Preview: Summer In Southside Festival | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Preview: Summer In Southside Festival

Culture Editor Olivia Boyce previews the Summer in Southside Festival at the Hippodrome, a weekend of free entertainment on the 17th and 18th of June

This weekend at the Birmingham Hippodrome is a rather special treat – their annual Summer in Southside outdoor festival returns, providing a free weekend of entertainment with delights for all!

Birmingham Royal Ballet - La Fille mal gardée

This year’s festival brings the countryside to the city, with a programme full of events and activities over the Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of June. There’s a mini farm, with animals to see and pet, traditional rides and stalls for a real village fete atmosphere, and even a dog & duck show, rather a novelty for Southside!

The weekend also plays host to a range of performances from groups based all over the world. The Fabularium, a company of Freelance Musicians, Acrobats, Storytellers and puppeteers, are renowned for their work at outdoor events, carnivals and processions. Capturing the flavour of the medieval mystery play tradition through spectacular performances on processional pageant wagons, they imbue each production with live music, puppetry, physical theatre, acrobatics and more, waving magical and entertaining stories that enchant their audiences. They bring their production of Reynard the Fox, telling the tale of the infamous trickster as he attempts to prove his innocence whilst maintaining his devious persona. More information on Fabularium’s production can be found here.

Birmingham Royal Ballet, currently engaged at the Hippodrome for performances of their ballet Coppélia, will perform a chicken dance from La Fille mal gardée, a ballet set firmly in a joyous summertime. Their display of balletic prowess is similar to the skill with which the The Black Eagles, a group of acrobats from Tanzania, perform. With their toe-tapping mix of dance and acrobatics, accompanied by energetic African music, their performances are perfect for ushering in a summery mood! 

' A toe-tapping mix of dance and acrobatics... perfect for ushering in a summery mood'

The Fabularium - Reynard The Fox Credit: Andrew Allcock

Cardboardia, who have travelled from Russia to be at the Hippodrome, will be creating their own animal farm – and as you’d perhaps guessed, their primary material will be cardboard! The Destroyers, the MegaFolk band from Birmingham, will celebrate their 10th year in style by performing as part of a packed line-up for ‘Saturday Night at the Arcadian’, an evening of dance and music showcasing a stunning and eclectic variety of styles and sounds.

Highly Sprung Performance Company will perform a piece called Roots, a new piece of street theatre set in a tree-like structure with aerial and bungee movement, which will focus on two refugees as it explores issues of identity and humanity. Imagineer Productions, in collaboration with students from BOA and several primary schools, will also perform a newly devised work, Operation Migration. It tells the true story of a man’s attempts to teach a gaggle of orphaned geese to fly, before setting out in an ultra-light aircraft to help them migrate, all realised through a mix of puppetry and dance.

That’s just some of the many performances and activities taking place this weekend, and it promises to be a real treat. More information, as well as a full programme of events, can be found here.

'An evening of dance and music showcasing a stunning and eclectic variety of styles and sounds...'

Third year English Literature student. Print Editor for Redbrick Culture. Appreciator of all things literary or stagey. Often found singing musical theatre tunes when I think no-one is watching. (@liv_boyce)


16th June 2017 at 11:04 am

Last Updated

16th June 2017 at 4:44 pm

Images from

Andrew Allcock




Birmingham Royal Ballet


Birmingham Hippodrome