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Blooming Brilliant: A snapshot of theatrical innovation in Coventry

Posted on 1 April 2019

With a Performance: In Bloom’s triple-bill of brand new theatre opening at the Belgrade Theatre this week as part of SHOOT Festival 2019, Assistant Producer Eve Ruck told us more about this year’s event and how it’s highlighting the best and the brightest creative talent in Coventry and Warwickshire…

The theatre has always been a place where attitudes get challenged, emotions are pushed to the brink, and important discussions are started, and this is no exception in Coventry.

SHOOT Festival started supporting Coventry and Warwickshire based artists in 2014 and has been a member on the Belgrade’s Springboard programme since 2016. The Springboard initiative is vital to companies like us as it gives us the opportunity to test important new work in front of a local audience whilst also receiving mentoring and guidance from the entire Belgrade team.

Our upcoming production Performance: In Bloom will open this year’s festival and we’re so excited to premiere three new commissions from previous SHOOT Festival artists in the B2 Studio.

Nick Knibb, the creative vision behind Never Mind the Horlicks says that since his first involvement with SHOOT Festival he has, “introduced more of a joined up approach to my stage work rather than being single standalone stories. With encouragement, I’ve developed a more theatrical approach to my performances and injected a real life element into my work. To receive feedback and constructive criticism to help me develop has helped me think more about the empty spaces around me and whether or not I fill them with words, objects or just nothing at all.”

Susie Sillett, who will be performing alongside Nick with her piece, Cheetah Sisters, attests that, “The inaugural festival gave me my first platform after leaving uni and that led me to the Birmingham Rep foundry, so it was effectively my foot in the door of the industry. The previous In Bloom showcased my work and helped me make connections with other Coventry companies. This time it’s been my first experience as a theatre-maker working closely with a director, so that’s been very new and helpful in terms of taking my performance up a level.”

Cheetah Sisters

In Bloom is a unique opportunity for artists to take their creative practice to new heights, providing them with both the freedom and continued support to innovate and take risks. We are passionate about engaging with new audiences and providing real opportunities for creatives.

Susie says that she loves Coventry and feels lucky to have, “found the heart underneath the concrete. It’s a humble place and doesn’t like to shout about itself, so I’m really glad it’s starting to do that now. I’d love for people to witness the potential that we’ve long known was here.”

Nick also chimes in, “the heart, music and population [of Coventry] form a background to most of my work and help add a realism and relatability for home-town audiences.”

What you will find when witnessing work by In Bloom is a deep connection to the community it was formed within and a passion for the furtherment of the arts.

We’re also really excited to be collaborating with Coventry theatre company Talking Birds by using The Difference Engine to caption all of the Performance: In Bloom pieces. The Difference Engine is a free downloadable app that sends discreet captions directly to your smart phone and is designed to make live performances accessible to deaf or hard of hearing audience members – you can find out more on our access page.

Performance: In Bloom encapsulates the potential of theatre for both artists and audiences, giving each the chance to experience and create something exciting in the city they love. Don’t miss out on your chance to experience something new, buy tickets here

Performance: In Bloom will be showing at the Belgrade Theatre for two nights only on the 4th and 5th April 2019. Book now.