17 March, 7pm 18 - 20 March, 6.30pm and 8.30pm Centenary Square, Birmingham Free and Unticketed
Join us as Centenary Square is transformed into our stage for Wondrous Stories, a spectacular open-air show to kick-off the Birmingham 2022 Festival. Featuring 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, audiences can expect large-scale immersive action and plenty of thrills as stories, a giant book and characters tumble out of the night sky.
Inspired by the stories of the city, past, present and future, Wondrous Stories is a show for everyone made by a local and international creative team. Led by Artistic Director Kevin Finnan MBE, the show features additional choreography by Jamaal Burkmar (Extended Play, Phoenix Dance) and Sonia Sabri (Sonia Sabri Dance Company), live spoken word performance from Coventry and Birmingham-based artists Raza Hussain and Sebbie Mudhai, and digital projections by Logela Multimedia. Birmingham’s Choir With No Name sing to an uplifting soundtrack by Sophy Smith and Tim Dickinson, and costume designer Sophie Donaldson leads Birmingham City University students in costume creation, making this a magical collaboration of talent.
Please note that this show contains flashing lights, and for those with a sensitivity to flickering or constant bright, moving light, please be aware a large scale projection film runs throughout the show.
Entry into the show
Wondrous Stories is free and unticketed. There are no age restrictions for Wondrous Stories - it is a show for everyone to come out and enjoy. We hope that lots of families will come to watch the performances. This show takes place outside and is approximately 50 minutes long, so we recommend wrapping up warmly.
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.
This 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 Rep 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 introduction to the performance) on both performances on the 20th of March. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any access requirements and if you would like to book for the Audio Description service.
School activity: Follow the link below to tell us your story! Stories can be whatever you want to share – stories of everyday life, what Birmingham and the region mean to you, or just stories about what is important to you in your life. You can choose how you want to tell us: write it down, paint a picture, make a video – it could be anything! Open to all ages.
Wondrous Stories is created by Motionhouse and produced by Outdoor Places Unusual Spaces
Generously supported by Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Image: Dan Tucker