In my last blog I said that Birmingham had a festival of European foods. I take it back. I just hadn’t explored far enough to see the Chinese, Indian and Jamaican stalls. It seems crazy after the event, but Andrew and I went on Saturday night before going to see Birmingham Rep’s production of Sleeping Beauty at the Crescent Theatre. (The Rep is closed for rebuilding to integrate it and Birmingham Central Library). Writers Without Borders members were offered free tickets as a way of saying thank you for taking part in a lottery bid with the Rep.
I say crazy because it was absolutely heaving. It was shoulder to shoulder penguin march for most of the time in the main central areas, but thankfully there was space to breathe by the Jamaican and paella stalls. We had the seafood paella and jerk chicken with fried dumplings. Not a mix you would get in any restaurant but that’s what’s great about the food festival. Desert was chocolate covered strawberries and kiwi on a skewer from a German stall, and handmade fudge from an English trader. Picture is of Andrew tucking into dumplings while keeping warm by the BBQ. I can’t capture the smells here – sadly.
Alas, it was so cold I headed to the theatre earlier than planned, for a cup of fruit tea laced with rum. Not Mount Gay, but who cares when it’s in fruit tea. The effect is still the same.
And Sleeping Beauty? Yes, definitely, go and see it. The set is amazing, another triumph for the Rep. The adaptation is exciting, as is most of the acting. Only two criticisms. It’s drags a little in the second half before it picks is for a very Shakespearean end. Secondly, did the cleaner and the ogress have to be black??