West Midlands Weekenders – Ritual Weekender Programme Announcement


The West Midlands Culture Response Unit (WMCRU) is today pleased to announce artists and organisations taking part in this Saturday’s (29 August) Ritual Weekender.  

Ritual Weekender is the first of three planned WM Weekender events, each carrying its own theme. Together they will showcase the diversity and innovation of the region’s arts, creating culture in new ways to keep the West Midlands on the map. 

Taking place this Saturday from 2pm – 11pm, artists from across the region will respond to the theme of ‘Ritual’ with pre-recorded, live stream and in person gatherings all hosted live by  Birmingham Opera Company and Friction Arts. 

Friction Arts will present Quiet CarnivalQuiet Carnival asks the question – ‘how can we come together to experience the art when going to the shops is like a game of Russian Roulette?’ – and seeks to answer it by attempting a socially distanced event, show, performance, participatory artwork, and gig with a range of artists and performers making all the art all at once. Safely. It will be safe. Experience it live or online as part of Ritual Weekender. 

Birmingham based writer for stage and screen Jude Gatiss’s film Black Sparta tells the little-known story of Ella Williams, an African American woman born shortly after the abolition of slavery. Standing at over 7 feet tall, Ella caught the attention of West Midlands showman Frank Bostock who convinced her to join his travelling menagerie. Black Sparta is a conversation between Ella and Madame Abomah, the character she plays on stage. 

We’ve teamed up with Coventry 2021 Front Room Sessions and BBC Introducing for the evening to showcase some amazing singers, songwriters and artists from across the region. 

In-person, you can join members of the Royal Shakespeare Company for some socially-distanced Shakespeare Snapshots set against the backdrop of the beautiful Dell Gardens in Stratford-upon-Avon. These fun, fast-paced, no-frills performances are the perfect re-introduction to live theatre and are suitable for Shakespeare enthusiasts, newcomers and day-trippers alike. 

Actor and playwright Tyrone Huggins will present monologue Theatre Rituals which will take the idea of audiences going back to the theatre of old for the first timetaking a wry look at how the experience may play out for them. 

With Punch Record’s Homelandsfour of the UK’s most exciting and diverse artists; Shakka, Diztortion, Terri Walker & Saskilla  embark on a global music adventuregoing back to their roots to discover how their music and lives have been shaped by heritage. 

There’s also poetry from Lorna Meehanfilm from Sian Macfarlane, music and choreography from Rusconi and Monin, Kathak from Sonia Sabri Company, extreme physicality from Motionhouse with KnotThe Protest: Eva’s Story by Tamaira Hesson, we dip into Asylum Art Gallery, Bertz Associates LTD & Iconic Production’s Dreaming Tower Ballroom  and BCMG’s Stockhausen event in Hannover and film from Birmingham Opera Company. 

The full line-up and running times for Ritual Weekender will be released in the coming days on makeitwm.com The live stream of the Festival will also be available to watch on the makeitwm website from 2pm on Saturday.