The University of Wolverhampton have officially launched Artsfest 2016, a seven week celebration of the creative culture in Wolverhampton.
With over 20 arts organisations and venues such as the Grand Theatre, the Arena Theatre, Lichfield Cathedral and many more, the festival will program work from across the Faculty of Arts at the university, and professional work from across the city and surrounding areas.
This year, Artsfest will cover over 100 events in the creative industries such as performing arts, poetry, literature, film and art.
There really is something for everyone of all ages, and at any budget. Whether it is professional touring companies, or students studying performing arts, there will be an immense amount to do, watch and explore.
Artsfest Co-Ordinator, Fran Richards said: “Artsfest is a wonderful opportunity to not only see the city’s students work being showcased alongside professional work, but also a time for the cultural venues across the region to join together under the Artsfest banner, and truly celebrate what the Black Country has to offer.”
Aiming to make theatre and art more accessible, Artsfest are proud to present a festival where 50% of the events are completely free. Giving everyone the opportunity to see some incredible live theatre for little, or no cost.
The festival kicked off earlier this week with the fabulous Priscilla Queen of the Desert starring Blue’s Duncan James at the Wolverhampton Grand. Other musicals in the festival include The Faculty of Arts Musical Theatre presenting the Tony-award-winning musical Pippin at the Arena Theatre. Also at the Arena Theatre, Krazy Kat Theatre will present a sparkling new musical The Very Magic Flute. Also for children, an interactive musical Ding Dong will show at the Newhampton Arts Centre.
In commemoration of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, Ex Cathedra – in partnership with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Shakespeare institute and in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company – will tour a staged period instrument performance of Shakespeare’s Odes.
Similarly, in terms of literature, the Faculty of Arts School of Humanities will present An Evening with Jo Bell and Luke Kennard, a night full of live poetry and conversation at the Arena Theatre.
Multiple art exhibitions will be taking place over the festival, including Ben Kelly’s Recent Painting, an exhibition expressing his interest in the places around him and displaying it in a contemporary idiom. Also, the Staffordshire Open Art Exhibition will take place at Shire Hall in Stafford, featuring paintings, drawings, prints, photography film and more.
The festival itself spans across many areas of the creative industries and is set to showcase some stunning work. There are plenty of events to get your hands on, and all of these can be found on the Artsfest website.
Make sure you join in on the conversation on twitter with #WLVArtsfest