Acting Out Blog: Weekly blog: 16.08.18

After a fun warm up hosted by Simon Best, we read through further submissions for our next Halloween production (working title: “Fright Night”), including pieces about vegan vampires, fraudulent mediums, a sinister take on Seasame Street and a queer re-working of Jekyll & Hyde. The spooky mood was enhanced when there was a power cut!

Women and Theatre: Support Artist Opportunity (PAID)

Support Artist Opportunity (PAID)

The Factory Youth Theatre

Women & Theatre want to recruit a paid support artist, to support a new project taking place from October 2018-March 2019.

Women & Theatre has over 30 years’ experience of working with diverse groups, creating engaging theatre and using interactive drama to promote the wellbeing of the whole community.  We work in a range of contexts across arts, health and education sectors with performances and projects delivered in community settings, hospitals, residential homes and theatres.


From October 2018 we will be working in partnership with The Factory Young People’s Centre in Longbridge to create a new youth theatre programme. We will recruit a young leaders group of NEET Young People aged 16-25 who will be actively involved in the design, planning and delivery of a youth theatre programme for  younger people aged 11 upwards. The Young Leaders group, supported by W&T, will attend eleven workshop sessions through which they will be actively involved in the planning, marketing and facilitating of the youth theatre programme which will take place in February half term, culminating in a performance for friends, family and local people.


The Support Artist will work alongside the Lead Artist Practitioner Jo Gleave and General Manager Jess Pearson. They will be involved in the young leader sessions, supporting participants and helping create, document and monitor work.  They will help to support and facilitate the February half term youth theatre programme. They will be expected to participate in all project sessions and will be line managed by W&T Lead Artist Practitioner, Jo Gleave.


The Support Artist will develop skills and gain experience in facilitating drama workshops with different groups of young people, venue & partner liaison, project management and organising events.


£75 per day & £37.50 per half day (up to 4 hours)

For full details and how to apply download the application form  below.

W&T Shadow Artist Job Description


Women and Theatre: Volunteer Opportunity – Word Lounge Theatre Company Autumn 2018

Word Lounge Theatre Company – Autumn 2018

Women & Theatre are looking for a volunteer to help with a project in Autumn 2018.

The project:

Word Lounge Theatre Company is a performance-based theatre company for Looked After Young Peopple, Young Carers and Young People with additional education needs, allowing them to access professional theatre work outside mainstream youth theatres.  The theatre company will continue through 2018-2019, with each term taking place at a different theatre venue – Birmingham Hippodrome, The REP, and Midlands Arts Centre.  In Autumn 2018 the group will rehearse at the Birmingham Hippodrome, culminating in a performance in The Door at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in December 2018

The role:

The volunteer will work alongside the creative team to support the young people taking part in the project.  They will be expected to participate in all project sessions including planning and evaluation, and will be line managed by W&T Lead Artist Practitioner, Jo Gleave.


WLTC weekly sessions:

Saturdays 22 & 29 September; 6, 13, 20, 27 October, 10, 17, 24 November, 1 December 9.30—1.30pm (including set up & debrief) at Birmingham Hippodrome, Thorp Street

Full day for Performance on Saturday 8th December 2018.

What we need:

We need someone who is committed, hard working, flexible, organised, good at working in a team, and ideally someone who has experience of working with Young people and some understanding of theatre production. It would be useful (although not essential) if you had the flexibility to do half a day a week project admin in the W&T office, Moseley.

How to apply:

If you are interested in applying, please send a short email to Jo Gleave, Lead Artist Practitioner at, stating why you are interested, and any relevant experience. You also need to confirm that you are available for all the above session times.

We will invite shortlisted applicants to an informal interview in early September

Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: Matters Outstanding

This weekend saw the return of Lunar Festival after a year off. Having worked the 2015 as The Commentators it was a pleasure to return not working but as the punters. Although cloud cover prevented us from seeing Friday night’s Blood Moon phenomena in the sky the Lunar stages presented plenty of alternative phenomena to gape at in awe.

Amadou and Mariam were a stirring joyful feelgood revelation to get lost in. They were set up by Basement Jaxx who got and kept a whole field of people jumping with their DJ set. In turn they were set up by zestful fun from The Go! Team

Saturday’s more overcast weather was adroitly mirrored by a darker musical programme that opened with Matters, my pick of the festival. Although I absolutely loved Amadou and Mariam ultimately they are a bit too cheerful and exotic to be my pin-ups, driving epic paranoia from Birmingham has to carry the day for me.

I looked after bags while lots of people went to hear Ed Miliband do whatever he does now. We caught Untied Artists blowing cobwebs from their Acorn Emporium children’s show before it arrives at mac in August. Barbara Nice was audible in the distance running a version of Blind Date. I caught what looked like a dad and two very young sons played a punk set and Ouse Valley Singles club playing a pugnacious skiffle set. We ate Persian food, didn’t feel the need for any of the ‘healing’ or craft activities on offer, slept past the 8am kids cinema showing on offer by Flatpack and sheltered from the rain. Blackash concluded their intense set with cheerleaders and a gorgeously back lit Goldfrapp wrapped Saturday-up with an rich and assured performance.

A triumphal return for Lunar, next up, in early September comes the Moseley Folk Festival for which The Commentators return. GIG GUIDE: AUGUST 2018

9 shows this month across the Midlands, covering BirminghamCoventry
NottinghamLeicester & more.

Fat Penguin close up




The Armando Diaz Experience:  Fat Penguin Improv show off their comedy strengths using Chicago’s most famous improv format.


The Kneejerks: A night of comedy and theatre, featuring sketches and scenes and all completely free.


Box Of Frogs: Monthly show in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter where audience members can join performers on stage.




Coventry Improv:  A free family friendly evening of improvised sketches and games.




Gorilla Burger:  Theatre karaoke where you can be the star.  Or you can just sit back and enjoy an evening of unplanned, uncensored improv comedy.


The Cat’s Pyjamas:  The Nottingham Improv Comedy Experience host a night of fun and games, including a chance for audience members to perform.


Smash Night: Multiple acts spontaneously turn suggestions into scenes and stories bound to be breath-taking and bloody hilarious.




The Same Faces: Brilliant comedy sketches live on stage, in the style of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”.




The Same Faces:  Monthly Northampton show, taking ideas from you to make brilliant comedy sketches live on stage.


Have I missed a show?  Get in touch and let me know.                                    @MidlandsImprov REVIEW: SQUIDHEART


Two of Birmingham’s most experienced improvisers, Kate Knight & Suzie Evans, combine their talents as Squidheart. Each show starts with a single word from the audience, and the duo chat about what this word means to them. These thoughts inspire the scenes that follow, each scene connecting back to that discussion and the original word.

In this performance, the word “mystic” inspired a conversation about Mystic Meg and the National Lottery, memories of Saturday night takeaways and obsessive TV watching. This very natural introduction sparked off all sorts of interesting ideas and gave us a chance to get to know the performers. It was also entertaining in its own right, with Suzie’s description of Love Island delivered with perfect comedy timing. Kate’s revelation that eating spicy beef pizza while watching Gladiators had turned her into a vegan that didn’t own a television was also great fun, showing both performers are funny without even trying.

These threads were picked up in the scenes that followed. We met Mystic Meg recording adverts for a cable TV show, desperate to impress others with the last flicker of her fame. This was followed by a husband and wife in couples therapy, approaching old age and considering an eternity together in the afterlife. Finally we saw two old friends spending a quiet night in front of the telly together, desperate to avoid the feeling of boredom that comes from looking after a family. This was my highlight of the show, with the honest admission that parenthood makes you boring generating the biggest laugh of the night.  This was developed further via flirting with the takeaway delivery driver which quietly boosted the ego of the tired mother.

Despite only having two performers on stage, the scenes regularly featured more than two characters as Kate and Suzie swap roles during scenes, playing multiple characters at the same time to move the story forward. This was all done with a high level of skill, and it was clear to the audience what was going on at all times. This wide range of characters breathed life into the show, making it easy to forget there were just two people providing all of the action.  The characters were all realistic too, allowing the humour to flow from everyday things.  An easy show to enjoy with lots of laughs from start to finish.  Catch them if you can.


Squidheart perform regularly across the Midlands.