Monthly Archives: October 2011

Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: Eve Brook Scholarship Fund

The Eve Brook Scholarship Fund celebrates the achievements of young people who have been in care in Birmingham by giving them help to go to college or university. At 19:00 on 18th November at The Billesley Pub the first ever Stan’s Cafe Quiz Team will line up in fundraising event. All guests are welcome. To learn more about the charity click here.

Welcome to Untied Artists: Bulgarian Voices

Thanks to the ArtsFest reduced tickets offers we’ve got some great cheapo gigs to look forward to over the rest of the year. Most of them are kids shows but last night we went along to Voix Mysteres Des Bulgaires at the Town Hall.

I hadn’t really had time to think about the gig in the run up so as we sat in the foyer chatting and checking out the programme it came as a real surprise to see that Kremena Stancheva was singing. Kremena gave up her time and home in Sofia to teach me the styles and songs of Bulgaria back in a scorching August 2010.

I’d seen the VMDB in a previous Edinburgh and felt like a bit of an adventure so thanks to a very tenuous link with my old college, i took a two week trip to see a bit of the old eastern bloc, punctuated by various oddball festival experiences, and 5 or so sessions with Kremena.

She had very little english, i had no Bulgarski, but as the old cliches go, we met with music. For a while i even thought she had taught me a song that was about space travel, until i realised that ‘Izlel Je Delyo Hajdutin’ was sent into space on Voyager’s golden disc.

It was such a pleasure to see her again, if only for a brief couple of minutes after the show.

Here’s a link to her website

Black Country Touring: Basant Lahore at Netherton Arts Centre on Wednesday

Netherton Arts Centre (NAC) is really excited about promoting Basant Lahore by The Fetch Theatre Company on Wednesday 2nd November at 1.30pm. NAC is aiming to promote high quality theatre for young audiences and this one seems to fit the bill precisely. With Punjabi and English spoken poetry, wonderful looking puppets and talented cast, we ...

Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: Parks

We’re trying to set up a version of The Steps Series for Birmingham’s Parks, as a result today I met with Lee Southall who manages 100 of Birmingham’s 500 parks without admin support – a further eye-opening example of how deep the Council’s cuts are running. It was fascinating to get a glimpse into his world and the world of the City’s Parks.

Afterwards I sized up Handsworth Park (which in 2006 had £10M invested in it and is wonderful). I paid my first visit to Perry Park, which was tragically dilapidated but hosts the highly impressive Gymnastics and Martial Arts Centre alongside the High Performance Centre and Alexandra Stadium. Finally I got to Aston Park, which again has received investment and was looking beautiful even in the rain.
3 of 500: I’m not sure I’m up for turning this into a mission but it has certainly inspired me to try and visit a few more different parks.

mid * point: PILOT – Theatrical Experiments from Exciting Theatre Makers

Pilot – Wed 9 November 7pm, The Public

Theatrical experiments from exciting theatre makers

Date: Wed 9 Nov

Time: 7pm (doors) 7.30pm (start)

Location: The Public, New Street, WestBromwich,B70 7PG

Price: £5 (£4 concessions)

Box Office: For tickets call 0121 533 7161

For the first time ever the Midland’s legendary scratch night PILOT heads to West Bromwichwith guest curators, NewMacho. With an infectiously warm atmosphere combined with the sweaty thrill of the unknown PILOT is by far one of the best nights out you can have in theMidlands.

This will be a unique evening of work in progress featuring some of the country’s most exciting theatre makers. None of the work is finished, each piece lasts between 10 and 20 minutes and together will present a glorious mix of comic, touching and extraordinary performance. We invite you to grab a drink, enjoy the show and stick around in the bar afterwards to tell the artists exactly what you thought.

So come along, join the party and let NewMacho guide you with a slightly cheeky yet firm hand through a night of the new, untested and potentially spectacular.

PILOT is a regular programme of ‘scratch’ nights organised jointly by Sam Fox and Jess Mackinnon of Kindle Theatre, Paul Warwick of China Plate and guest curators.

NewMacho was born in Coventryand has been performing in and around the midlands for the past four years. They draw inspiration from relationships, experiments and everyday observations to create a progressive style of performance which encourages thought yet does not forget the importance of entertainment.

PILOT is supported by Arts Council England, macbirmingham, The Public and Warwick Arts Centre.

mid * point: On Call @ Pilot

Book a slot for “On Call” and get some free and impartial advice!

“On Call” is a chance for companies and individuals to meet informally with established producers and enablers, for some impartial advice and exchange about ideas and projects.

Liz Tomlin, Thomas Wildish and a third person TBC, will be ‘On Call’ in the Café Bar at The Public on Wednesday 9th November from 5pm – 6.30pm, prior to Pilot at 7pm.

  • Liz Tomlin (Lecturer in Drama at UniversityofBirmingham/ Writer & Director with Geiger Counter: emerging artists, setting up companies, undergraduate and postgraduate options in theatre)
  • Thomas Wildish (General Manager, Foursight Theatre: producing, touring, company management, marketing)

You can just turn up to take advantage of some free advice, but it you’d like to book a slot please email

mid * point: £5 Tickets for Written on the Heart

£5 tickets for Written on the Heart*

This winter the Royal Shakespeare Company celebrates the 400th anniversary of the making of the King James Bible with Written on the Heart, a funny and moving new play written by David Edgar.

RSC Chief Associate Gregory Doran directs a cast including Stephen Boxer and Oliver Ford Davies as they play William Tyndale and Lancelot Andrewes, two translators working to the same end across an 80 year divide.

Watch David Edgar talking about why the English Reformation is like The West Wing

See photos from rehearsals

We are delighted to offer a limited number of tickets for Written on the Heart for evening performances on 31 October, 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 November at just £5 – call the RSC Ticket Hotline on 0844 800 1110 and quote ‘Written £5 Offer’*.

*Terms and conditions
This offer is subject to availability and does not apply to tickets already purchased. It cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers and is only available online. Please note that the performance on Wednesday 2 November begins at 7pm and latecomers may not be admitted until a suitable break in the performance.

mid * point: Project Co-Ordinator/Producer

Project Coordinator/ Producer
Encompass 360-degree Dance Film Project

For full details and person specification, contact:

Jenny Smith, Community Arts Officer,ShropshireCouncil
Tel: 01743 255935 Mobile: 07582 003203

Part-time Fixed term post November 2011 – August 2012
£27,300 pro rata (£15 per hour), total gross pay £14,070
Flexible hours:
 21 hours per week November 2011 – June 2012 and August 2012
35 hours per week July 2012 (production month)

Location: Core project located at The Edge Arts Centre,WilliamBrookesSchool,Farley Road, Much Wenlock,Shropshire,TF13 6NB

Activity across Shropshire andTelford

Post holder could work from home or possibly be hosted by Shropshire Council in one or several venues.

Travel expenses will be paid for meetings and events at 40p per mile to a maximum of £2000 total for the project.

Project Outline

Encompass will connect young people all around the world. Using dance, digital media and film, the project will create links across continents and wrap dancing images around audiences. Different styles of dance will collide, merge and collaborate. Young people will be the core creative team, leading the vision for the project, supported by experienced professional artists.

Encompass is a collaboration between William Brookes School, The Edge Arts Centre and Shropshire Council Community Arts and Festivals Team. The artistic team working with these partners will be; Toby Norman-Wright (Artistic Director), Sonia Sabri (Dance Artist), Anna Belyavin (Assistant Dance Artist) The Hive Music and Media Centre and Igloovision 360-degree audio visual dome. William Brookes School is the UK’s only Coubertin School and a specialist Performing Arts College. This project links to the Coubertin Schools around the world, inviting young people from these schools to be part of the project both through digital links on-line and through actual participation in the final performances.

Encompass has several strands:

  • an online project encouraging people to upload films of themsleves dancing, with dance tutorials in various styles created by professional dance artists.
  • workshops with dance and digital media artists, encouraging young people to explore, experiment and create dance film
  • artist residency atWilliamBrookesSchool, working with around 100 local and international students
  • short films edited from all content created through online and workshop activity, distributed online through social media and submitted to festivals and events
  • large-scale site specific dance film installation event, culminating in a 360-degree dance film performance in the igloo dome.

Main purpose:

To manage the Encompass 360-degree Dance Film Project, working with the artistic team, partners and young people to produce a large-scale dance and digital media event in July 2012.

Application deadline 12pm Friday 4th November 2011

Interviews Tuesday 15th November

To apply:

Send a recent CV and a proposal detailing your relevant experience and how you meet the person specification. For job description and person specification, contact:

Send applications to:

Jenny Smith, Community Arts Officer, Community Arts and Festivals Team, Shropshire Council, 4th Floor Shirehall, Abbey Foregate,Shrewsbury,SY2 6ND

Please also send a copy of your application by email to:

mid * point: Invisible by Sayan Kent


Producer/Director Hannah Phillips premiers SHOUT commission Invisible written by Sayan Kent. The gripping work explores the invisibility and often isolation facing Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity Bisexual, Gay and Queer Women living in Birmingham today. The work builds on the research and verbatim reading performed at mac for SHOUT 2010 and uses an exciting fusion of performance arts.

Three women, three stories, three intertwining plays. Natalie, Mira and Zaynab are all at turning points. Natalie looks to the future and wants the love ideal, Mira feels too hindered by her past choices to change anything, Zaynab, tortured by memories, tries to make sense of herself and her family. Sometimes hard-hitting and occasionally humorous, Invisible  explores how sexuality and invisibility impacts on their lives.

Sunday 6 November 7pm
£8/6 Book Here

Off Stage & On-line: Off Stage & On-line 2011-10-27 13:27:47

Today our choreographer Bev Edmunds put together the first sequence of the show: a boat arriving at Etruria and Alice heading off into the market place to get something to eat.
If you don’t recall those scenes from Lewis Carroll’s books, it’s not your memory that’s at fault. Although in fact Looking Glass begins with a prologue remembering that hazy summer’s day when the author drifted down the river on a little boat with three little girls, Alice and her sisters Edith and Lorina, on board, these scenes are pretty much a construct: a framing device for my dramatisation of the stories.

Our Alice is rather a different child from the iconic one we’re used to. The real Alice lived in the rarefied academic atmosphere of an Oxford College was receiving an excellent education from a private governess who taught her French, geography, drawing room card games and etiquette; the fictional Alice was taking a journey through her learning, encountering Red Queens based on Miss Pricket that real-life governess, and hearing parodies of the school-room songs she was learning by rote. Lewis Carroll’s own sketches showed her as dark-haired but refined; Tenniel’s memorable engravings made her a neat little blonde in that famous blue dress. But my inspiration has been a snapshot amateur photographer took of Alice Liddell dressed as a beggar girl. Tattered clothes, bare feet, hand cupped in the hope she might receive a penny: the kind of child who’d have been an all-too-common sight on the streets of any mid-Victorian city.