Bank Holiday Inspiration around the UK

From affordable opera in Bristol to the Flatpack Festival (above) in Birmingham – we’ve got Easter covered…


Flatpack Festival – Birmingham

Film-junkies listen up, Flatpack Festival in Birmingham is one of the UK’s most creative cinematic events and is on for an impressive 11 days. This year the main hub is in The Old Library within Digbeth’s Custard Factory, but screenings are dotted all over the city from warehouses to churches (with plenty going on at the UK’s oldest working cinema, The Electric). Showcasing some serious talent, there will be over 100 screenings and events (many of which are free), including feature films, short films, documentaries and animations. There’ll also be walks, talks and workshops, a 3D party, pop-ups from the Birmingham opera and pedal-powered screenings. Four-days off watching films - what could be better?


Address: All over the city; Dates: 21st - 23rd March; (check out the programme here).

Opera di Peroni – Bristol

‘Opera isn’t elitist and you don’t have to know anything about it to enjoy it’, says talented producer and musician Kwes, who has teamed up with Go Opera and Peroni again (last summer they put on a series of alfresco opera events all over the UK), to host a modern ‘immersive re-imagining’ of Puccini’s wonderful La Rondine. The performance will be cut down to 80-minutes and feature plenty of music from Kwes himself, who at only 24 has worked with Speech Debelle on her Mercury award winning album, Damon Albarn and the XX. Directed by James Hurley, this promises to be a fresh take on La Rondine. Best to leave any preconceptions you have of opera at the door.


Address: Paintworks, Bath Road, Bristol BS4 3EH; Dates: Wednesday 27th March and Thursday 28th March; Doors open at 7:30pm and the show starts at 8pm; tickets cost £10;

Paradise Moscow - Manchester

Another city and more affordable operetta, this time in the form of a brand new production of Moscow Cheryomushki (Paradise Moscow) translated by David Pountney and performed in English, it’ll be held at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Composed in 1959 by Dmitri Shostakovich when Nikita Khrushchev was trying to re-build Russia with high-rise apartments outside the centre of the city, Paradise Moscow tells the tale of a group of Muscovites who are all trying to score themselves flats in the district of Cheryomushki for a better quality of life, although, with complicated romances and some corrupt architects, not everything goes to plan.

Address: Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD; Dates: Thursday 28th March; tickets start from £20;

Biba Exhibition – Brighton

Coming to the end of its seven-month exhibition, the Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki is one that’s well worth catching this Easter Bank Holiday if you’re in Brighton. Located in the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery in the Royal Pavilion Gardens, the display takes a look into the life of Barbara Hulanicki, the woman who transformed the high street with Biba. The exhibition sees loans from both key collectors and individuals and Barbara’s story is told through a mixture of film, fashion, photography, music and her illustrations.

Address: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1EE; Dates: Now until 14th April 2013; tickets cost £6 and £4 for students;

Circus X at Camp and Furnace – Liverpool

After a few months off the circuit, Circus is back, with a marathon line-up this Easter Sunday, taking place at Liverpool warehouse Camp and Furnace. The space is home to everything from supper clubs, to craft beer expos, to art fairs to street ping pong projects (all taking place this summer), but we’ll be heading to dance our socks off over the Bank Holiday to the likes of Maya Jane Coles, Maceo Plex, The Martinez Brothers, Bicep, Ki Creighton and the club’s founder Yousef. While Circus Recordings present, Make No Sense, Acid Mondays and David Glass, lucky we’ve got Monday off to recover.

Address: Camp and Furnace, 67 Greenland Street, Liverpool L1 0BY; Dates: Sunday 31st March; tickets from £25 with advanced booking;

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