Created in Birmingham » Theatre: Fierce Festival 2015

Miguel G Deep Aerobics at Fierce Festival

This year will be the last Fierce with directors Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison at the helm, and they’re planning to go out with a very characteristic bang. The festival programme has been announced, and early bird tickets are now on sale.

The five day festival taking place from 7-11 October across Birmingham and Warwick Arts Centre will see a mix of live art, music, dance, installation and of course, infamous Fierce parties.

Highlights include:

  • Sleep with a Curator  –  spend a night at Eastside Projects; let Director Gavin Wade read you bedtime stories and enjoy pancakes for breakfast.
  • Permutations in the City – a series of public performances around Birmingham city centre with an ensemble of emerging dancers and movement based artists. Each intervention will respond directly to the surrounding architecture.

Anklepants, performing at Fierce Festival 2015

Tickets and the full festival programme can be found at

mid * point: Toadally Free Comedy

Scorching hot improvised comedy –

Box of Frogs at the Blue Orange

Monday July 20th finds the Free Form Frogs at the Blue Orange Theatre for another scorching hot dose of Improvised Comedy.

All your favourite improv games, unrehearsed and improvised entirely live. No-one knows what will happen, least of all us! Expect to laugh, expect to be amazed – but most of all expect the unexpected.

Absolutely free, with our usual cast iron guarantee – “laugh, or your money back!” (but donations always welcome)

Monday July 20th, Blue Orange Theatre, 7.30pm.  Come early and buy a drink.

Blue Orange Theatre
118 Great Hampton Street
B18 6AD

Facebook Event –

Jon Trevor
Chief Frog

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mid * point: Calling All Women – Female Performers Needed!

Freshold Theatre is seeking a diverse group of women from varied ethnicities and cultures to take part in an exciting new project developing in the Black Country, supported by Creative Black Country and Arts Council England.

We Women: Pearls of Wisdom is an intercultural female poetry chorus, a unique and transcendent performance of world music and orchestrated poetry that explores the female voice through unity and singularity. Featuring a community cast, We Women is a powerful and commanding piece retelling the stories of a hundred women through one collective chorus.

What we are looking for:

Freshold Theatre is looking for 6 female performers, amateur or professional, to make up the initial community cast and be part of this exciting development stage.

What is a poetry chorus? 

Our poetry chorus is inspired by a traditional Greek Chorus featuring one homogenised voice. Using real stories, We Women… seeks to use poetry as a vehicle for celebrating both the unity of women and the strength of singular identity both adhering to and breaking the tradition of a Greek Chorus. Our aim is to unify cultural communities and break down preconceptions about nationality through the female voice.

Dates and rehearsals:

Applicants will need to be available to attend a creative audition workshop on Thursday 16th July, 6pm at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, which will act as an inclusive environment providing an opportunity for you to explore text and work with an ensemble. Successful applicants will also need to be flexible in the evenings between 27th July – 14th August for rehearsals and completely available on August 1st for a full day rehearsal and 14th Julywhich is the date of the performance at Thimblemill Library, as part of the Sandwell Arts Festival. 


For more information and to express an interest in this project please email Rebecca Challoner Closing date: 14th July.

Please note, as this is the first strand of development for the project, the payment for performers is travel expenses only. However, this is an opportunity for us to test and develop the work, which will lead to further development with The Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 2016. We prospectively would like to work with some members of this initial chorus through the entirety of the project. 


£17,000 per Annum Pro Rata

RoguePlay Theatre requires an experienced Operations Manager with the energy and vision to support us through our continuing expansion and communicate our ethos as a committed pro-active member of the RoguePlay team. Previous experience of maintaining the long-term financial, artistic and marketing objectives of a theatre company is essential.
RoguePlay is Birmingham’s Highly Physical Theatre Company, producing and performing Circus Theatre. Producing work nationally and internationally, RoguePlay’s work captures new stories through stunning Aerial Circus, Acrobatics, Poetry and Dance. We have an extensive education programme and run regular classes from our own space which we also hire out to other creative companies.
The Company often have various projects running simultaneously as well as the development of the current studio space; The West Midlands Creation Centre. The Operations Manager therefore will need to be able to manage concurrent projects, develop appropriate marketing strategies, liaise with company directors and be responsible to them as well as manage the general day to day administrative tasks. The Operations Manager will also be working to budgets and aiding in the development of funding strategies and applications.
The candidate MUST have specialist knowledge of promoting theatre, the local arts scene and preferably some knowledge of circus theatre and contemporary circus. Candidates should be able to demonstrate exceptional organisation skills, efficiency, evaluative skills and relish a challenge.
Contracted hours are 3 working days per week taking place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.30am-5.30pm with a one-hour lunch break.
The payment for the role is monthly pro rata of £17,000 p/annum, equaling between £700-£800 p/month depending on working days in the month.
The successful candidate will be required to undertake a 4 day training week from Monday 7th September to Thursday 10th September 2015. There is a training salary paid for this week at half pay of £121 for the 4 days.
After the training week the candidate will start their normal 3 day week at full pay. There is a 3 month probation period, after which the candidate will be involved in an appraisal and a yearly contract offered.


*Work closely with and assist the Artistic Director and Associate Director in the overall management of the Company and deliver results required within budget to agreed timescales and at the highest possible standard.

*Work to and assist in long-term planning strategies and develop a sound understanding of company systems.

*Ensure that both our artistic and commercial activities are supported through effective marketing, promotions and data analysis.

*Represent RoguePlay to potential collaborators, hirers, partners and at networking events and be able to deal confidently and accurately with enquiries from the public.

*Liaise with clients and be responsible for contracts.

*Work with Work Experience Placements and Apprentices
*Formulate strategic marketing plans to target specific audiences and follow existing marketing strategies to generate and maximise effectiveness.

*Utilise social media and publicising events and opportunities to enhance RoguePlay’s profile, increase customer base and maximise income.

*Develop and sustain media connections.

*Write press releases, reports, advertising copy and communications.

*Liaise with tour venues and educational institutions.

*Attend board meetings.

*Work closely with designers and printers and distribute publicity material.

*Liaise with hirers for the studio space and be responsible for hire contracts.

*Often work alone and occasionally manage space bookings during working hours.

*To operate in accordance with RoguePlay’s employment, Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults, Health and Safety and Equal Opportunities and other practices, policies and procedures.


*At least 2 years previous experience of Operations Management in a creative arts and or/commercial capacity.

*Project and financial management skills.

*At least 2 years experience in Arts Marketing.

*An active interest in and knowledge of the local arts scene.

*Computer literacy in Word, Excel, Publisher, Photoshop and social media channels.

*Have excellent communication and time management skills.

*Ability to self plan and often work alone within a small team.

*Be self employed and either reside in, or be planning to relocate to the West Midlands.


*Interest and Enthusiasm for the arts.

*Communication, Negotiation Skills, Co-ordination and Time Management Skills.

*Ability to deal confidently and effectively with a variety of people.


*A specific interest in Circus Theatre.

*Own transport.

*Experience of working with those with disabilities.


Please send a C.V & covering letter to:
Please include two referees on your CV

Deadline for applications: 5pm on Friday 7th August 2015
Shortlisted for interview by: 17th August 2015
Interviews: w/b Monday 24th August 2015

Training week commences: Monday 7th Sept – Thursday 10th Sept 2015 (4 day week)

Role commences: Monday 14th September 2015

More info: RoguePlay are based at Minerva Works, Fazeley St, Digbeth, Birmingham. For further information on the company please visit our website

mid * point: GAP in the Market

FREE festival of Arts, Creativity and Play

4-19 July 2015

Welcome to The GAP in the Market – a tightly-packed (quite literally!) free programme of workshops, exhibitions, screenings, performances, talks and tours. You will all manner of content – from craftivism and cultural resistance to play readings, clay modelling, gaming and the much loved Great Brum Grub Crawl – all squeezed into a tiny, collectively-created arts space in a Bull Ring Indoor Market stall in Birmingham!

The programme has been curated and co-ordinated by The GAP Arts Project, a team of highly motivated and skilled young creatives. Primarily but not exclusively directed at 16-25 yr olds, the GAP in the Market offers everyone – young people, artists, participants and public audiences – an eclectic mix of creative opportunities to make, share, learn, listen, play and engage together.

For further details, the full Festival programme and booking info go to

mid * point: Last chance to vote for Talking Birds – deadline extended until Friday 5pm

I know we said we’d stop going on about it – but the Tech4Good Awards deadline has been extended, so – in case you meant to but didn’t quite get round to it (we know how it is!) – you can still vote for Talking Birds’ Difference Engine at 
The Difference Engine is a pioneering access tool that delivers captions (subtitles) and audio description to mobile devices, and is flexible and low cost – making it perfect for use in a whole range of spaces – including for small scale, experimental, site specific and promenade performances – though it works in big theatres too! Winning The People’s Award will help Talking Birds get investment to get this thing out there and being used – helping us all to include deaf, hard-of-hearing and partially sighted audiences – so if you could spare a minute to vote online, or by tweeting using #T4GTalkingBirds that would be just marvellous!
If you’ve already voted – Thank you!! If you were able to get in a vote from another email address (maybe via a friend or your mum?) or to tweet again, that would be fabulous!  And we really do promise not to ask again. Honest. Not another word…

mid * point: Birmingham based ‘Casualty’ actress to premiere new play at Birmingham Fest

Rebecca Newman, a Birmingham based actress will make her debut at Birmingham Fest, which launches next month.

Trained at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Newman has since been working for stage, screen and radio and most notably she played nurse Ally Hunter in ‘Casualty’ for the BBC.

Her play, The Enduring Romance of Cathy and Heathcliff is a brand new production inspired by the classic romance from Wuthering Heights.
Cathy is convinced she knows what she wants, a brawny, dashing man in chaps, just like Heathcliff. However, the man she meets at the bus stop one day is far from her male romantic lead. Time after time, fate drags them back together, both willingly and unwillingly and the play follows their unconventional lives together.

Featuring some of the most iconic music from the 50’s and 60’s, The Enduring Romance of Cathy and Heathcliff is an unconventional, dark, comedic reimagining of the classic romance.

‘The festival is giving writers and performers the opportunity to get their voices heard.’ Said Newman. ‘It is so important for the industry in the midlands to continue to grow and develop and I am so delighted that I get to be a part of that.’

‘The play has been a long time in development, but it’s been a tonic to work on something that I enjoy. The industry is a slippery mistress and making my own work is my way of taking it by the horns.’

Birmingham Fest runs from 17th July – 2nd August, The Enduring Romance of Cathy and Heathcliff will be performed on 28thJuly at the Old Joint Stock Theatre.

Performance Information:

The Old Joint Stock Theatre

28th of July @ 7pm (1hr), Tickets £7.50   Box Office at 0121 200 0946


mid * point: The Penny Post-Summer Proms

Come to Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens for a day of fantastic music culminating in a full orchestral concert in the evening.
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Promenading returns to Vauxhall!

Vauxhall Trust CIC and The Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens present…

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens Summer Proms 2015
11th July 2015, 12:00 – 22:00

Promenading returns to Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens after 160 years!

A festival of music to enjoy with a picnic, a stone’s throw from the Thames and within earshot of Big Ben

Join us from midday for an exciting daytime programme of the best that Vauxhall has to offer in home grown talent! Choral world music and popular choir classics, soul, funk and jazz, music from Poldark, gypsy swing, Spanish guitar, South Connections Carnival Band and contemporary dance care of the National Theatre!

Then, at 8pm be astounded by:


Performing an open-air gala concert of popular classics by composers including Handel, Rossini, Strauss, Bizet and Prokofiev along with Last Night of the Proms favourites Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem. The evening will culminate with a grand finale of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with fireworks!

This is a free event, so pack a picnic, come on over and visit the bar for a relaxing day’s entertainment.

Find this event on Facebook: Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens Summer Proms

mid * point: One Year Off presents a UK deprived of its greatest passion: football.

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In this surreal comic dystopia, a ban has been imposed on the ‘beautiful game’ in all its forms for 12 months. Told through the eyes of four people defined by football, this is a play about grief, desperation and delusion, and how we confront challenges to our identity.

One Year Off, which will be premiered in Birmingham in July, focuses on a far from perfect world where the country loses its greatest passion.

The new play, by writers Forrester and Fletcher, will be performed by FRED Theatre Company at The Old Joint Stock Theatre as part of Birmingham Fest from 16th – 18th July.

“The play tells the story of a one-year blanket ban on football in the UK – and features the Ricoh Arena as one of the ‘characters,’” said one half of writing duo, Olly Forrester.

“With all the politics, speculation and column inches surrounding the Ricoh in recent years, we thought it would be interesting to give the stadium a human voice and see how it would react to one year off football.

“We think local audiences will enjoy the character of Ricoh and the satirical look at the Arena’s relationship with Coventry City Football Club.”

For all press enquiries:
16th-18th July 7pm, 18th July 2pm (1hr) £12/£10 conc.

Tickets: 0121 200 0946

Old Joint Stock Theatre


Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: Clive Dutton


It was very sad yesterday to learn of the death of Clive Dutton. He was an amazing man.

I’m not going to rehearse his biography here as a professional journalist has written a proper obituary, but certainly our experience of Clive tallies with everything said about him in that obituary.

Clive had vision, energy and charisma. He was the Executive Director of Regeneration at Birmingham City Council when we met him. It was at a time when we didn’t feel we were getting much traction in the city and someone had recommended with visit Mr. Dutton.

His office was high, high up in Alpha Tower with a spectacular view over the city, the kind of commanding view that led you to imagine him plotting the reshaping of the city using the city as a 1:1 scale model of itself. We were shocked to find ourselves in this office. This man was the big boss of a billion pound redevelopment plan and he’d found time for us chancers.

Mr. Dutton was small and dapper, my memory was of a crushed black velvet suit and soft shoes but that’s probably wrong. He was friendly and dynamic. He gave us his time as we outlined who we were, what we did, how we thought we were an asset to the city, but couldn’t quite work out how to best deploy ourselves to the city’s maximum benefit. To our immense shock Clive took us seriously, he introduced us to people, he used as an example in various very positive contexts, he asked our opinions, he forced my services on an advertising agency to help them brainstorm a spectacular launch for The Big City Plan. Eventually some property developers phoned up keen to offer the company a home in their proposed redevelopment plan. Obviously this developer plan never came to anything (that particular building is still derelict), but the approach was made because Clive was talking us up in the right company.

I remain convinced that the fact that Stan’s Cafe eventually (and for a short period) received revenue funding from Birmingham City Council was because Clive’s promotion of the company from within the City Planning department made it politically embarrassing for the Arts Team not to be supporting the company.

Eventually the lure of regenerating the London Borough of Newham around the 2012 Olympics was too much for Mr. Dutton to resist (he told us it was the only thing he could have imagined dragging him from Birmingham). Even then, when we knew we wanted to make Golden Steps and needed an ‘in’ in London and the Olympics Clive came up trumps, in Newham, introducing us to the right people, including Tessa Sanderson (who helpfully demonstrated her javelin delivery technique to us in his meeting room).

Clive was a cultured, entrepreneurial man, who clearly loved people and connections and synergies and making people’s lives better. He was a powerful man who appeared to carry that power lightly and humbly. He was the antithesis of every image or experience I’ve ever had of a ‘civil servant’, a genuine breath of fresh air who mixed aspiration mixed with pragmatism.

I last saw Clive in Newham in October 2010, but I choose my final memory of him to be in March 2009 in the foyer of Birmingham Symphony hall. People were spilling out into the night bubbling with enthusiasm after a gig by David Byrn, we bumped into Clive and started reminiscing about seeing Talking Heads at CBGBs in nineteen seventy something. I wish I’d known him better.

R.I.P. Mr. Dutton.