The Drum - The UK’s Premier Intercultural Arts Centre - Book Online or Call 0121 333 2444: Meet The Drum’s New Patrons – Benjamin Zephaniah and Courtney Pine

We are proud to announce that two phenomenal artists have agreed to become official Patrons of The Drum – pioneering jazz player and musical ambassador Courtney Pine CBE, and Birmingham-born international poetry sensation Dr Benjamin Zephaniah.

We are delighted that Courtney Pine and Benjamin Zephaniah have chosen to lend us their support and encouragement for The Drum’s ongoing development, and in particular our Raising the Roof campaign. Both artists are long-time friends of Birmingham’s cultural scene, appearing and performing at The Drum in the past, and now helping ensure great future opportunities for our audiences and young people.

“It is a great honour to become a Patron of The Drum, particularly during the organisation’s twentieth anniversary. The Drum has evolved into an essential part of Birmingham’s cultural ecology, providing a creative intercultural platform in the UK’s most diverse city, which is home to Europe’s largest Under-16 population.

The Drum’s Raising the Roof campaign will increase the capacity of the Auditorium by a third, transforming it into a flexible, dynamic space… A place where individuals, groups and communities – whatever their age, culture of social background – will be welcome.

I do hope that you will join me in helping to make this visionary scheme a reality for young people in Birmingham.” – Courtney Pine CBE

“The Drum is the kind of place I would have liked to be around when I was growing up in Birmingham. It is so important to have places where young people can explore and develop their talent, which is exactly what The Drum’s Young Gifted Brum achieves so successfully.

Supporting The Drum means supporting some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK by giving them the creative platform they deserve. To do that you need the right place with the right equipment, and that’s why I’m so excited about The Drum’s Raising the Roof campaign, which is going to create a flexible dynamic space fit for the 21st Century.

It’s such an honour to have become a Patron of The Drum, and I am proud to ask you to join me and help bring their vision to reality. That’s what we do. We Keep it Real. ” – Dr Benjamin Zephaniah

Raising the Roof is a revolutionary £4.8 million plan to redesign, refurbish and upgrade The Drum with new features, facilities and equipment, including expanding our Auditorium capacity, and most importantly, improving and upgrading our services and facilities for young people working in Digital Arts, Dance, and Drama.Top view RtR

Raising the Roof will increase The Drum’s Auditorium capacity to nearly 500 seated and 1000 standing, as well as improved audio visual equipment, and a spectacular new balcony area.

Stage view RtR

Our vision is for The Drum to be a major national arts center, as well as a focal point for community-led arts, and with the support of Patrons and our audiences, we look forward to a bright new future.

To find out how you can help in Raising the Roof, contact The Drum on 0121 333 2422

The post Meet The Drum’s New Patrons – Benjamin Zephaniah and Courtney Pine appeared first on The Drum - The UK’s Premier Intercultural Arts Centre - Book Online or Call 0121 333 2444.

The Other Way Works: Agent in a Box R&D

We were lucky enough to be awarded a ‘CATH’ grant last year, and have been working in collaboration with some excellent people to create a new concept using our 2008 production Black Tonic as its inspiration.

Agent in a Box is a collaboration between:

Katie Day –

Alyson Fielding –

John Sear –  /

Inspired by The Other Way Works’ 2008 immersive theatre production ‘Black Tonic’

This pilot project has been delivered through the Collaborative Arts Triple Helix, a research project by the University of Birmingham in partnership with University of Leicester, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of their Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange programme.

Agent in a Box will eventually be an hour-long spy thriller, theatre game experience, to be played alone in an anonymous hotel bedroom.
Agent in a box is an exciting creative content offer for those boring evenings you spend in chain business hotels when travelling for work with only CNN for company.

The experience is delivered in the form of a portable box (the size of a box of chocolates), which can be purchased for yourself or as a gift. An interactive story of espionage told through paper fragments, phone and text messages, provoking the player to accept the invitation of the anonymous hotel room to become someone new if only for one night.

We are now seeking partnerships to help us develop the project.

The Other Way Works: Technology Feasibility Study Brief

Technology Feasibility Study – ‘Protagonist’


Deliver a technical specification and development plan for a prototype of an online app that automatically generates a short film memoir about a user from their social media content.


£1,000 to deliver the Feasibility Study. We would estimate this to be 2 days work.


‘Protagonist’ is a practical attempt to make sense of our vast stashes of online personal data in a human, emotional and narrative way.

This is an early stage research project funded by REACT ( and is collaboration between Katie Day, Artistic Director of The Other Way Works, a theatre company based in Birmingham, and Dr John Troyer, Deputy Director of the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath.

Requirements for the Prototype:

1.  Gathers social media content from user’s accounts (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+);
2.  Produces a video from user’s social media content;
3.  Content of video aims to be of significance to the user (it is anticipated that this would be achieved by automated classification and clustering of content);
4.  Video looks attractive and professionally produced;
5.  Video is 1-3 minutes in length;
6.  It should be cost effective and seek to use pre-existing assets, services and tools;
7.  Cost of Prototype development does not exceed £40,000.

Requirements for the Feasibility Study:

1.  It will include a proposed technical solution;
2.  The development plan will include effort estimates and suggested delivery timescale;
3.  The technical specification and development plan should be clearly and realistically costed;
4.  A list of the technologies required;
5.  Person specifications for developing and integrating these technologies, and leading the project;
6.  A Skype meeting with Katie Day after the study is complete to discuss the proposal.

Application Process:

Please get in touch with Katie Day via email to by 6pm on Friday 25th April 2014 to express your interest in delivering this brief.

Please provide a brief overview of your relevant experience. Include any links to your CV, portfolio or existing apps.

We have more detailed requirements and use cases for the prototype that we will supply to the selected applicant.

mid * point: RoguePlay Theatre- Work experience Placements

Marketing Manager, RoguePlay Theatre
Hard Work But Always Playful….

Tel: 0121 643 0022
mobile: 07746327284
Join our Mailing List at
Follow us on Twitter @_RoguePlay or Befriend us on Facebook.
You can also hire our space- Unit 8, Minerva Works, Digbeth, B5 5RT. £10 an hour without heating, £15 an hour with heating.

RoguePlay Theatre: Work Experience placements

During May-July 2014 RoguePlay are working with partner institutions to deliver two week work experience placements for six young people from each institution. Through this work experience students will also gain a Bronze or Silver Arts Award. We are looking to work with young people who schools often find more difficult to place for work experience, particularly those with hearing difficulties and physical disabilities. We have 8 placements left to fill. If you are interested in these placements or know any individuals or schools who would want to be involved in the project and would like more information about how to be involved, you can get in touch by emailing Jane English: This project is supported by Birmingham City Counci

mid * point: PILOT Nights

PILOT Sites at Birmingham Hippodrome.
It’s not long now until the first ever PILOT Sites, an evening of work in progress performances in outdoor and non-theatre spaces around Birmingham’s vibrant Southside district.
DATE: Thursday 1st May 2014 
TICKETS: £5 Tickets are limited and you can book in advance here:
Meeting point at Birmingham Hippodrome’s Stageside Bar and Restaurant, Thorp Street, Birmingham B5 4AT
The Line up for the night is:
Avanti+Artizani - Reliquary and The Liminal Edge

Freedom StudiosOsmosis
Lyndsay Price and Tara Buckley - The Tea Project
Small Encounters - Small Encounters
Talking Birds - The Cricketers
The Other Way Works - Agent in a Box
Theatre Absolute - Once

We are also very excited to announce that we will be hosting:
The People Speak - Talkeoke  - Interact and join in the real-time pop up talk show!

For more information check out
or you can find us on Facebook: Pilot Nights
Or on twitter: @pilotnights

mid * point: Toadally Free Improv Comedy for Easter – and not an egg in sight

The Easter Funny -

 - Toadally Free Improv Comedy from Box of Frogs on Monday April 21st.

Free Form Frogs – members of Box of Frogs workshop - present another overdose of their inimitable brand of high-octane improvised nonsense from audience suggestions, on Monday April 21st at the Blue Orange Theatre.

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 April 21st, Blue Orange Theatre, 7.30pm.  Come early and buy a drink.

Tickets just £0!  For more information, contact The Blue Orange Theatre 

mid * point: The Mikado at the Blue Orange Theatre

G & S at the Blue Orange


Thursday 5th June at 7.45pm

Friday 6th June at 7.45pm

Saturday 7th June at 7.45pm

Tuesday 10th June at 7.45pm

Wednesday 11th June at 7.45pm

Thursday 12th June at 7.45pm

Friday 13th June at 7.45pm

Saturday 14th June at 2.30pm

Saturday 14th June at 7.45pm


The Blue Orange Theatre presents another first – Gilbert and Sullivan’s eternal favourite THE MIKADO! This chamber version using six actors – multi-rolling, will be fast, funny, and thoroughly entertaining having all the hall marks of G&S.


Nanki-Poo, disguised as a wandering minstrel, arrives in the town of Titipu in search of his true love Yum-Yum. He is devastated to learn that his rival, the prisoner Ko-Ko, has been pardoned and appointed to the rank of Lord High Executioner. Ko-Ko has troubles of his own. Nobody has been executed in Titipu for a year and the Mikado of Japan is threatening to reduce the town to a village, bringing disgrace and ruin to the region. Seeing Nanki-Poo contemplating suicide, Ko-Ko seizes the opportunity to strike a bargain, a one-month marriage to Yum-Yum in exchange for Nanki-Poo’s head! And to top it all Katisha arrives to claim Nanki-Poo’s hand in marriage.


“If You Want to Know Who We Are”, “Three Little Maids”, “A Wand’ring Minstrel”, “I’ve Got a Little List”, “Willow, Tit Willow”, “Behold the Lord High-Executioner”, and “Here’s A How-De-Do” are just some of the favourite songs from the show.

mid * point: George’s Marvellous Medicine at The Blue Orange Theatre

Thursday 1st May at 7.30pm

Friday 2nd May at 7.30pm

Saturday 3rd May at 2.30pm

Saturday 3rd May at 7.30pm

Tuesday 6th May at 7.30pm

Wednesday 7th May at 7.30pm

Thursday 8th May at 7.30pm

Friday 9th May at 7.30pm

Saturday 10th May at 2.30pm

Saturday 10th May at 7.30pm




GEORGE is concocting a special Blue Orange Theatre Medicine as they prepare to present Roald Dahl’s GEORGE’S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE, This is one of seven Roald Dahl stage plays based on his children’s novels adapted by David Wood – including THE TWITS, THE BFG, FANTASTIC MR FOX, and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH.

Loved by children, worldwide, Dahl’s tale is of a boy who creates a special medicine to cure his Grandma of her grumpiness that has unexpected consequences not only for his Grandma but the family too! Be prepared for laughter, fun and giant chickens!

mid * point: Drakelow release Double A Side for Cancer Research & Rage Arts

Thanks to the fantastic support of Drakelow we have a fantastic opportunity to raise lots of money to help us give people self esteem and confidence and skills to help them take the next step in their life through film, theatre and music projects.

Local band Drakelow are donating all money from the sales of the double A side single to be released on record store day, April 19th to us and Cancer Research Uk this is a fantastic opportunity to help two great charities one local one national.


AN original track as well as a cover of the classic Grace Cathedral Park by alt us rock group Red House Painters is being released especially for Record Store Day by Birmingham-based dream pop band Drakelow.

The original, String, as well as the seminal cover, will be limited to a small number of CDs and vinyl with all proceeds going toward Cancer Research and Rage Arts, a charity dedicated to helping disadvantaged youngsters get into music and art.

The multi-instrumental quintet will be playing an intimate instore show at famed independent Birmingham record store Swordfish Records on Saturday, April 19 (Record Store Day) as part of a number of events taking place throughout the UK bringing together fans, artists, and thousands of independent record shops.

Drakelow frontman and guitarist Matt Pinfield said: “The experience of being in a record shop and engaging with music in its physical reality is completely different to downloading or streaming music.

“The main difference I find is that that as you browse in a shop, leafing through CDs/vinyl, you are inevitably reminded of songs and albums you’d forgotten about and as a consequence, you revisit them. “The cover we recorded was chosen after delving back into the Red House Painters catalogue after hearing the new album by Mark Kozelek, Benji.

We took the same approach in going back over songs I’d written that, for whatever reason, we don’t play live or have never recorded and picked one that still resonates with us – we hope you enjoy the results of our browsing.”

To hear the songs, visit

For more information, please call 07563323065 or email

mid * point: FishHead On Tour . ‘Mesmerising, stunning performances’ .Don’t miss your opportunity to see this beautiful piece!…

Reaction Theatre Makers are delighted and excited to announce their upcoming tour of FishHead.
A fisherman walks into the sea, a ventriloquist sits on the beach with her dummy. FishHead is their story.
With a cast of three, a Perspex set, and a great soundtrack, this highly visual piece is an original story about living and dying well.

See the trailer and book tickets on

Or just come along to the first show at Wolverhampton Arena on April 22nd at 7.30pm, we’d love to see you there!