4 Squares Weekender to provide warm welcome for new library in Birmingham

By Mark Sheerin | 30 July 2013

Festival preview: 4 Squares Weekender, Birmingham, September 6-8 2013

Colour photo of a performance troupe in red before a newbuild library
The Reds, sampad, CBSO and No Fit State Circus at 4SquaresWeekender© Jas Sansi
In these straitened times, the opening of a new library and a new theatre space are rare events indeed. No wonder Birmingham is celebrating four times over with civic spectacles in four city squares.

Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Chamberlain Square and Oozells Square in Brindleyplace are all gearing up to welcome locals and tourists alike in the first weekend of September.

Performance has been planned by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, No Fit State Circus, the Birmingham Royal Ballet and a line-up from the Simmer Down Festival organised by Black-led arts centre The Drum.

Festivities will reach a high point on Friday and Saturday evenings in Victoria Square. The city centre space will play host to Wired Aerial Theatre, who use music, theatre and a vertically suspended stage to produce a breathtaking show about climate change.

But it is no wonder the city is pulling out all the stops. Its new 31,000 square ft library is costing £189 million. The adjacent Birmingham Repertory Theatre, integrated with the new library, will have new backstage areas and a 300-seat auditorium.

This is not just great news for Birmingham but a great example for the rest of the country. And if the 2012 games demonstrated anything, they showed that the public has a real appetite for spectacular, inclusive and accessible theatrical events.

If that includes you, put this one in your diary.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.
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Pedralta World Fusion Belly Dance www.pedralta.com are looking forward to joining Nofit State Circus for some mayhem in Victoria Square on Sunday!
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