Birmingham 2022 Festival presents A China Plate & Birmingham Hippodrome production

19 – 28 Aug

To The Streets!

An uplifting new concert musical, inspired by the Bristol Bus Boycott, performed in parks across the West Midlands.

It’s 1963 and the Swinging Sixties have arrived: The Beatles release their debut album, the mini skirt is born and the Civil Rights movement is gaining ground in America. Back in the UK, the country is emerging from the Big Freeze. As temperatures thaw, tensions are running high in Bristol where the Omnibus Company refuses to employ Black or Asian drivers or conductors.

Paul Stephenson, an idealistic youth worker, takes to the streets to stand up for equality. Lorraine, a teenager, newly-arrived from Jamaica, joins the fight and, in so doing, finds her voice and becomes part of a movement that changes history.

With an explosive, feel-good score bursting with ska, calypso and rock ‘n’ roll… this is a story of standing up for what you believe in, allyship, and – ultimately – finding joy.

Come along early to enjoy the pre-performances and festival atmosphere!

Take a look below at our creative programme of projects inspired by To The Streets!

On Our Way

We all have fond memories of taking the bus. From the after school bants, going to work, or into town to get a few bits.

Working with communities, Artist Curator Nilupa Yasmin, has converted bus stops along the iconic 74 bus route into galleries on Soho Road. This project was originally conceived by Aksana Khan.

It’s a reflection of how the 74 is a bus route that has barely changed, but the buildings and people who use it have. No matter where you go, the bus will always be on our way.

Find out more

Soho Settlers

In honour of all of those who have chosen the Soho Road and Handsworth as their home, Black Heritage Walks Network will be inviting residents to join them on curated walks of the area.

Creative writing workshops led by Overhear will give participants the opportunity to co-create and transform their stories into a collection of audio poems. These will be digitally pinned to real-life locations using the Overhear app (think ‘Pokemon Go’ for poetry!)

Find out more

We Still Here

China Plate is working with Participatory Artist, Jane Thakoordin, to combine crafts and activism together.

While we may sign petitions or send letters – Jane is inspired by the resurgence of the handmade political banner for marches. She will be working with groups of Ladywood residents to chat, connect, and sew their own textile banners.

Find out more