by Dave Massey twitter.com/brumhour
Wholesale Memory: Everything Must Go at Birmingham Wholesale Markets
Birmingham Wholesale Markets is playing host to a live theatre walkthrough experience called Wholesale Memory: Everything Must Go until Sunday 3rd June with Friction Arts and #BrumHour was invited down to visit this unique event.
We arrive at the entrance to the old Birmingham Wholesale Markets to be greeted by a battered old a-frame whiteboard with chunky black sticky tape plastered across it: “Please note due to the relocation of the Wholesale Market, All trading activity will cease on this site at 09:15 on Saturday 5th May 2018″ There’s a traffic cone with more black sticky tape and a handwritten note saying “TAKE ME NEW ADDRESS THANKS”.
Walking past there we are greeted by some of the event team sat at a makeshift box office, turning left we are in the experience already, this is a massive extensive space twice the size of the concourse at Birmingham New Street Station.
A huge projection of footage from Birmingham Wholesale Markets stops us from entering the main space. I start to feel very sad and a sense of loss, 850 years of history is already echoing around me. All those people getting up in the middle of the night to supply the city with food.
We venture further into the space, which looks like a collection of narrow aircraft hangers, there’s rooms off the main area that have smaller experiences in for us, the audience, to absorb. A recreated cafe, light projection, arts created by “the Car Boot team”,
A large memory room is on the right handside and I could have spent hours just looking in that, it has a timeline history, photos of the people who worked there and clippings and cuttings from local press.
There’s another large area set aside for a movement piece of theatre marking the repetition of daily life in the Wholesale Markets.
There’s further experiences to be had, but for me the most powerful part was our journey to leaving the site. While you leave you become part of the art yourself, part of the puzzle with voices echoing around you.
I’d thoroughly recommend this for anyone who wants to know more about the enormous history of this site before it transforms again for another generation.
As our city, Birmingham’s motto has been “Forward” for over one hundred years and Digbeth and Southside have been on the cusp of moving forward yet again for some years. Who knows what the area will look like in another hundred years.
Wholesale Memory: Everything Must Go finishes on Sunday 3rd June. Book tickets here: eventbrite.co.uk/e/wholesale-memory-everything-must-go-tickets-45581797383
This isn’t a sponsored post. #BrumHour was invited to Friction Arts‘ Wholesale Memory at the invitation of M Seven PR.
Find out more about Friction Arts here: frictionarts.com
#BrumHour’s transport was kindly provided by Whim UK: whimapp.com/uk