2 April 2015

Countdown under way for Artrix's tenth anniversary

THE COUNTDOWN is under way to the tenth anniversary of Bromsgrove's Artrix, which is due to take place on April 25.

The centre will play host to a spectacular afternoon and evening of entertainment to mark this magnificent milestone.

Students from the Heart of Worcestershire College will give two free performances of Quiet Revolution in partnership with Dancefest and Bromsgrove District Council. The shows – at 2.15 pm and 3.40 pm – will be part of the council’s St George’s Day celebrations commemorating the centenary of the First World War.

Then at 8pm, local schools and community groups will gather on Bromsgrove High Street for the tenth birthday lantern parade. Artrix learning and engagement and Walk the Plank have been working with more than 200 members of the local community, including Sidemoor, Dodford and Meadows First Schools, Amber Support, YMCA Youth Group, HOW College, brownies, guides and Avoncroft Museum to run workshops to produce the large-scale lanterns for the parade.

Everyone is invited to join the parade which will gather on Bromsgrove High Street at 8pm and then everyone is welcome to make their own battery-powered lanterns to carry.

At 8.30pm, the lantern parade will leave the High Street for Artrix and at 9pm there will be a free performance of Spellbound by outdoor specialists Walk the Plank on the Artrix terrace.

Spellbound is a thrilling tale of love, jealousy, betrayal and daring – inspired by Ramayana, an ancient story from India – and created by experts Walk the Plank.

The performance, at dusk, is suitable for all ages, using shadow theatre with real performers in place of traditional puppetry.

An original soundtrack, live theatrical narration, lantern procession and sumptuous special effects all add to the performance. Audiences can expect dazzling pyrotechnic display and a spectacular fiery finale, taking traditional theatre into an exciting new format, and giving people the chance to see storytelling in a whole new light.

Performers use Bharata Natyam – a traditional Indian form of dance that includes sculptural poses which works perfectly with the shadow theatre format and allows the show to stay loyal to its roots. The inventive, captivating method of storytelling will delight the diverse audience on the night.

Nick Clarke, Spellbound’s artistic director, said: "Spellbound is a timeless tale of good versus evil, of love and of overcoming the odds.

"As a fantastic traditional piece of storytelling it ticks every box, plus there’re some great characters – from the powerful monkey god to the wicked stepmother."

He added the original way in which the story was told – with shadow play, puppetry, dancers, music, special effects and much more – added a whole new dimension.’

Ros Robins, Artrix's interim director said: "It promises to be a wonderful birthday party and a great way to celebrate the first decade of Artrix.

"We’re hoping as many local people as possible will come along on the 25th and enjoy the celebrations."

The Spellbound performance is supported by Arts Council England through its Strategic Touring Programme.

"Artrix would also like to thank Bromsgrove District Council, Saintbury Trust, Elmley Foundation and Heart of Worcestershire College for their support for the tenth birthday celebrations," added Ros.

Residents are being urged to submit their memories of Artrix – whether it is a show they have seen at the venue or a project or performance they have been involved in there. Those wanting to send in their memories should use #happybirthdayartrix

The tenth anniversary of Artrix will also see the launch of a new fund-raising campaign. People are being urged to give £10 for ten years, or whatever they can afford.

Ros said the campaign was to celebrate the centre's first successful decade and to look forward to the next ten years.

"This is the first fund-raising campaign launched by Artrix during its ten year history and would very much appreciate the public’s support.

"All donations will go towards supporting our projects with young people, replacing some our equipment and developing a new programme of work for the Studio."

Donations can be made online at www.artrix.co.uk, at the Box Office or via the donation boxes in the foyer.

Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard