BROADGATE, OUR FESTIVAL ARENA

Broadgate never remains static whatever the era. Pedestrianised Broadgate inCoventryis now a large piazza bursting with fun-packed family activities.

Since last October, buses and taxies were banned fromCoventry’s Broadgate area. The £7 million project was aimed at transforming the city ahead of this year’s Olympics.

Following the enormous transformation, more trees have been planted in Broadgate and the area is now a traffic-free zone. An event space needed in the city centre has finally been provided due to the transformation. However, the current effective and dynamic use of Broadgate has overshadowed criticisms that the transformation will lead to a loss of business.

Hundreds have headed to the Beach in the city centre and visited ‘Coventry-on-Sea’ this week. It is free to visit with lots entertainment for kids, including rides around the city centre on the land train, children’s tea cup ride, BBQ stall, ice cream and rock stall, face painting, candy floss and many more. There are free goodies and prizes to be won each day, including a chance to win a home garden gas BBQ worth £500.00.

Next week Broadgate will again be alive with entertainment as the Coventry Mysteries Week arts festival brings in performers from across theUK.

‘Container’, a dance piece in a shipping container will be an intriguing addition on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, ‘The Whale’ will come ashore and is a gentle giant made of metal which swallows audience one or two at a time for an unforgettable three minutes theatre performance. It is suitable for children above the ages of six years. A three minute adventure in the belly of the whale might see audience leave with a gift from the sea. Entering the jaws of the giant silver whale promises audience being serenaded by a lovesick submariner.

‘The Midsommer Mechanicals and their Amazing Carnival of Animals’ will be in town from Thursday the 14th to Saturday the 16th of June. The performers  taking to the streets of Coventry for three days with their traditional pageant wagon and members of the public will see a myriad of colourful characters roaming the streets with short plays, music and circus skills.

Nana-Ama Akpoblu, Press Officer for Coventry Mysteries Week, says “Don’t miss out on the fantastic merry making as Coventrycity centre comes to life with non-stop activities and an exciting atmosphere. Saturday the 16th of june2012 will see an all-day massive festival celebration with poetry tent, art and exhibition tent, street theatre, craft stall, cycling activities and live music.”

For more information about the festival, visit the website www.coventrymysteries.com or pick up a brochure from cafes, museums and Tourist Information.

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THE MYSTERY PLAYS REGENERATED

The Coventry Mysteries Festival is back in town promising an even bigger and better line up of activities. There are over 100 events but this year’s Mysteries Trilogy performance promises to attract a huge audience to the Cathedral on 18th June.

Playbox Theatre, a company of young actors based in Warwickshire, will bring to audiences their innovative production of the stories of Creation, Passion and Doomsday. This company enjoys an internationally reputation, known for their engaging, incredible and highly creative performances.

The Mystery Plays are significant because they play an important part inCoventry’s heritage. Nana-Ama Akpoblu, Press Officer for Coventry Mysteries Week, says, “The play and the Cathedral share something in common because the play is acted out in fragments and the Cathedral also has parts of it missing. However, both are united in their sharing of human hopes and fears.”  

The last performance of the Mysteries at the Cathedral was six years ago. Three years ago, the Belgrade Theatre staged the plays from the point of view of other cultures, focusing on the shared heritage of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Staging the play from the point of view of different cultures allowed audience to hear of the many Bible stories also found in the Quran.

The Mysteries Trilogy will be performed at 7.30pm on Monday 18th June. Tickets are just £5 and are available on the door or in advance by calling 024 7652 1210.

Members of the public are also encouraged to attend a pre-performance event at 6.30pm on the same day. Playbox theatre director Stewart McGill will explain how the production was put together and there will be an opportunity to ask him questions.

For more information about the festival, visit the website www.coventrymysteries.com or pick up a brochure from cafes, museums and Tourist Information.

About the Festival:

COVENTRY MYSTERIES WEEK (9th-16th June) is the city’s annual festival of dance, drama, music, film, digital media and visual art. The city’s many varied public spaces, including pedestrian streets, shopping centres, and parks, are attracting artists from across the UK to create new work and, encourage audiences to relate to buildings and people in new ways.

CONTACT – Hannah Grainger on 07535 153123 or hgrainger@coventrymysteries.com