Graeme Rose's Blog: food futures

I’m directing a group of young makers in this project commissioned by the The New Optimists / Science Forward. The work, broadly titled ‘Narrativium’ is a response to the ‘Birmingham 2050 Scenarios’, a remarkable dossier which incorporates scenario-planning models to understand how we can imagine and prepare for possible futures.

The Drum - The UK’s Premier Intercultural Arts Centre - Book Online or Call 0121 333 2444: Uncle Ben needs you this Christmas!

Graft Entertainment is looking for Birmingham based Actors to perform in the comedy/theatre Christmas Pantomime production, Uncle Ben’s Festive Block Party

We are looking for both Male and Female actors aged sixteen and above from African, Jamaican, Caucasian and Asian background, with Acting and performing experience, however, it’s not vital as all actors will be given necessary training to prepare for live performances.

Rehearsals will begin from October, until performance dates Thu 18 until Sun 21 December. All actors must be available throughout this period for all rehearsals. If you are interested email the following information:

  •  CV
  • Your bio (including any relevant acting experience)
  • A high quality profile picture

Auditions will take place on Sat 4 Oct from 12pm until 4pm, all candidates are required to arrive a minimum of thirty minutes before beginning of auditions.

FYI: All candidates invited to audition are required to prepare a monologue to perform in front of the panel.

The post Uncle Ben needs you this Christmas! appeared first on The Drum - The UK’s Premier Intercultural Arts Centre - Book Online or Call 0121 333 2444.

The Drum - The UK’s Premier Intercultural Arts Centre - Book Online or Call 0121 333 2444: Lovers Legends Unite for One Night Only! Champion MC’s & Lovers Rock Singers Roll Call 2014, Sat 27 Sep @ The Drum

You won’t find a line up like it anywhere else – join The Drum for a very special night of celebrations as we turn back time and pay tribute to some of the UK’s most legendary Reggae MCs and Lovers Rock artists of the last thirty years. A sensational all-star line-up including Tippa Irie, General Levy, Top Cat, Winsome Benjamin, Peter Hunnigale (Mr. Honey Vibes), Don Campbell and many more take to the same stage for the first time for a jam packed night of music.

How could things get any better? As if the night wasn’t special enough, it’s Tippa Irie’s Birthday, and everyone’s invited to come join the party! Such a legendary line up needs some serious sound system support, and we’ve pulled out all the stops. A host of sensational DJs from across the country will be stopping by to keep you dancing, including DJ Little Richie, DJ Billy Spice, and original London sound system pioneer Trevor Sax of Saxon Sound. With Trevor Ranks and MVP holding sway and everyone raising a glass, this is one Birthday you won’t want to forget.

Tickets are only £20, so why wait any longer? Click here or call The Drum’s Box Office on 0121 333 2444 to book your tickets for this award-winning ensemble of talent – you won’t find a line up like it anywhere else!

The post Lovers Legends Unite for One Night Only! Champion MC’s & Lovers Rock Singers Roll Call 2014, Sat 27 Sep @ The Drum appeared first on The Drum - The UK’s Premier Intercultural Arts Centre - Book Online or Call 0121 333 2444.

mid * point: Improv Beginners’ Class – Last Chance to Book!

Improv Beginners’ evening classes
– last chance to book!
Discover the fun and delight of comedy improvisation – no experience required.

Just 2 weeks left to book your place on Box of Frogs 8 week improv beginners’ course.  Starting at the Blue Orange Theatre on Thursday 2nd October 2014.  Learn the core skills of improvised comedy.  Discover the joy, freedom and challenge of Improv.  Learn to be more creative and more playful.  Low-pressure, high-enjoyment classes in a fun, friendly,  supportive and stress-free environment.

Complete beginners are welcome. You don’t need any drama, acting, comedy or improv experience whatsoever.  You don’t have to be clever, fast or funny either!   Also good for writers, actors and comedians looking to widen their  skills and boost their confidence.

Improv is not the same as stand-up; you’re not alone on stage and it’s not about telling jokes or being really quick and witty.  It’s about  working together as a team with other improvisers to spontaneously create group stories, scenes & sketches.

Over a course of 8 weekly workshops you’ll progress as a team while learning core improvisation skills like Spontaneity, Listening, YesAnd, Character, Scenes, Story and having fun with improvisation.

Led by Jon Trevor, founder and leader of Box of Frogs

Dates – Thursday nights from October 2nd to November 20th 2014
Times – 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Cost – just £75 for the whole course

Blue Orange Theatre
118 Great Hampton Street
B18 6AD

Book your place now on the Blue Orange Website at  Places allocated on first come/first served basis.

Please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested.

Jon Trevor
Chief Frog
0121 684 1053

mid * point: Theatre Absolute launch

Theatre Absolute would like to invite you to the launch of our fantastic new programme, @38, on 7th October, at 6pm, at our Shop Front Theatre, in City Arcade, Coventry.
Supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, for the next two years we will be offering a dynamic range of theatre based support activities for people across all ages and abilities. If you are a beginner, amateur, professional, emerging, established or just darn right curious, or if you think @38 might have something to offer your organisation, you can come and find out more about our writing gyms, theatre labs, and one to one bespoke mentoring.
We would love to see you at the shop where we can tell you more about @38, offer you a drink, and the opportunity to meet familiar and new faces,

mid * point: Actors Touring Company: Blind Hamlet

Actors Touring Company: Blind Hamlet
Wed 24 Sep | 8pm | Tickets £14 (£12)
mac birmingham | Cannon Hill Park | Birmingham | B12 9QH

This piece of new writing and experimental theatre features no actors, providing a unique audience participatory experience. You may be asked to volunteer to ask to get up on stage and take part in a game or two. It is not mandatory, but the show needs volunteers to make it work.

When the future starts looking black, what would you do? Travel the world? Reconnect with your family? Take up a new hobby? In Blind Hamlet, Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour confronts the slow loss of his sight and the fact that he’s never read Hamlet. But with tragedy looming, he chooses instead to play with the truth and fiction, chance and fate.

A surprise-laden meditation on what it means to act and interact in a shrinking world, Blind Hamlet is theatre about choices in which the audience chooses.

mid * point: China Plate Opportunity

Optimists 2014/Midlands (application pack)

China Plate, Warwick Arts Centre, The RSC, Derby Theatre, Embrace Arts, mac birmingham and Lakeside Arts Centre present:
The Optimists 2014

A unique training opportunity for emerging theatre makers offering a practical guide to producing your own work.

“It’s like receiving the golden ticket to the chocolate factory!” – Katherine Goodenough – former Optimist

Call for applications from emerging artists based across the Midlands.

In the last 2 years, have you …
• Set up a new theatre company?
• Decided to become a professional theatre maker?
• Started to produce theatre work professionally?
• Decided that you want to build a career making theatre?

We are looking for up to15 individuals, either recent graduates or members of emerging theatre companies to participate in China Plate’s 2014 pan-Midlands producer training programme. The Optimists 2014 offers a vital introduction to the craft of making work in a professional context and building your professional network. Over 6 day-long sessions (each in residence at one of our partner venues) participants will attend a series of workshops focussing on the practicalities of making, funding, touring and marketing work. The course will be led by Ed Collier and Paul Warwick of China Plate working in partnership with staff at each partner venue.

As well as a grounding in producing your own work, the programme will offer an insight into venue programming and producing strategies and introduce you to key regional and national theatre presenters, makers and funders.

“I came away from the programme feeling braver, more informed and more optimistic about making theatre than I ever have. I have so much information now and met a group of people who are experiencing many of the same challenges.” – Caroline Horton

Optimists 2014/Midlands (application pack) @youroldchina

Venues and Resources

There will be six daylong workshops at the following venues:
11 November 2014 – Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham
20 November 2014 – Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
25 November 2014 – mac birmingham
5 December 2014 – Embrace Arts, Leicester
9 December 2014 – Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon
16 December 2014 – Derby Theatre

Places on the scheme will be awarded free of charge and reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed. Host venues will provide participants with lunch/refreshments and (schedule permitting) each day will finish with a free ticket for a performance.

Who can apply?

This scheme is targeting emerging artists (individual theatre artists or theatre company members) or producers based in the Midlands who are at the start of their professional careers – having graduated or decided to become professional makers within the last two years.

Artists or producers working in spoken word or dance, whose work has a strong theatrical element, may also apply. The application process will prioritise applicants for whom the opportunity is timely/appropriate and in order to reach as many individuals/companies as possible, places are limited to one application per company.

“First hand experience meant I could start using the skills now. It gave me advice and knowledge that will stay with me for the rest of my career.” – Joe Darke

Previous graduates have gone on to create award-winning productions including Bitch Boxer by Charlotte Josephine (Soho Young Writers Award), Bound by Bear Trap (Fringe First Award, Herald Angel Award, Adelaide Critics Circle Award, Off West End Award) and You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy by Caroline Horton (Stage Best Solo Performance Award, Olivier Award and OFFIE nomination)

“It made it clearer how to prepare for applying for grants, funding and organising finances. It showed how to run a show from beginning to end.” – Tine Bentsen

Optimists 2014/Midlands (application pack) @youroldchina 3

How to Apply

Before applying please read the above project information carefully.
Applicants must be based in the Midlands. (Either the former West or East Midlands Arts Council England Regions)
Participants must be able to attend a minimum of 5 training days.
Applicants should also be prepared to commit to the evaluation of the project once completed.

If you are excited by the prospect of becoming an Optimist and wish to apply, please send us the following information by email to:

1) Contacts details: company name (if you are part of one), postal address, website, email and phone
2) Why you would like to be an Optimist? (max 500 words)
3) The names of 2 referees who can comment on your work
4) CV

All partners share a commitment to inclusive practice and would particularly welcome applications from disabled producers/makers recognising that you may require additional support in travel and support worker costs.

Successful applicants will be notified by 9th October 2014
We regret that we will not be able to give feedback to unsuccessful applicants.
For more information email

mid * point: The Goon Show comes to the Old Joint Stock

Relive the lunacy of Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Seacombe as the Old Joint Stock Theatre Company presents a very special production of


The Goon Show


This October, the OJS Theatre Company in association with Birmingham Comedy Festival will be transforming the Old Joint Stock Theatre into a 1950s radio station and staging two episodes of The Goon Show.


Seagoon, Eccles, Bluebottle, Major Bloodnok and Minnie amongst over favourites will become embroiled in the case of the heinous PHANTOM HEAD SHAVER (OF BRIGHTON), and tell a terrifying tale of family greed and murder in (pause for dramatic effect), THE CANAL! Complete with a live jazz band for those quirky mambo interludes, and a foli artist creating sound effects live on stage, this is a rare chance to see two classic scripts by Spike Milligan performed on stage.


The Goon Show’s comedy legends, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Seacombe, re-wrote the rules of British comedy during the 1950s, attracting radio audiences of nearly two million and paving the way for Monty Python, Eddie Izzard, Steve Coogan and The Mighty Boosh to name a few. Ever popular, the episodes can still be heard on Radio 4 today.



Winners of Best Fringe Production 2013 – The Public Reviews (2013)

Best Performance – Birmingham Fest (2013)


Praise for previous productions:

‘For sheer ambition, creativity and commitment this young company cannot be faulted.’
★★★★★What’s On Live
‘Talent of everyone involved is undeniable’
★★★★★ Ed Fringe Review


‘A powerhouse of a show…breathtaking.’
★★★★ Broadway Baby



The Goon Show

Old Joint Stock Theatre Company in assoc. with Birmingham Comedy Festival

3rd & 4th October 2014 7:30pm
Tickets: £10


For all press enquiries, please contact 0121 200 0946 or


Old Joint Stock Theatre


Box Office: 0121 200 0946

Bringing Theatre to the Heart of Birmingham

mid * point: Creation Week at RoguePlay Theatre, Creative Development Opportunity for Artists

Creation week

Creative development opportunity for artists

The Creation Week is an intensive programme aimed at performers in Physical Theatre, Dance and Circus who want to learn new aerial skills, improve and revive existing ones and create the beginnings of new work. During the Creation week, artists will undertake specialist training in aerial circus skills and how to incorporate these skills into making a piece of performance. Artists will be trained by performers of our Blood Wedding national tour

The Week will run from Monday 1st December to Friday 7th December from 10am-4pm each day. The morning session will include intensive training on aerial equipment, conditioning, flexibility and strength training. The afternoon session will focus on creation, incorporating aerial work into the creative process and devising the beginnings of Circus Theatre works. The week will culminate in a scratch sharing of ideas on the Friday afternoon. The creation week is being offered at the subsidised rate of £139

We are particularly seeking applications from artists, dancers and performers who work with Physical theatre and dance and want to include or develop aerial work in their practice. We also encourage applications from those who are already working with aerial skills and are striving to develop the creative and skills based elements of their practice. Applications are open to artists in the UK. Previous experience of aerial circus is NOT essential but you must be able to demonstrate why and how aerial work will develop your existing practice. Open to ages 16 + (no upper age limit).


Come along to our Open Rehearsal of Blood Wedding

WHEN? Wednesday 24th September

WHERE? RoguePlay’s creation centre and studio at unit 8, Minerva works, 158 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B5 5RT.

There will be an opportunity to observe RoguePlay at work and a Q & A with members of the company about their work and the creation week.



Send CV and a covering letter to outlining your current practice, why you would like to be part of the creation week and how it will further your practice.




The Creation Week will support the development of RoguePlay’s Studio into the first Creation Centre for the West Midlands, supporting and nourishing new circus and Physical Theatre work coming in and out of the region. The Creation centre will provide space, training and facilities to enable artists to develop new work, as well as we hope provide mentor business support for emerging companies and an extensive class programme for adults and young people.

RoguePlay Theatre is Birmingham’s Highly Physical Theatre Company. Producing work nationally and internationally, our work captures new stories through stunning Aerial Circus, Acrobatics, Poetry and Dance. Our work plays with the marriage between Circus and Theatre, our workshops challenge young people, our classes are disability accessible and our well equipped Creation Centre is safe and affordable.