Coventry is ready to come alive as Theatre Absolute host the UK’s first ever shop front festival!

Taking place in March 2018, the highly anticipated two-day spectacle will see some of the UK’s most established and emerging artists execute pop-up performances across shop fronts, precincts and city streets.

They’ll be drama, dance and music throughout the festival which is sure to entice, engage and entertain the cities residents and visitors!

The Foundation has supported the project with a £5,000 grant which will allow the award-winning theatre company to bring the city to life. The grant was part of our support for the Coventry City of Culture Trust.


Julia Negus, writer and producer, said:
“We’re delighted to receive this grant towards the Shop Front Festival in 2018. We are excited to work with not just established performers and organisations, but also the emerging companies and theatre makers of tomorrow.

“It is incredibly important that we nurture and support the next generation of theatre makers and artists in Coventry and across the wider region, and this award will fund new ideas to be developed and showcased over the festival period.

“We will be inviting artists from across the UK to perform, including Coventry’s own Talking Birds, Motionhouse, Tin Music and Arts. We are also collaborating on the festival with outdoors arts producers Orit Azaz and Lou Lomas who will be animating shop front spaces into platforms for performance.

“The festival is also about giving access to the arts to those who are young, disadvantaged or unemployed and may have not yet had the opportunity to engage in live performance.

“People will be able to take a trail through the city and see public spaces come alive with shows and activities for all age groups.”

Shop Front Festival will be held on March 23 and 24 next year, and a full programme of performances will be released during the run-up to the event.


Foundation Chief Executive, Tina Costello, said:
“We provide grants to projects right across the City. The projects we support make a big difference to local communities and Theatre Absolute’s Shop Front Festival is a perfect example of this.

“It will not only provide a platform for a new generation of young and emerging artists, but also provide access to theatre for those who may not otherwise be engaged.”


Nicole Malatesta, of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said:
“We are now only weeks away from finding out if we are UK City of Culture in 2021.

“Winning that bid would mean Coventry can look forward to this kind of cultural experience across an entire year and would leave a lasting legacy for the city, particularly its youth.”

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