With just over two weeks to go organisers are gearing up for the 4th edition of Birmingham’s BEDLAM Arts and Mental Health Festival, one of the largest Festivals of its kind in the UK.
The Festival, which runs for a phenomenal 12 days from Tuesday 1 – Saturday 12 October, will present over 25 events in a range of venues across the city to raise awareness of mental health and well-being through the importance of the arts.
The Festival is brought to the city by organisers Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Midlands Arts Centre, Sampad South Asian Arts and new partner, Birmingham-based Geese Theatre Company in consultation with practitioners and those with lived experience of mental health problems.
BEDLAM Arts and Mental Health Festival will welcome artists from across the UK, as well as home grown talent, who will present an exciting and engaging programme of theatre performances, dance, movement workshops, art installations, wellbeing walks, film screenings, family events, Q&A’s and a special BEDLAM Symposium.
Festival Producer, Sabra Khan said “We’re into our 4th edition in Birmingham and we are very excited to present a diverse and packed programme of events and performances which will appeal to all ages and backgrounds. More importantly, we look forward to welcoming festivalgoers over the 12 days to help continue our work to reduce the stigma and encourage debate around mental health.”
Festivalgoers can look forward to powerful live performances featuring the world premiere of THE THING at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in partnership with Olivier award nominated Les Enfants Terribles; an evening of RnB and Hip Hop from Birmingham’s Red Earth Collective featuring three of the Midlands’ most exciting young R’n’B and Hip-Hop artists Lady Sanity, Call Me Unique and Trademark Blud; EXPERTS BY EXPERIENCE SHOWCASE, an event where people who have experience of accessing mental health services share their journey of recovery and a BEDLAM Showcase featuring four works from a variety of artists and companies performed in just one day.
Opening the festival is London born Koko Brown who brings her play WHITE to Midlands Arts Centre for the first time blending music and spoken word. Further highlights include ROCKBOTTOM by dancer Stuart Waters, a moving, highly physical and incredibly honest self-portrait of personal struggle with depression and addiction; NO BOND SO STRONG a new commission by SAMPAD is a life affirming production about motherhood and holding family together and, marking World Mental Health Day (10 Oct), Geese Theatre Company present PLAYING THE GAME featuring a cast of four who take audiences on a journey through a century of maternal incarceration. For art lovers there’s the fascinating STATE OF THE MIND guided tour of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery discussing the impact of mental health on art and the way it is received.
Closing the Festival is CHAI AND CHAT: IN CONVERSATION WITH NAFEESA HAMID. Over a cup of delicious Chai, Nafeesa, a Birmingham-based spoken word poet and playwright, will be discussing mental health in the context of her own experiences.
Tickets for BEDLAM Arts and Mental Health Festival, which runs from Tuesday 1 – Saturday 12 October 2019, are available via the event venue. Prices start from as little as £5. There is also a number of free events.
For the full programme line up please go to www.bedlamfestival.co.uk