sonia Sabri are Associate Choreographers, each creating a specific section of choreography for the show. Audiences can expect large-scale immersive action and plenty of thrills as stories, a giant book and characters tumble out of the night sky.

Live-Streamed Performance

If you can’t make it to Birmingham, join us for a live-streamed performance of Wondrous Stories on Friday 18 March at 8.30pm (GMT) on the Motionhouse YouTube channel.

Find Out More

Wondrous Stories is the spectacular, free, open-air show that kicks-off the Birmingham 2022 Festival, a six-month celebration shining a global spotlight on creativity in the West Midlands that will sit alongside the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The cast features Motionhouse’s internationally-renowned professional dance-circus company alongside a mass cast of hundreds from Critical Mass, Freewheelin Dance Company, Motionhouse Youth, Sampad and DanceXChange. Birmingham’s Choir With No Name will be singing in the show, with spoken word from Raza Hussain and Sebbie Mudhai. Jamaal Burkmar and Sonia Sabri are Associate Choreographers, each creating a specific section of choreography for the show.

Seven FREE performances. 45-50 minutes running time:

  • 17th March 7pm
  • 18th – 20th March 6.30pm and 8.30pm daily

Location: Centenary Square, Birmingham

Audiences can expect large-scale immersive action, incredible dance-circus, aerial spectacle and plenty of thrills as stories, a giant book and characters tumble out of the night sky. Incredible digital projections will help set the scene for the show.

Wondrous Stories is free and unticketed. Please note there will be a maximum capacity at each performance within the audience viewing area in the square to ensure audience safety. The action takes place in a number of locations across the square including through and around the audience. This may mean crowds need to move around to accommodate this.

Terms of Entry to the Event

Searches by our trained security team will be taking place on entry into the event site. Any prohibited items will be seized, and entry may be denied. Anybody who refuses to be searched will be denied entry. Prohibited items include: alcohol; weapons; drugs; political/protest related signage; any other illegal items. For the safety of all audience members, bicycles and scooters will not be able to enter the audience area, but bicycle racks are available at the side of the Library next to Baskerville House and there are docking stations close by for hire scooters / hire bikes. Please note that no smoking is allowed on site, and that no animals – other than assistance animals – are allowed on site.

The show takes place in Centenary Square with no general audience seating available lasting approximately 45-50 minutes. A designated accessible viewing area will be reserved; this will include some benches for those who are unable to stand for a long period of time. Audience members using wheelchairs will also be able to use this space. Our Volunteer Team will be happy to show you to this area – please arrive in sufficient time to reserve your place. Assistance animals are permitted, but please be aware there will be loud noises and loud music as part of the show which takes place in the public realm.

Access into the show is step-free, and the majority of the square is level, however, please note there are some raised steps around the periphery of the square next to the Repertory Theatre. Please note that lighting levels may be adjusted in the square.

A mixture of subtitles and key text integrated into the digital projections will allow our D/deaf audiences to experience as fully as possible the lyrics and spoken word that are used in the show. For audiences with a visual impairment, we have an Audio Described package (including an introduction to the performance) on both performances on the 20th of March. Please email enquiries@opusartsevents.co.uk if you have any access requirements and if you would like to book for the Audio Description service.

Key Information

Location

Centenary Square

Trailer

A Unique Collaboration Between...
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