The New Archaics

The New Archaics

Last night we had a new kind of event at Selly Manor – a student take-over evening! Students from the University of Birmingham transformed Selly Manor into a creative haven, with all sorts of fantastic and unusual performances.

Bringing together local artists, The New Archaics was dedicated to reflecting on the old and the new, taking inspiration from the beautiful buildings of Selly Manor and Minworth Greaves. Their aim was to reclaim cultural heritage for the future, fusing the historic and the contemporary, to create a one of a kind evening at Selly Manor – and that they definitely did!

Triple Take who ran the event were fantastic and organised everything, leaving us with little to do but enjoy all the performances and try to control the popcorn machine! Here is a little summary of everything that went on throughout our historic site:

  • We had Eliza May, who had everyone smiling with her indie pop acoustic music up in the garret.
  • Vicky Roden aka the Oracle was doing eerie readings and gathering secrets in the solar. 
  • The wonderful Squillo Opera Company were trying to make opera more accessible to wider audiences, performing a piece called ‘He Do The Police in Different Voices’ based on T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Wasteland’, in the kitchen.
  • Dancer Sophie Barraclough performed her beautiful piece ‘Renaissance’ in the hall, combining contemporary and historical movement through improvisation, dancing to 16th century Lute music.
  • ‘Letters from the past’ poetry gave a warm welcome as you stepped through the manor into the parlour.
  • Minworth Greaves was transformed into a carnival – rave, with Pluralist, a local DJ, and UoB’s Circus Society ‘Purple Mermaid’. The combination of glow in the dark juggling balls and diablos, stilts, a unicycle and an awesome beat was truly a sight to behold! Their aim to show the audience something they might not readily have access to definitely succeeded!

We loved having the students & performers take over Selly Manor, and really bring it to life with music and people. It was particularly fantastic to have a new audience come into Selly Manor and to see the building used in a different – and very cool - way! So if you have any ideas for some new and wacky way to use Selly Manor’s beautiful buildings, please let us know!