8.00PM, TUESDAY 22 MARCH 2011

7.30PM, THURSDAY 24 MARCH 2011

Birmingham, UK: Acclaimed concert venue Town Hall Birmingham is set to play host toan evening of theatrical performance art and an evening of silent films with liveaccompaniment on 22 and 24 March when the city?s ground-breaking Fierce andFlatpack festivals get underway.

Theatrical performance artists The Irrepressibles present their bold Mirror Mirror spectacle live in Birmingham on Tuesday 22 March following a recent sell out show at London?s Barbican Hall.

The 10-piece ensemble will recreate the 12 tracks from critically acclaimed album Mirror Mirror in the majestic grandeur of the Grade I listed Town Hall, amongst a lavishly dressed set where choreography, LED and strip lighting, mirrors and mirror balls, sumptuous costumes and orchestral art-pop will merge into one incredibly stylised live experience.

The Irrepressibles are made up of classically-trained and pop musicians turned performance artists and are fronted by composer Jamie McDermott, whose striking falsetto vocals and flamboyant showmanship have drawn comparisons to US singer Antony Hegarty and English music star David Bowie.

The London-based group have presented and performed spectacles at the V&A Museum, the Paris Quartier Festival, the Latitude Festival, the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, at Motel Mozaique in Rotterdam and Nuits Botanique in Brussels amongst others. Support for the Town Hall show comes from Sarah Johns.

Fierce Festival returns after two years and the appointment of new Artistic Directors Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison. True to tradition, spectacular projects and public interventions will collide with the kind of agenda setting performances and wild parties on which the festival?s ten-year reputation rests.

A screening of Buster Keaton?s Sherlock Junior (1924) starring the American comic actor as a movie projectionist and detective-in-training is the feature presentation at Town Hall as part of this year?s Flatpack Festival, taking place on Thursday 24 March.

Renowned musician and broadcaster Nigel Ogden, who presents long running BBC Radio 2 programme The Organist Entertains, will provide a thrilling and witty live accompaniment to Sherlock Junior from the magnificent William Hill organ at Town Hall, recreating a cinematic experience full of nostalgia and humour.

Three short films will be screened during the first half of the concert ? US and Dutch ?city symphony? shorts Manhatta (1921) and Rain (1921) plus French surrealist movie Entr?acte (1924), accompanied by celebrated jazz pianist Alcyona Mick.

This year Flatpack Festival pays tribute to Birmingham-born writer and archivist Iris Barry, who wrote for The Spectator and The Daily Mail about film in the 1920s. Before World War II she travelled Europe rescuing many great films, (as well as helping many people to escape to the US) and became a pioneer in the field of film preservation. Buster Keaton?s Sherlock Junior was selected for preservation by the US National Film Registry and is widely regarded as a classic silent comedy film.

Tickets for both events can be purchased from the Town Hall and Symphony Hall BoxOffice via 780 3333 or online



The Irrepressibles: Mirror Mirror
Town Hall, Birmingham
8.00pm, Tuesday 22 March 2011

Digging For Gold: An Evening Of Silent Film And Live Music
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Thursday 24 March 2011


Flatpack?s fifth festival will celebrate and take film to unexpected places; where new film fraternises with silent cinema and archives are re-imagined. Expect live soundtracks, workshops, installations, offbeat family screenings and a vintage mobile cinema which will roam across the city.

Flatpack Festival started life in 2006, an outgrowth of the itinerant film events put together by 7 Inch Cinema. The general idea was (and is) to show things that people might not get to see otherwise, and create a sense of occasion by using different venues, putting films alongside live elements and mixing things up.

As well as paying tribute to the remarkable Iris Barry, Flatpack Festival will this year explore the changing role of archives over the last 75 years. The programme will feature artists and filmmakers who appropriate and repurpose archive material including work by Thom Andersen, Duncan Campbell and Peter Tscherkassky.

Fierce Festival was established as Queerfest in 1997, becoming Fierce in 1999. It has established an international reputation for risk-taking, excellence and innovation, and is now widely recognised as one of the UK?s most important contemporary arts festivals.

Previous Fierce Festivals have seen a giant bird?s nest perching on the edge of a high rise glass office block, ballet dancers in full regalia performing live on a Routemaster bus and an orchestra playing music at dawn from a fleet of hot air balloons drifting over Birmingham.

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a Registered Charity No 1053937. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and a thriving Education and Community department reaches a further 10,000 people of all ages.

Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).

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Issue date: Thursday 24 February 2011