Today, international festival of performance Fierce announced the full programme of live art, theatre, dance, music, installations, activism, and parties taking over Birmingham from 16 – 22 October 2017.
Exploring themes as diverse as the rituals of clubbing, mental health, “fandom” and fan art, activism, queer culture and climate change the 2017 programme contains fifty events with five World Premieres, twelve UK premieres with artists hailing from ten countries across four continents.
Artistic Director of Fierce Festival Aaron Wright said: I’m thrilled to present my first programme at Fierce which presents a wide snapshot of some of the most exciting performance being made in the world today. It’s a fresh, exciting, radical programme for a young, diverse city taking in everything from immersive dance shows, new performance art installations, major club nights and late night cabaret. It will be a hugely exciting week to be in Birmingham with many of the artists making their UK debuts and giving Fierce UK exclusive performances further cementing Fierce’s reputation as one of the most daring, forward thinking and youthful arts organisations in the country.
The six World Premieres will include: dance piece i ride in colour and soft focus no longer anywhere by Last Yearz Interesting Negro the moniker of artist Jamila Johnson-Small; The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein will present new large piece for the stage NOTORIOUS drawing on myths of Medusa and Nicki Minaj ahead of a run at the Barbican; an exploration of black and queer aesthetics $elfie$ by Marikiscrycrycry; Vivian Chinasa Ezugha will debut Ghana Must Go and Britney Spears a new performance exploring xenophobia and cultural stigma; and Owen G Parry’s latest installation exploring fan culture fic.the.sky featuring European dance theatre collective Medeber Teatro.
Fierce will also host a range of UK Debuts and Premieres including a trio of Canadian works curated in collaboration with Studio 303, Montreal: Adam Kinner and Christopher Willes’ Listening Choir which invites festival-goers to walk through Birmingham listening to an altered sonic landscape of the city; Andréa de Keijzer and Erin Robinsong’s performance This ritual is not an accident and Andrew Tay’s Fame Prayer / EATING. French choreographer Michele Rizzo’s piece HIGHER explores the agony and ecstasy of clubbing through dance; Simone Aughterlony and Jen Rosenblit will bring their promenade piece Everything Fits in the Room which sees a free-standing brick wall erected in the Festival Hub; and Belgian visual theatre artist Louis Vanhaverbeke will turn into a multifunctional disc-jockey inMultiverse.
Further highlights include: American cabaret star Erin Markey with late night show Boner Killer which combines her signature story-driven stand-up with sensually scored home-made pop music. Fierce are producing Markey’s debut UK tour which also includes dates at The Yard Theatre, London and The Marlborough Pub and Theatre, Brighton. Acclaimed theatre company GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN return with their first foray into digital performance in Frankenshow.
Fierce will open with A Very Fierce Grand Opening on 18 October at Fierce’s new Festival Hub in Digbeth. Fierce parties are the stuff of legend and this year’s free grand opening will include the UK Premieres of two highly regarded international works: hula-hooping endurance test Duchesses by Francois Chaignaud and Marie-Caroline Hominal and Durational Rope by Quarto. Art bands Splash Addict and Double P***y Cl*t F*ck will also get Festival Hub dancing with their sets of raucous pop music and live performance. The headline Club Fierce party on 21 October features a fresh club line-up including Parisian DJ Kiddy Smile, Serbian rapper Gnučči, dancer Marie-Caroline Hominal and trans performance artist and nightlife personality Imma Asher.
Fierce will also invite festival-goers to a top secret location to celebrate Rocio Boliver’s Sweet 60th. The Mexican artist has created her own deranged aesthetic and explores how society has equated ageing with failure. A performance artist who creates body art about the repression of women, Boliver was once one of Mexico’s top news broadcasters before turning her attention to porno-erotic writing and contemporary performance.
As well as staging World and UK Premieres, Fierce is an intensely political festival which will look at the re-emerging activist culture, as well as wider notions of capitalism. Steve Lambert’s public installation Capitalism Works For Me! (True/False)will travel around Birmingham city centre during the festival, having previously been staged in Times Square; American activist Preach R Sun known for his street interventions stages new work Lord of Flies (Coronation) which addresses histories of slavery and colonialism in Birmingham and award-winning wild anti-consumerist gospel shouters and urban activists Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir will make a stop at Fierce on their Trump Depression Hotline Tour.
Fierce will team up with Free Radical to take over Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in Be The Change, a Late at the Edwardian Tearoom on 21 October. Featuring political artists, performances and film screenings there will be a crowd-sourced Protest-Playlist and a chance to go on activist-speed dates with artists.
The festival will also cater for younger audiences with Ant Hampton’s interactive installation Crazy But True in collaboration with Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s The Young Rep. Staged at mac Birmingham, the piece will invite children between 7 and 11 to form a rolling panel of experts. Further information on taking part can be found in Notes to Editors.
Returning for its 17th edition, Fierce will take place across Birmingham with events in Fierce’s brand new Festival Hub in Digbeth, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, The Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham School of Art, STRYX, ACE Dance and Music, mac, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, AE Harris and the new Birmingham Conservatoire as well as various outdoor locations.