dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Europe comes to Brum in this live performance festival
Birmingham's Be Festival is well underway with a week of theatre, dance, visual arts, music and live performance taking over the city's Repertory Theatre.
Showcasing performers from all across Europe, Be Festival is a chance to experience theatre turned inside out.
Theatrical spaces are used in different ways with backstage workshops now public areas with sofas, a bar, cakes for sale and music playing. The stage becomes a restaurant, the square outside becomes a theatre space. Everything is shaken up and lands in a slightly different way.
Performers come from Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, France and across the UK to provoke debate, to push theatrical boundaries and to entertain.
Each evening is packed with a series of mini shows with dinner in between. This year's theme is democracy in today's world and the variety of productions shows just how many ways an idea can be accessed and portrayed.
Translating Lola, created by Margo van de Linde from the Netherlands, brings together two women from different worlds. Margo believes she has explored her sexuality. A former stripper and burlesque MC she takes on the role of Lady Marmalade when she takes to the stage.
When she meets Lola, a former private investigator whose fortunes have been hit by the Spanish economic crisis and who now makes a living as a prostitute in Amsterdam, Margo believes she can take these experiences a step further.
But she doesn't realise that Lola is not there for her entertainment – this is a woman with a real life crisis who has to do more than play at sex.
On a completely different level is Acrophobia from Germany where all the action takes place on a trapeze. Liv Knoche plays a woman terrified of heights while Tobias Willasch is the man who wants to help her conquer that fear by encouraging her into the heights on a trapeze.
The piece is short and sweet, barely 20 minutes, and yet we feel the whole gamut of emotions as Liv attempts to conquer her fear. Her only solution is to trust the man who holds his hand out to her. Once trust is sustained then joy can conquer fear.
Be Festival continues until Saturday 27 June. For full details click here.