The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Experience a once in a lifetime event for a fraction of the cost…

This November, Birmingham Hippodrome will present a once in a lifetime event as Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle conducted by Maestro Valery Gergiev with his world-famous Mariinsky Opera makes its Birmingham Hippodrome debut with four performances over five nights; more than 250 artists will travel from St Petersburg to Birmingham, along with 10 trucks of scenery […]

The Drum - The UK’s Premier Intercultural Arts Centre - Book Online or Call 0121 333 2444: for-Wards Community Music Project, Sun 26 Oct @ The Drum

At The Drum we are always looking for new ways to get our audiences involved in the arts and express themselves. We are therefore proud to present for-Wards, a hyper-local music project funded as part of Sound and Music’s touring programme, giving communities the opportunity to contribute to the creation of new music.

The project is produced and led by composer Bobbie-Jane Gardner who, with a team of composers and professional musicians, will lead a series of workshops focussed on discovering sounds that represent local neighbourhoods. These sounds and other input from the workshops will be used to write original music, which will then be performed in the communities where they were inspired.

Composers will collaborate with those who take part in the workshops to create ‘sonic maps’ of their neighbourhoods that will form the basis of these new compositions, to be performed in each community in March next year.

 During each workshop participants will:

– Use maps to locate places and sounds of interest in their neighbourhood

– Go on a walking tour to record the places and sounds of interest using audio recorders and mobile phones

– Work with a professional sound artist, composer and film maker

This pilot project will work with residents living in Balsall Heath, Newtown and Small Heath. Each workshop will last for two hours – starting at 12 noon and finishing at 2pm, and are free. Places are limited to 15 participants for each workshop.

Workshop dates:

Newtown residents: Sun 26 Oct, 12 -2pm, The Drum Arts Centre

Small Heath residents: Sat 1 Nov, 12-2pm, Small Heath Library

Balsall Heath residents: Sat 8 Nov, 12-2pm, mac arts centre


For more information, contact Andrene Miller on 0753 238 4474 or, or visit

The post for-Wards Community Music Project, Sun 26 Oct @ The Drum appeared first on The Drum - The UK’s Premier Intercultural Arts Centre - Book Online or Call 0121 333 2444.

mid * point: Connecting Shakespeare

A one day workshop for both Actors and non-Actors who want to explore how Shakespeare can work for them – and to experience a very different way

of enjoying Shakespeare.


This fresh and unique session, inspired by the work of

Sanford Meisner, Cicely Berry and Patsy Rodenburg,

will appeal to all ages and abilities.


We will focus on one of Shakespeare’s Tragedies, Othello,

looking at key speeches, major themes, and how the tragedy develops.


Saturday 08/11/14  10.30 to 5.30.


The Workshop costs just £10, and places are allocated on a first come basis.

If you are interested in taking part, please email Frank Bramwell to reserve a place.


Unit 1, 60 Regent Place, (20 yards off Caroline Street)

The Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham B1 3NJ   ¦¦   @theworkshopb1   ¦¦


Twenty-one local actors went head to head at Birmingham Repertory Theatre earlier this year and now MonologueSlam UK returns.


MonologueSlam UK is the ultimate showcase for actors, with the opportunity to perform for a welcoming audience and a panel of people in a position to move their careers forward; it is the ideal platform for both budding actors and professionals wanting to move their career up a notch. Not only that, the ‘slam’ is a great opportunity for networking. The audience is packed full of creatives, providing an exciting and entertaining evening for everyone both on and off-stage. Plus, this November, local soul star Jaki Graham will be performing.


Starting with a youth round, the stakes heighten as the evening goes on with a 1 minute smackdown, a 3 minute heavyweight round and an audience favourite, the improvisation round. With willing volunteers drawn from the 1 minute and 3 minute round performers, they are challenged to showcase their improv skills live, with audiences responsible for determining the action on stage. Watch as the actors go head to head, competing to be crowned the winner of their respective rounds.


The evening is completed by an esteemed panel of judges, including writer and creator of ITV’s New Tricks, Roy Mitchell, producer of BBC’s Doctors, Dawn Coulson and Alex Scanlan, an agent from Scott Marshall, as well as The REP’s Artistic Director Roxana Silbert. A winner is selected from each round and special mentions are made for the other outstanding performers.


February’s Monologue Slam was a roaring success. The winners of the 1 minute and 3 minute rounds, Sunny Dhap and Vincent Clarke, went onto be cast in a show together at the Old Joint Stock Theatre in Birmingham. Building on the success of this, organisers Triforce Promotions, who were recently awarded a multi-year grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, are excited to be bringing the event back to Birmingham.


Led by actors Jimmy Akingbola and Fraser Ayres, they set out to identify holes in the entertainment industry regarding access and “knowing the right people”, TriForce was built and has grown on a strong ethos of inclusivity not exclusivity, to open the doors to the industry to people from all walks of life.


Joined by fellow actress Minnie Crowe, TriForce has grown to become a well-respected platform for talent, as well as fundamentally changing how the casting process and the industry work. Since launching, many MonologueSlam artists have gone on to secure agents and the ‘slams’ have placed emerging talent in the spotlight.


Minnie Crowe says: “We’re really excited to be coming back to The REP after the success of our first MonologueSlam in Birmingham. There’s fantastic talent here, and as a native Midlander myself, it’s important that we make the acting industry realise there are talented performers outside the M25! I can’t wait for the auditions to see what Birmingham brings to the table.”


MonologueSlam UK takes place on Wednesday 5 November, 7.45pm. For more information and to book tickets call 0121 236 4455 or visit

mid * point: An enchanting WW1 play comes to the Old Joint Stock

The charming and captivating HookHitch Theatre will be performing their critically acclaimed show, This Was The World and I Was King, here at the Old Joint Stock Theatre next month.


Rediscover the unbridled imagination of childhood in this transporting story of courage, kindness and bravery set during the First World War. Featuring live folk music and the enchanting poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’.


With their father in peril at the Front, the Connor children turn to their imagination for comfort and distraction from reality. Their make-believe kingdom comes to life with rousing folk music and hand-carved puppets as they set sail on impossible adventures.



‘A triumph of originality…Enchanting at every turn’ 5 STARS ThreeWeeks

‘This is a remarkable show’ 4 STARS The Scotsman

‘An absolute treat; sheer exuberant joy from start to finish’ 4 STARS Fourth Wall Magazine

‘A remarkable piece of theatre, wonderfully evocative and beautifully produced.’ 4 STARS Broadway Baby



To book, or to find out more information about the production, please contact our box office on 0121 200 0946 or visit


This Was The World and I Was King

HookHitch Theatre
7th & 8th November, 7:30pm

Tickets: £10 / £8 conc.

8th November, 2pm

Tickets: £8 / £6 conc.

mid * point: Orchestra of the Swan and Talking Birds present: Ant & Cleo – The Musical!


Orchestra of the Swan and Talking Birds present:

Ant & Cleo – The Musical!

7 & 8 November 2014, Stratford ArtsHouse


  • ‘Ant & Cleo’ – a fun, family friendly adaptation of the story of Antony and Cleopatra.
  • An innovative project working with schools catering for those with special educational needs.
  • Project winner of a public vote to receive funding from ITV’s People’s Millions.

Coventry-based theatre company Talking Birds in partnership with Orchestra of the Swan in Stratford, have collaborated with three schools for a unique and family friendly adaptation of the story of Antony and Cleopatra.

The performers in Ant & Cleo are pupils from two schools catering for special educational needs – Welcombe Hills and Brays School in Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham respectively, and a mainstream primary school, Bridgetown School in Stratford-upon-Avon. Ninety children aged nine to eleven will take part in the production, supported by four professional actor/singers playing the title roles and assorted Gods and Caesars, as well as an eleven-piece orchestra.

The production will develop the children’s singing and musical skills and aims to change attitudes towards young people with learning and physical disabilities.

Taking the stories by Plutarch and Shakespeare as a starting point, the children’s ideas have greatly inspired the script, music, design and dramatic interpretation of the play, all developed in workshops since the beginning of the year.

As a result, composer Gustav Holst is quoted in the same song as One Direction; a musical phrase references the theme to ‘The Simpsons’, and the children’s favourite football teams, Chelsea and Aston Villa, also make an appearance. The songs are incredibly catchy, fun and involve memorable hand signs derived from Makaton sign language or from consultation with the children.

Peter Cann, Director says:

‘Devising workshops in the schools shaped the piece before a word or note was written. The writer and composer have woven the children’s images and melodies into the final piece, and that collaboration has continued into the staging of sea battles and creation of siege engines. The result is a reimagining of the story that could only have come from working with these particular children.’


Last year Ant & Cleo was voted winner of a public vote for The People’s Millions, a partnership between Big Lottery Fund and ITV, to fund local community projects. As a result, the production gained £49,822 of funding from The People’s Millions and a further £4,250 from other trusts and foundations.

Ant & Cleo will be performed on 7-8 November 2014 at Stratford ArtsHouse.

mid * point: SELFIES @ The REP

8.00pm Monday 24th November & Monday 15th December 2014

Open Door at Birmingham Repertory Theatre


Selfie: a self-portrait, often in extreme close-up.

BOLDtext Playwrights return to Open Door at The REP with a series of self-portraits exposing what it’s really like to be a working playwright in the region today. Presented by ourselves, the results, like all good selfies, promise to be entertaining, diverse, occasionally comedic, and sometimes downright bizarre.

Monday 24th November 8pm

Directed by Ola Animashawun (Royal Court Theatre)

Off His Trolley by Stephen Jackson

Dark Matters by Nicola Jones

Lowering My Voice by Helen Kelly

The Other Me by Vanessa Oakes

Monday 15th December 8pm

Directed by Jessica Dromgoole (BBC)

In Search Of The Unhappy Ending by Liz John

And Breathe by Sayan Kent

Quake by Tim Stimpson 

Getting Started And Getting On With It by Julia Wright

To be part of our invited audience please book your seat/s by calling 0121 236 4455 or visiting The REP

While both events are FREE to attend we suggest a cash donation of £3 on the night (or more) if you like what you see. To avoid disappointment please book your seat/s in advance.


BOLDtext are working playwrights who aim to create more opportunities and new platforms for our work in the Midlands and beyond. Please visit BOLDtext for more information.

mid * point: Wind in the Willows at the Blue Orange


Saturday 13th December  at 2.30pm + 7pm Saturday 27th December at 2.30pm + 7pm

Sunday 14th December at 2.30pm                Sunday 28th December at 2.30pm

Saturday 20th December at 2.30pm + 7pm  Tuesday 30th December at 2.30pm

Sunday 21st December at 2.30pm                 Wednesday 31st December at 2.30pm

Wednesday 24th December at 2.30pm         Friday 2nd January at 2.30pm + 7pm

Friday 26th December at 2.30pm                   Saturday 3rd January at 2.30pm + 7pm



Kenneth Grahame’s classic children’s tale first published in 1908 has entertained the young and old ever since not only in book form, but also as a stage play, musical, film and television series.

The Blue Orange production, adapted by Eric Gracey, has all the hall marks of the theatres ensemble style of story-telling and presentation, engaging the audience from the start in the intimate setting of the Blue Orange Theatre as the audience becomes part of the story.

Join Mole’s journey of discovery when he meets Ratty, Badger and the incorrigible Toad as they save Toad (from himself) and Toad Hall from the Weasles and Stoats at the Blue Orange Theatre this Christmas.

Audience Reviews of last year’s Christmas Show at the Blue Orange Theatre –


“Wonderful show enjoyed by all the family”

“Brilliant use of cast, inventive, enthusiastic, enjoyed the audience participation”

“Very imaginative, brilliant fun!”

mid * point: Improvisational Theatre Performers Sought

Opportunity for two professional performers skilled in improvisational theatre techniques. This piece of work is with Fluxx Theatre (

The characters to be cast are Pakistani and, ideally, female. The schedule for the work is as follows:

  • Tuesday 28th October, 4pm-8pm – Audition (likely at mac; applicants should be able to attend at least two hours of the audition)
  • Saturday 15 November, 10am – 5pm – Rehearsal (likely at mac)
  • Sunday 16th November, 10am – 5pm – Rehearsal (likely at mac)
  • Tuesday 18th November, 5pm – 10pm – Performance at Balsall Heath Church Centre
  • Thursday 20th November, 5pm – 10pm – Performance at mac

The fee for the above work is £250 inclusive.

Get in touch with Kate DeRight at for further information.

mid * point: Three Blind Dates

Marrad presents Three Blind Dates on 7pm on Sundays 19th October, 26th October and 2nd November at The Workshop, Unit 1, 60 Regent Place, The Jewellery Quarter.

You are invited to three separate readings of the dating game comedy Fish in the Sea by Martin Drury, each time with a different cast.  The fun in the script revolves around a blind date; the fun on each of the evenings involves two actors working together for the first time after literally just being put together.  What will the chemistry be like?  Will they click?  It’s the acting equivalent of the blind date.

We’ll treat you to a drink and some nibbles if you come and be an audience to the script reading and provide some valuable feedback.  A free night with two actors and a laugh-out-loud script.  Have you got a better offer?  Come once, twice or all three times!   RSVP: