South Asian arts tour to the Black Country

Southbank Centre partners with Black Country Touring to bring Alchemy Black Country to the Midlands offering audiences a sample of Southbank Centre’s Alchemy – a festival that celebrates the cultural connections between the UK and South Asia.

Alchemy has grown significantly since its inception in 2010 and this year sees the festival tour for the first time across the UK, to Oldham Coliseum Theatre (Oldham), Cast (Doncaster) and Black Country Touring (across the Black Country).

Five shows that make up the 2015 programme touring to the Black Country are: the searing play Nirbhaya, following the tragic events of the 2012 Delhi bus rape, written and directed by Yaël Farber and with an international cast; Variety is the Spice, a music, dance and comedy variety show featuring Britain’s Got Talent finalists and Bhangra sensations, Signature; Sonia Sabri Company and Black Country Touring co-production Occasionally We Skype, combining digital projection and iPhones into a multi-faceted theatre production; United Colours of FrustrAsian, a thought provoking theatre piece directed by Kully Thiarai; and comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli examining the relationship between food, culture and heritage in Knives, Forks and Fingers with a cast drawn from all four partnership regions.

In addition to these dynamic and thought provoking productions and exciting events, Alchemy Black Country celebrates a diverse range of South Asian arts and artists including; fun and interactive storytelling in Stories from the Punjab, talk shop with BBC Asian Network presenter and business woman Noreen Khan, tribute to Bollywood cinema with Desi Nach, whilst Desi Rock Stars (organised by Movie Box) featuring film and music superstar Gippy Prewal will be the perfect concert for fans of Punjabi music and film and we welcome back the sell-out comedy theatre My Big Fat Cowpat Wedding. There is so much more including workshops for the whole family, comedy, film, dance making Alchemy Black Country one of the most exciting festivals to not only take place in the Black Country but in the Midlands this year. Alchemy Black Country continues the Black Country Touring ethos of making art accessible by taking it into the heart of the community so expect to find an Alchemy Black Country event in venues as diverse as libraries, arts centres and community centres.

With one of the most culturally diverse populations in the UK, it makes perfect sense for Alchemy to tour to the Black Country whilst celebrating South Asian arts and culture, building on the heritage that ties the UK and the countries of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

Alchemy has been supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic touring programme, aimed to give more people across the UK better access to quality work at a range of venues, as well as Esmée Fairbairn Foundation which improves the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK.

Further information on Alchemy Black Country including full programme: