1st Jul, 2022

Shop front arts festival coming to Coventry

Felix Nobes 21st Feb, 2018

DANCING in the street is promised by the promoters of an arts festival which is set to showcase home grown and emerging talent in Coventry.

The UK’s first Shop Front Festival has announced its programme highlights as stages are set in Coventry city centre.

Dancers, actors, singers and artists will all unite to provide a bohemian backdrop to the story of Coventry during the event, which takes place over March 23 and 24.

The newly crowned UK City of Culture will welcome national and international artists and theatre companies.

The proceedings will be presented by Chris O’Connell and Julia Negus, the writer and producer who runs the award-winning Coventry based Theatre Absolute, working with independent artistic director Orit Azaz and outdoor producer Lou Lomas.

Throughout the day audiences are invited to visit a number of shops to witness the creation of a series of improvised dramatic scenes which will culminate at closing time in a shop-made drama about the city.

The Unfinished City – a shop front symphony, is a poem set to music dedicated to Coventry city centre created through a collaboration between Theatre Absolute, Chris O’Connell and musicians from Coventry.

Promoters say to expect theatre in shop fronts, pop-up performances in precincts, and dancing in the streets.

Chris O’Connell, co-artistic director of the Shop Front Festival, said: “We are delighted to announce these first highlights for our pilot Shop Front Festival.

“The programme is looking incredibly exciting with a mix of new work from the city as well as pieces from award-winning national and international artists and companies.

“We hope to bring something for everyone from young to old, from those who have experience of theatre, dance and music events to those who might stumble across one of our events for the first time.

“By taking over unusual and disused shops and spaces, the festival is a unique opportunity for us to see our city through fresh eyes, and experience how culture can bring every part of the city to life.”

The festival is made up of some free and some ticketed events over March 23 and 24. Further programme announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

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