BE Festival

Birmingham Rep

Wednesday, 25th June, 2015


The Bot Project  - Collage

THE Catalan acrobatic company dazzled crowds of both strangers and theatre goers with their contribution to the BE festival with Collage.

The company posed a wonderful celebration of European performance art. It screamed loud and proud of who The Bot Project are and reflected perfectly as to what the BE Festival is – a space for theatre and performance throughout Europe to be unified and touched by art.

It was fascinating and equally delighting to see The Bot Project being performed outdoors. Centenary Square was buzzing with excitement and it was interesting to see passers-by stop and look at the exhilarating performance being provided.

The performance itself was a fantastic piece of acrobatic theatre. The set consisted of a trampoline and an approximately three metre high platform. With the addition of music and an excited audience, Collage was treat for the eyes.

Performers Amaya Minguez, Angel de Miguel and Lucas Juan Ruiz held the audience in wonder from start to finish. Their characters were perfectly defined which added to the comical narrative. Miguel and Ruiz showed incredible skill on the trampoline performing a never ending sequence of acrobatic skill. Minguez acted as a harsh director, making them perform bigger and better tricks as the performance went on.

Their skill of trampolining was truly entertaining and the audience spurred on the company with constant cheers and applause. The platform was a particular highlight as we saw the performers leap up and jump down with incredible precision and a great sense of showmanship.

Collage was a wonderful start to the second night of BE Festival and excited and inspired audiences ready for the rest of the evening activities.

Acrophobia - Liv & Toby

Liv Knoche and Tobias Willasch are a German duo who specLiv & Tobyialise in circus performance and trapeze. Their tender and spectacular piece was Acrophobia and touched the audience in many ways.

Liv & Toby impressed the Studio Theatre audience with their daring trapeze skills and a sweet narrative. Their set contained a single rope and trapeze hanging from the rafters for their performance. This was all they needed as their routine was enough to inspire and touch the hearts of everyone.

In a beautiful sequence of trapeze work, Liv & Toby entwined their bodies and displayed a natural strength. They had no dialogue in this performance as the music of London Orchestra’s ‘Exodus’ reflected the beauty of their physicality from above.

In a stunning and extremely impressive performance lasting no longer than Twenty minutes, the couple told their story in the most touching of ways. Knoche played a vulnerable girl, finding it impossible to overcome a fear of heights within her. With the help of Willasch, the fear is dissolved and an empowering force is seen.

This was an incredibly inspiring performance and with the touching, playful style of Liv & Toby, was a beautiful contribution filling the Studio with a wave of happiness.


Translating Lola - Margo Van De Linde

Margo Van De Linde presented an interesting concept with her performance of Translating Lola. Highlighting the universal theme of sexuality and the sex industry, Translating Lola was made as a way to document her experience and talk to others about the importance of womanhood.

Translating Lola integrates language and culture in a unique way. Van De Linde speaks in English, while her partner on stage, Aurora Chacon, performs in Spanish. Their communication and relationship on stage was a thought-provoking account of the universal language of womanhood.

Even though neither couMargo van de lindeld speak the other’s language, they were united by one topic, Van De Linde’s interest in the sexuality of women and Chacon’s experience of being a prostitute in The Netherlands.

Their translator was Augustina Muoz who relayed what one said to the other and helped the audience to understand the narrative of the piece. This concept struck the audience as we watched an intense and emotionally charged relationship unfold between the two women. Their encounter was not influenced by language, but what lies underneath. They delicately showed the raw emotions of what happens when people are touched by something deeper and can connect in a much more natural and tender way.

Van De Linde was very brave to give the audience much of herself – the performance came from her personal experience and highlighted a deep need to relay everyone her strong and passionate feelings. Van De Linde is a master of creating an intimacy between performer and audience within her work. A moment of this was shown when she demonstrated her burlesque talents with us, leaving the audience with a tempting song with a beautiful voice, to exonerate her frank opinions of culture, womanhood and sex.

Elizabeth Halpin


The festival runs to June 27. DETAILS AND BOOKING


Contents page Rep Reviews A-Z Reviews by Theatre