Monthly Archives: August 2012

Black Country Touring: Paralympian on board

As the Paralympic games begin for London 2012 we celebrate by finding out just what it means to be a Paralympian from nine times gold medalist Robin Surgeoner. Swimming champion Robin also happens to be a valued member of the Black Country Touring board having a keen interest in theatre and music as a performer and ...

mid * point: Three-Week Window Festival


Three-Week Window Festival


A surprise awaits you at 99 New Street, Birmingham…

Between Monday 3rd and Sunday 23rd September 2012, theatre companies Little Earthquake andTin Box are curating the Three-Week Window Festival, right in the heart of Birmingham’s bustling city centre. Every day for 21 consecutive days, a new artist or company will take over an enormous shop window to present an array of work designed to intrigue, attract and engage thousands of passers-by.

The Festival features both emerging and more established artists — working in the fields of theatre, dance, music, photography and visual art — and alongside the Birmingham contingent, they hail from as far afield as Manchester, Lancaster, Sheffield…and even Brazil. Three weeks. One window. And limitless possibilities.

The location of the shop is 99 New Street, Birmingham (in between Café Rouge and Coventry Building Society), and the line up is:

MONDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER: Barry Robinson

I will be putting up pictures of Birmingham people in various media including a slide-show on a laptop, large canvases, a QR code-link to a photoblog and “snap-shots” arranged across the window. The photographer will be situated outside the window periodically throughout the day and will photograph passers-by and viewers.


Hayley Phillips

An original look at gender roles in the 21st century, reflecting on the role that the media has to play in shaping gender identity.



I shall be making a cyanotype collage of the heart, a representation of all we expect of the heart both physically and emotionally. The image will evolve during the day, fragile and yet with strength, pieced together with materials, cyanotype photographs, words of fact and love.


THURSDAY 6th SEPTEMBER: Tin Box Theatre — Not Known at This Address

Obsessed by the secret world of letters, Martin Simons, a post office worker, has collected 1463 of them. Peer through the window into Martin’s world and see his letters come to life! Tin Box is currently developing Not Known at This Address, which will premiere at mac on Wednesday 3rd October.


FRIDAY 7th SEPTEMBER: Nodding Dog Theatre — Play more / Shop less!

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
-  George Bernard Shaw

Put down those shopping bags and come out to play, a window of wonder awaits you!


SATURDAY 8th SEPTEMBER: David Payne / After Dark Entertainment

I will be creating an interactive crime scene. Passers-by can look through the window at a murder scene and be challenged to work out whodunnit. Visual clues and wanted posters of the suspects will be provided and shoppers will be invited to submit solutions and potentially win a prize.


SUNDAY 9th SEPTEMBER: Little Earthquake — The Nocturnal House

Peek into a mysterious twilight world, where night and day have been reversed! Squint through the darkness at two shy and secretive creatures emerging from the shadows! See for yourselves how Sloth and Bat spend their day — and share your photos and observations of them live on Facebook and Twitter!


MONDAY 10th SEPTEMBER: Charlotte Farrow

My plans for the shop window will be to display my current artwork, along with banners to promote my work and my new business idea of modern wedding portraits. I will also bring along my easel and paints so I can demonstrate how I create my work. I will be bringing a friend who will be outside talking to the public and handing out further information if they require.



A man stands by a window. His hand pressed up against the glass. He waits for someone to place their hand up against his. This is an invitation to be influenced by your curiosities and take a moment to stop. A mix of mime and interaction presented through a plane of glass.



More details coming soon!


The shop window throughout the day will tell a story about a moment in life, filled with energy, emotion, feeling and illustrating it. This will be presented through the art of minimalism via expressive bold strokes on massive canvases, vivid and stark lighting, ‘brushstroke’ sounds and visually arresting video displays.


FRIDAY 14th SEPTEMBER: Laura Markham / Daytwentyfour Theatre

Zzz… In between. In between sleep. In between the bed-sheets, tossing, turning. A surreal state, punctuated with peculiar thoughts, memories and images… Time and space have no limits or constraints. Peer through the window, share your story to follow HER journey through the spaces ‘in between’ in the Bedtime Story Exchange.


SATURDAY 15th SEPTEMBER: Old Joint Stock Theatre

Throughout the day, The Old Joint Stock Theatre will be presenting a variety of performances showcasing the productions and events from our exciting new autumn programme, including musical theatre, comedy, live jazz, belly dancing and lots more!


SUNDAY 16th SEPTEMBER: Spiltmilk Dance

Spiltmilk Dance will be performing extracts of their work Spiltmilk Say Dance in the shop window.  See the company turn social dance on its head, putting their unique spin on familiar favourites such as Hand Jive and The Twist.


MONDAY 17th SEPTEMBER: Rambling Heart

A little girl lost in a clothes shop is drawn into a new world: storms of receipts, giant shopping bags and T-shirts that move all by themselves… Her mother looks for her, hopes, despairs, wishes and waits. A short story told through puppetry from Rambling Heart: little moments played big.


TUESDAY 18th SEPTEMBER: Hannah Dalby and Stacey Johnstone

We are taking people watching to the next level: watching how people interact on the street and creating improvisations and short repeatable choreography in response to the environment and people we encounter. We will play with our interaction with passers-by, playing with the idea of manikins though stillness and movement.



If you stand still and look at us — act if you want to — we will draw your outline on the window. Help us draw pictures of people in the street…but who is looking at who?


THURSDAY 20th SEPTEMBER: Kindle Theatre

Through the window witness the filming of a pop video as Kindle Theatre perform the song “Are You Angry Yet?” from their live show, The Furies. Imagined domestic scenes are re-enacted as Clytemnestra vows to avenge her bullish lover Agamemnon (inspired by the Greek myth of The Furies).


FRIDAY 21st SEPTEMBER: Digging Deep

101 Ways of trYing and Failing to gO to slEep. Sky The Reluctant Hero is suffering from On-and-on–nia. She is isolated. She’s on Facebook. Maybe you add her… Digging Deep will be celebrating Peace of Mind on 21st September as part of International Day of Peace.

Follow the journey at:

SATURDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER: Not Entirely Ourselves

More details coming soon!

SUNDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER: Freshold Theatre — The Rebel Dolls

How is success measured in women? By their brains or sexual allure? The Rebel Dollsresponds to the construction of the female image in today’s society and media. Using powerful visual performance, an all-female ensemble exposes a culture encouraging women to model themselves on the perfect ‘living doll’ image.



Friday, 14 September  at The Public, New Street, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B70 7PG

Cost: £10, Free to residents and people working in Sandwell

Booking is essential – please call 0121 7726160 or email

‘Art of the Extraordinary’ is a half-day event looking at the work of Friction Arts and Sandwell’s Young People’s Services with young, autistic people and their families. 

Friction Arts runs arts and drama-based workshops for young people aged between 11 and 19 years old.  They encourage young people to express their emotions and ideas and improve their social skills while focusing on their individual talents.

Friction Arts has sought further funding to produce an exhibition and video installation, ‘To You From Super Me’.

Working with the themes of ‘Super Heroes’, following direction from young people, Sandra Hall and Simon Walker worked with Marvel/DC comic book illustrator John McCrea and celebrated image-maker Chris Keenan to produce this exhibition. 

Join us, step into the work for yourself, experience, investigate and influence the discussion for the future of arts, autism and young people. 

‘Art of the Extraordinary’ is a series of local, national and international explorations of best practise; Arts & Autism.

mid * point: Open Meeting with BCC Deputy Leader

Equity Central England Branch are hosting an OPEN meeting for actors, writers, creatives in the midlands.
Councillor Ian Ward [Dep Leader B'ham City Council] has agreed to talk to us at our next Equity monthly meeting. This is the first time since taking power that we will have the opportunity to talk to the new Labour led City Council. Ian is particularly interested in the Arts and the Council are planning a Symposium for the future of Arts, theatre, culture etc
The focus will be ‘Work in the Midlands – a strategy for the future of the media and Arts in the midlands’. This is our chance to influence, to listen and to be involved. Come along and have your say or just be part of the crowd. Invite other creatives for this part of the meeting too. Non Equity people are very welcome!

The Old Joint Stock Pub & Theatre
4 Temple Row West, B2 5NY Birmingham, United Kingdom

mid * point: Box of Treats at Newman Bros Coffin Works

After the success of their first Box of Treats events at Ort Cafe in July, Tin Box are gathering together a host of local artists for another evening of live music, performances and delights, this time taking place in a disused coffin works.

Nearly a year after Tin Box’s debut show Stop the Clocks at Newman Brothers Coffin Works, Tin Box are returning to the beautiful site for the final public event before t

 he restoration work begins there.

Hosted by Tin Box Theatre Company in collaboration with the Birmingham Conservation Trust.

Saturday 8th September 7.30pm
Newman Bros Coffin Works, 13-15 Fleet Street, Birmingham, B3 1JU
Pay what you can to help support Tin Box and Birmingham’s artistic community.
tweet @tinbox1 #boxoftreats

Birmingham Conservation Trust will also be running heritage tours of the building over the weekend:
Saturday 8th -11.30am-5.30pm
Sunday 9th -12pm – 4pm
Come and have a nose around and learn about the site’s history. There will also be live music, performances and craft activities!

mid * point: Solihull Arts Complex Drama Summer School Opportunity 2013

Solihull Arts Complex is looking for a partner to provide a week long Summer School in week commencing 29th July 2013.

The Theatre will be available for the rehearsals and we would want to sell tickets for the performance in the theatre at the end of the course.

The venue would supply:

  • A support technician for the week
  • Full technical back up for technical/dress rehearsals and performance
  • Marketing back up with brochure and website entries
  • Booking facility
  • Use of the Studio for part of the rehearsal period
  • Support with safeguards and health and safety

The partners would need to provide:

  • Staff for the Summer School with current enhanced CRBs
  • The artistic concept and direction
  • Costumes and set
  • The rehearsal schedule
  • The rights to perform the chosen production

This is the first time that the venue has sought external partners for a Summer school and are willing to discuss financial terms including:

  • Partner hiring the venue
  • Box Office split
  • Straight fee to partner

If you are interested please provide an expression of interest outlining:

  • Your Summer school concept, how you would do it (rough structure, times etc)
  • Outline of staff and participant numbers
  • Details of past experience
  • Preliminary proposals regarding financial terms

A chosen partner will be decided upon financial viability, quality of proposal, suitability for the venue,  experience and good value to the customer.

Please send expressions of interest to Lawrence Smith, Arts and Tourism Manager, by end of September 2012.


mid * point: Next Midpoint Meeting – 19th September

Next Midpoint Meeting – Wed 19th September at Arts Council West Midlands offices at 3pm – all welcome.

Only 4 people were able to attend the last Midpoint meeting on 20 June. Much of what was discussed was publicised separately via Midpoint news  (just as well, as the note-taker – me – failed to circulate proper notes afterwards, sorry) – but a major focus of the debate was the future direction – and meetings/events – of Midpoint. We talked about whether or not it would be useful and appropriate to use ‘Open Space’ style facilitation at the next Midpoint meeting, to try and draw out some points and muster energy which might shape a future trajectory. We also wondered if was possible for the 4 of us to determine a waning of interest in Midpoint from the low turnout…or if it was Just One Of Those Things.

Since there have been – and will be – a few Open Space events happening in the region anyhow between July – October (such as Devoted and Disgruntleds) and since it was just a small group of us at the last meeting….I’m going to suggest we have a ‘regular’ Midpoint meeting in September and revisit the notion then with, hopefully, more people. So it would be great if more people could come.

Hope to see you there.


Alison Gagen, Relationship Manager, Theatre – Arts Council England

mid * point: Actresses needed for an exciting devised piece…

Freshold Theatre are looking for four actresses living, studying or working in the Birmingham area to join our ensemble and work on our latest project, The Rebel dolls. We have been devising a performance for the 3 Week Window Festival in Birmingham, curated by Point Blank, Little Earthquake and Tin Box. The performance initially will be shown for one full day in a shop window situated in the heart of Birmingham city centre. The Rebel Dolls centres around the construction of the female image in society and what it means to be a woman today. It fights with a culture obsessed with sex appeal and image and aims to throw into perspective the way we conform to this, satirising these patterns with punch of a message.

For more information follow the website. If you are interested please go to our contact page and fill in the form. In ‘message’ box leave us a little information about yourself; who you are, what you do and why you want to be part of the project.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Hannah Graham
Freshold Theatre

mid * point: Sole Song: Frankie Armstrong Workshop in Birmingham

Singing from the Soles of the Feet

a workshop with

Frankie Armstrong

If you want to experience the emotional range, power and joy of your voice in a warm, welcoming and empowering space this is for you!

…Places limited…

The Blue Orange Theatre

118 Great Hampton Street,

Birmingham B18 6AD


Time: 10:00 am 5:00 pm


Who For:  Anyone & Everyone (Especially Shy Singers)

“If You Can Talk You Can Sing”

Frankie Armstrong has been singing professionally since 1964. In 1975 she began her pioneering Voice Workshops based on ethnic styles of singing – where singing is as natural as speaking.  She has sung and run workshops all over Europe, North America and Australia working with Community Groups, Theatre Companies, International Voice and Theatre Festivals and in every kind of setting from hospitals to the National Theatre Studio London. She has made 10 solo albums, written her autobiography As Far As the Eye Can Sing and edited a collection of essays Well Tuned Women with Jenny Pearson.  Her latest book is with Janet Rodgers, Acting and Singing with Archetypes. She has also contributed chapters to eleven other publications.  For more information see Frankie Armstrong – Home

Early Bird Price £45.00 (until 28 September 2012)

Hot & cold drinks provided

Full Price £55.00 (from 29 September 2012)

To book your place or to find out more contact Wanjiku

(:07961 027911 / *