Underrated: Birmingham The Musical

Underrated: Birmingham The Musical is

“a multi-voiced theatrical extravaganza celebrating the best bits of Brum through the eyes of its young people – the next generation who will shape its future.”

The plot goes like this. The Rater of Cities and his entourage visit Birmingham and on arrival they are distinctly unimpressed. But, on hearing songs like “Going Around the Bull”, “For Goodness Sake” and “Birmingham’s A Good Place”, their opinion is gradually changed for the better.

My favourite song in the production was “Diversity”which, according to Women & Theatre’s Janice Connolly, was inspired by the Fairbrum process and Jenny Phillimore’s post on “Super Diversity” on this blog:

Diversity,

It’s a super diversity,

Diversity,

It’s a super diverse city!

Developed by Women & Theatre in partnership with Queensbridge Secondary School, Priestley Smith School for the Visually Impaired and The Children’s Society’s Strong Voices, Strong Lives project for unaccompanied asylum seeking children, Underrated is the result of a development process in which groups of young people from the three settings worked with Women & Theatre to create tunes, lyrics and ideas for scenes.

As well as being part of the development sessions and taking part in the performance, young people went onto Birmingham’s streets and asked people what they thought. One comment captured on video was:

Laughing at Birmingham and people from Birmingham – the last acceptable prejudice?

Another quote from the show’s programme came from a young person during the research process:

Young people are as underrated as Birmingham, especially school children

Underrated was performed on 14 and 15 June in the Foyle Studio at Birmingham’s MAC.

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