A free, outdoor dance spectacular finally managed to set sail after having the first night rained off – and the wait, well it was so worth it. The Voyage helping to launch the London 2012 festival is set upon a ship that spans the length of Birmingham’s iconic Town Hall and uses the space of Victoria Square (and its audience) to show the ship setting sail launching its passengers into a new life. Produced by Birmingham Hippodrome and created by dance company Motion House and featuring stunning aerialists and performers from Australian performance company Legs On The Wall it’s a massive treat for the eyes and with performances from the Town Hall’s own gospel choir and a stunning orchestra and soundtrack it’s also a treat for the ears.
Stunning projections that have been carefully mapped onto the side of the ship and the Town Hall to make it feel as though the ship is actually setting sail. From waves crashing against the hull, to cities forming on the Town Hall you really get the impression that you too are going on the journey.
The narrative of the piece is sometimes lost in the amazing visuals, but it is easy enough to follow along with when you get back on track but every single performance in the huge cast is brilliant. The cast includes a large number of local youngsters taking part alongside the professionals of Motion House and Legs On The Wall and all looked to be really enjoying themselves in taking part in such a fantastic event.
I could go on about this for a long time – but I’d only start spoiling things and repeating myself. It is honestly one of the best things I have ever seen and is a real life example of the word spectacular. The weather might not be looking too great for tonight (Saturday) but keep an eye out on the weather forecast and the website/twitter/facebook of The Voyage (links to follow) for the latest news. It’s on till tomorrow night ONLY and will not be seen again in Birmingham after that. It starts at 10pm but last night reached capacity by then so get there early. And as for the best place to stand? I was in line with the Victoria statue (which probably wished it had turned around to watch it – like the CCTV!) and had a great view, too close and you won’t have the full affect of the projections. And if it rains? Try to use a hood rather than a brolly.
The Voyage – 5 broken champagne bottles smashed against its hull out of 5!
The Voyage is performed (weather permitting) at 10pm on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June 2012 in Victoria Square, Birmingham. It’s FREE!
Website: www.thevoyage.org.uk (Includes MUCH better photos than my grainy iPhone ones!)