Monthly Archives: November 2011

mid * point: The Other Way Works is recruiting new Board Members

The Other Way Works – Board Recruitment

The Other Way Works is currently recruiting Non-Executive (voluntary) Directors to join its Board of Directors. This is a great opportunity for your skills and experience to make a real difference to the development of an energetic and distinctive not-for-profit arts organisation. We’re looking for people with a passion for theatre, the arts, and innovation, who will help steer, support and advocate for the company.

Click Here for further info

mid * point: Tin Box is one year old!

And what a year it has been…

We wanted to let you know what we’ve been up to and tell you a little about our plans for the upcoming year!


“unusual … innovative … incredibly touching production” Leigh Mencarini, Metro

Stop the Clocks was the first performance to take place in Newman Brothers Coffin Fittings Factory, which closed in 1998 and is now owned by the Birmingham Conservation Trust

After a sell-out run in June, Stop the Clocks returned to the Victorian Newman Brothers Coffin Fittings Factory at the end of September!The run was completely sold out for the second time, and we managed to raise over £500 for the Birmingham Conservation Trust, so thank you to all those who came along and supported us! We hope to continue our collaboration with the Birmingham Conservation Trust and perhaps Stop the Clocks will return again one day…

Thank you to everyone who gave feedback, if you have any thoughts or comments you would like to share with us please email us at, we would love to hear from you!





Obsessed by the secret world of letters, Martin Simons, a post office worker, has collected 1463 of them. Not Known at This Address invites the audience into Martin’s personal sorting office of stories, people and places. Through visual theatre, puppetry and live music, the audience are immersed in the world of Martin’s letters as they come to life around him.

September was a busy month for Tin Box! We were lucky enough to be programmed by China Plate to take part in First Bite Festival, where we presented a 10 minute work-in-progress showing of our new piece Not Known at this Address. It was a great day and a fantastic chance to see the work of other companies in the region.

We are performing a snippet of Not Known at This Address at Point Blank’s THRIVE festival in Sheffield next week, and have lots of exciting plans for developing Not Known at This Address in the coming year. We will keep you posted … haha … sorry.

Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: BE open

BE Festival are now soliciting submissions for their 2012 edition. As well as being a great experience the festival is also a valuable opportunity for companies to gain exposure promote a their work. The Festival is developing a good record for getting companies further gigs – including glamorous international ones. We know they are especially keen to find top notch local and UK work to feature, so if you have a great show on your hands get it videoed and get your application in by 17th February.

Photo Credit: Alex Brenner

The Other Way Works: Join Us – We are recruiting Board Members

The Other Way Works is currently recruiting Non-Executive (voluntary) Directors to join its Board of Directors.

This is a great opportunity for your skills and experience to make a real difference to the development of an energetic and distinctive not-for-profit arts organisation. We’re looking for people with a passion for theatre, the arts, and innovation, who will help steer, support and advocate for the company.

Click here for further info

mid * point: Coventry’s Shop Front Theatre reopens for business!

The UK’s first professional Shop Front Theatre is to re-open its doors again after closing briefly during the late summer.

Theatre Absolute is delighted to announce that after having reworked its business model, a new three-year lease has been secured with Coventry City Council. Julia Negus and Chris O’Connell from Theatre Absolute founded the Shop Front Theatre in City Arcade, Coventry in 2009. The 18-month pilot programme was a huge success with over 2,000 people visiting the shop as audiences, actors and participants. However in March this year the company saw a cut in its core funding from Art Council England and had to halt the shop’s artistic programme as it looked to develop a new way forward.

Chris O’Connell, artistic director said: “Although we closed the doors in July we actually never left the shop. We continued to do what we do best – support and nurture new writers, develop new plays and just this month we delivered a great writing and performance project for teenage boys in Coventry working with sporting mentors including Dave Moorcroft and the team at Coventry Blaze.”

During the next three years the shop will not only host work created by Theatre Absolute, but there will be a new emphasis on making it available as an alternative space for other theatre makers to create and show their work.

Producer Julia Negus said: “We would like to thank the hundreds of people and organisations from all over Coventry, the UK and beyond who have offered support in many forms to keep our unique Shop Front Theatre open. Visitors to the shop immediately warm to it and know that it is something special and that the theatre work is high quality yet affordable, an important point in these difficult times. We’re very proud to be hanging the ‘Open’ sign on the door again!”

A new programme of theatre work and events at the Shop Front Theatre will be announced shortly, starting with the now legendary Writing Gym, led by Chris O’Connell, described as a creative workout for beginner writers, on January 14th 2012. To book a place for the Writing Gym or to find out more about the Shop and its work contact or 07799 292957. Theatre Absolute, Shop Front Theatre, 38 City Arcade, Coventry, CV1 3HW

Twitter: @theatreabsolute

mid * point: Birmingham City Council Consultation on Budget Plans

Birmingham City Council has launched a Public Consultation on its Budget Plans from April 2012. Please support the cultural life of the city by taking part in this. The official deadline for responses is 8 January,however we urge responses by the end of November, as they can then feed in to the Council Cabinet’s decisions on arts spending in early December. It is clear that the greater the volume of response on specific areas, the greater the chance of influencing decisions in those areas.

The Council made significant cuts in its spending in 2011/12 and is committed to further major overall savings across at least the next three years. Despite the severe financial pressures the Council faces, if you believe that it should continue to fund and nurture arts and culture then please respond to this effect. Furthermore, if you believe that the city needs a diverse and varied cultural life, of large and small companies, of contemporary creative work alongside more traditional repertoire, then please emphasis this too. The Council primarily seeks feedback from Birmingham residents. However, if you are a visitor to the city and believe that its cultural life makes it attractive to visitors, and enhances its reputation nationally and internationally then please respond as well. Thank you.

The Council’s Consultation document, which does not however make clear and specific reference to arts funding, other than its suggestion that reductions in support for cultural activity might be mitigated by the idea of introducing a Birmingham lottery, can be found, where you will also find details on the ways you can have your say.

Welcome to Untied Artists: Pete ‘Throstle’

We lived on a canal boat moored on the Engine Arm, Smethwick for 4 years up to 2008. The spirit of community in the boat world is well known, and the characters within it wildly varied and inspiringly singular.

One such character was Pete Carter, or Pete ‘Throstle’ (his boat was decked in West Brom colours with a big Baggie bird emblem on the side). When i arrived at the Arm he (and many others) invited me in for tea and a chat and wasted no time at all in thrusting copies of the New Statesman in my hand and getting straight down to politics. He was a warm and generous man, and the communality of canal life clearly suited his ethics.

I’ve got a vague memory of him telling me that he ran as communist party candidate during local elections somewhere in the Black Country, and that he was elected by mistake because his name was very similar to the conservative candidate’s. That could well not be true but reading the Guardian Obituary after his recent death has shed light on just how impressive a man of the people he was.

It seems almost impossible in the current climate to be so principled a campaigner for better working conditions, human rights, and local environmental issues without being considered a crank, or having enough dirt dished on you to render you a hypocrite. But by the sound of it Pete campaigned right to the end after he and many other over 65’s who worked for Centro transport, and really needed the wage to survive, were struck off for being too old.

I’m told the kettle was still warm when he was found dead on the floor of his boat, so here’s to a swift passing, and to a life well and truly lived. Good on you Pete Carter.