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The Old Rep Theatre announces HYSTERIA a women-led Theatre and Arts Festival

The Old Rep Theatre are excited to announce HYSTERIA, a women-led theatre and arts festival celebrating the diverse and powerful voices of female-identifying playwrights, directors, actors, comedians, creatives and designers.

The festival will be taking place at The Old Rep Theatre in the heart of Birmingham’s city centre from Saturday 22nd July – Sunday 30th July 2023.

During this time the festival will showcase new works from creatives all over the UK and some even further. The line-up will include stand-up comedy, brand-new theatre works and adaptations that explore a wide range of themes and perspectives through a creative lens. The provisional line-up for the festival will be released throughout June, so keep your eye on the theatre and festivals social channels.

Through thought-provoking performances and engaging discussions, HYSTERIA aims to highlight the contributions of women to the theatre industry and to promote gender equality and inclusivity in all aspects of the arts.

Darren Knapton, Theatre Manager of The Old Rep Theatre said:

“Having seen so much inspirational and though-provoking women-led theatre and comedy since being in Birmingham, it is a pleasure to be involved with Hysteria Festival. For The Old Rep Theatre to be hosting a professional arts festival is a huge undertaking and we cannot wait to get started”.

The team consists of Elena Roselli (Lead Festival Producer), Alice Orlik, Prabjot Sandhu, Emma Carter (all Festival Producers), Emma Ferguson (Marketing & Sales) as well as a wider team located at The Old Rep Theatre and BOA (Birmingham Ormiston Academy) Trust. Volunteering opportunities for the festival will also be available to apply for soon.

The Old Rep believe that everyone deserves the chance to speak their truth and where better than a stage with great historical significance? The theatre is looking to champion unheard voices and give them the power to inspire and create new work changing theatre as we know it.

Elena Roselli, from the University of Bologna in Italy, is currently working as an Event Management Intern at The Old Rep as well as a Lead Producer for HYSTERIA, she said:

“I am looking forward to experiencing the inner workings of an arts festival and working with many amazing performers in our soon-to-be announced line-up”.

Likewise, Alice Orlik, Duty Manager of The Old Rep and Festival Producer for HYSTERIA added:

"A diverse and inclusive women-led theatre and arts Festival is what Birmingham needs to reflect the incredible culture that we have here. I’m so excited to be on Team HYSTERIA”.

Whether you are a seasoned theatregoer or a newcomer to the world of live performance, HYSTERIA Festival offers a unique and inspiring experience that will leave you with a greater appreciation for the artistry and creativity of women in theatre and the wider arts.

To raise funds for HYSTERIA festival the theatre will be hosting two Open Mic Fundraisers at the theatre, one taking place Thursday 8th June at 7pm. The Open Mic includes performances from up-and-coming artists, speeches and updates on the festival from our festival team, possible tasters of what the festival has to offer and an exciting raffle including some top-notch prizes. The evening promises to be jam-packed with arts, networking, drinks and lots of fun.

Tickets for the Open Mic Night are offered on a Pay As You Can scheme starting from just £2, available to book here.

All proceeds made through ticket sales and raffles will go directly to HYSTERIA Festival so they can continue their hard work creating a festival that celebrates the diverse and powerful voices of women in the arts industry.

The Open Mic line-ups are to be confirmed nearer the event. Want to participate in the Open Mic? Have a talent you want to show off? Or new work you want to test on an audience? Please email and the team will get back to you as soon as they can.


More information can be found on the Festival page here.