Monthly Archives: February 2014

mid * point: West Midlands Mantle of the Expert Network

Paul Sutton: Integrating New Technology into Drama Work with Young People

8 March 2014, 10am – 4pm; Newman University College, Genners Lane, Birmingham B32 3NT

This workshop will demonstrate a number of accessible methods and approaches to the use of digital technology in working with young people, especially in drama and Mantle of the Expert. It is suitable for drama practitioners and teachers (secondary and primary).

Paul Sutton is the Artistic Director of C&T Theatre Company, which specialises in educational projects that weave drama and digital technologies together.


Non-members: £95

Members: £75.00

Students: £30

For further details, email:

Or call David on 0121 608 7144 or Iona on 07866 752169

West Midlands Mantle of the Expert Network, c/o 25 Merrishaw Road, Northfield, Birmingham B31 3SL

mid * point: The 3rd annual Art SOAK festival

The 3rd annual Art SOAK festival has arrived as part of Cultivating Culture (Birmingham City Council’s Local Arts showcase month). Be inspired and revived as Spring approaches by immersing yourself in the local arts scene with theatre, comedy, spoken word, music performances, workshops, a park installation and library exhibition. Events take place in Stirchley, Cotteridge, Selly Oak, Brandwood, Billesley & Walkers Heath.
Some highlights for Midpoint subscribers include
Under Construction*
Various Artists
Ingot Studios, 95 Charlotte Road, B30 2BT, 7pm, £5
Join Arts Forum Selly Oak to share works in
progress being created in and around the district
Grace Barrington, playwright, & Tom Saunders,
Director, share ‘Five Miles South’ about growing
up and living in Bournville: a scratch performance
by actor/dramatist Jill Norman & writer/
poet Joanna Skelt whilst The Bone Ensemble
present Chocolate – The Cabaret! Also try your
hand at knitting using Stitches & Hos’ knitting
BBC Drama Village Tour Film Birmingham Selly Oak (meeting point to be sent on booking), 12noon & 2pm £5 Film Birmingham offers an exclusive tour of the BBC Drama Village based in Selly Oak, where a number of different shows have been created over the years such as Doctors and Father Brown. This tours provides an up close look at how drama is developed from script to screen and also a chance to experience the sets for the daytime drama Doctors. Limited to 10 per tour – please book early.
Comedy, Bread And A Cuppa
Albert Smith (repeated on Sunday)
Loaf Cookery School & Bakery, 1421
Pershore Road, Stirchley, B30 2JL, 4pm, £5
Master Baker Albert Smith presents an intimate
evening of stand up comedy stories, tea and
bread. Each audience member will get an artisan
loaf to take home! Limited numbers.
More information at including OxBoffice details.

mid * point: Croquis_BCN – showcasing opportunity for new work in Barcelona

An opportunity for companies early in the process of creating new work who would like to present a 20 minute extract to a live audience, to share their process and initiate discussion.

Produced by ATRESBANDES theatre company, the event builds on the success of Croquis Madrid. The first Croquis_BCN will be held on 23rd & 24th May 2014 at Can Felipa Civic Centre in Barcelona, featuring works by eight companies.

Accommodation will be provided and a bursary of 400€ will be available for UK based companies. Closing date for applications: 30th March.

More information:

mid * point: For Their Own Good

Untied Artists:
For Their Own Good

Thu 6 Mar | 8pm | Tickets £12 (£10)
mac birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH

Sales & Information: 0121 446 3232

Birmingham theatre company Untied Artists are making a triumphant return to mac birmingham with their Fringe First Award-winning production For Their Own Good (Thu 6 Mar), before they set out on a 16 date national tour.

After becoming one of just two companies to win a commission at the First Bite Festival 2012, likened to a ‘theatre X Factor’, the company developed this astonishing new play in residency at mac birmingham in collaboration with West Midlands based director Steve Johnstone and playwright Arzhang Pezhman. The piece was then presented as part of the EdFringe British Council Showcase 2013 and, receiving rave reviews, was awarded a prestigious Fringe First Award.

For Their Own Good  tells the tale of two knackermen who tasked with despatching lame and sick horses, begin to ponder and question their own mortality. Combining beautiful puppetry, new writing and documentary material, this award-winning show tells a moving and darkly comic tale about the only certainty in life – Death. With unflinching honesty and an eerily detached workmanship, two men investigate the pitfalls of being high up the evolutionary chain.

“Astonishingly poignant…a rare energy and power..”  – The Scotsman

Performing Arts Producer at mac birmingham, Louisa Davies, said: “We are delighted to welcome back Untied Artists to mac birmingham to present their award-winning piece For Their Own Good. The success they have enjoyed is evidence of the talent and innovation that exists in Birmingham’s independent theatre sector which mac birmingham is very proud to be a part of.”

The piece forms part of mac birmingham’s Exit Strategy season, between January and April, in which notions of death and loss are explored through theatre, dance, film, and visual arts.

Tickets priced at £12 (Concs £10) are available online at or by contacting Sales & Information on 0121 446 3232.

mid * point: VIP invite from BOLD TEXT playwrights: Open Door at Birmingham Repertory Theatre 7.30 pm on Monday 7th April 2014

7.30 pm on Monday 7th April 2014

Open Door at Birmingham Repertory Theatre

The Predator by Sayan Kent

Saff, a young music teacher, visits her family home one weekend to the delight of Barb, her head-teacher mother. But when Gina, a fifteen year-old girl from Saff’s school, turns up unexpectedly, they are forced to question their personal ethics, morals and ultimately justify their complicity in a crime.

A Diary Without Dates (Outside The Glass Doors) by Enid Bagnold

adapted for the stage by Vanessa Oakes

At the outbreak of World War 1 Enid Bagnold immediately joined the Red Cross and went to work as a VAD nurse at the Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich. On the publication of A Diary Without Dates in 1918 Enid was sacked for breach of military discipline. This adaptation of her extraordinary WW1 diary explores how the book might have been viewed by one of the hospital Sisters it describes and if it would have been possible for her to ever forgive Enid.

Liberal Guilt by Tim Stimpson

Leanne and Polly are best friends. They also both work for the Lib Dems. When the coalition is formed one leaves and one stays. But what is the point of principles without power – and what is the worth of power if you compromise all your principles? Based on firsthand experience and interviews with senior party members ‘Liberal Guilt’ looks at the future of party politics if we choose to abandon it.

BOLD TEXT working with Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Open Door at The REP is a pilot season of works-in-progress written by West Midlands based writers. The REP has invited BOLD TEXT playwrights to test out new work in front of an invited audience on 24th February, 7th April & 28th April.

To be part of our invited audience please book your seat/s now by visiting


While all three 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.

BOLD TEXT are working playwrights who aim to create more opportunities and new platforms for mid-career writers in the Midlands. Please visit BOLD TEXT for more information.


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mid * point: Love Is In The Air

Ten Thousand Million Love Stories

 - a night of Improvised Love.

Just one week to go before Box of Frogs brings you Ten Thousand Million Love Stories - a show about love, what it means and how we succeed and fail in it.  It’s selling out fast, so book your ticket now!

The fabulous Heather Urqurhart (Best Female Performer, Brighton Festival and Fringe Awards 2013) and Jules Munns (“Improv’s answer to Hugh Grant”) are bringing their unique Improvised Two-Hander show to Birmingham for just one night.

“The perfect balance between realism and comedy slapstick, these two comfortably jumped from one character to another, without ever losing their flow. The show was as funny as it was impressive”
Brighton’s Finest

“Clever, complicated, and relevant, made by people who practise a lot, and have the kind of spirit which drives them to do what terrifies most people. Like making up an entire play on the spot. And not just a play, but an interesting creative adventurous play, that isn’t like any scripted work I’ve ever seen. Could this be the future of comedy?”
Fringe Guru

Preceded by the “Fancy Pants Jam”
The Fancy-Pants Mashup is a delight for both the audience and the improvisers participating in it. Improvisers who have never met, perform together, having no idea who they will be paired with before they greet each other onstage. The lights go down, and BAM! COMEDY!

It’s like blind dating, except replace the dating part with comedy.  AND everyone is dressed super smart.
NOTE: Formal attire is not required for audience members…but it is highly encouraged!

Saturday March 1st for one night only.
Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham, 7.30pm.
Tickets just £8/£6 (conc.)

For more information and to book contact The Blue Orange Theatre 
Hurry – it’s selling out

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Backstage with a Steps superstar!

In our latest video update we go behind the scenes at the hit musical Singin’ in the Rain to chat to Steps star and West End leading lady, Faye Tozer about life on the road and her role in the show… #BHsingin   Tagged: backstage, Interview, Singin in the Rain

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Get Singin’!

We want your photos! This March, the smash-hit musical Singin’ in the Rain storms into Birmingham Hippodrome and we are offering you the chance to win some glorious merchandise including your very own Singin’ in the Rain umbrella, T-Shirt and CD soundtrack. For your chance to win, simply send us a photo of you and […]

Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: David Lang Debt


Today David Lang arrived in London for the UK Premiere of his Cello Concerto (World to Come) tonight at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, tomorrow he flies home to New York, this afternoon was a prime opportunity to meet him and quiz him about his new piece for 1000 voices Crowd Out, which has been commissioned by BCMG and receives its world Premiere at Millennium Point on 8th June.

I was keen to check if David had a preference as to how the twenty choirs, each fifty strong, will be arranged in Millennium Point, different positions could radically change the sound of the piece, so it’s a non-trivial question. I was also keen to run a few of our ‘choreographic ideas’ past him (choreographic idea does rather flatter what is a very minimal approach to movement. The theory being a small thing x 1000 is going to be a big thing and a big thing x 1000 is going to be too big a thing). Finally I took the opportunity to ask him in person about the origin of the piece. I was cautious about this because I’ve read about this and I’ve been told about it by others and he’d just given two press interviews on the piece, but it seemed worth digging a bit in case something useful came to light. Bingo – David spoke of his discomfort in crowds and distrust of them. He told of playing in a marching band at Stanford University at half time in football matches and being horrified by the roar of the huge crowd. This gives us something to go on, somehow these face to face meetings as so much better than any other way of getting to grips with things.

The business of the meeting was so quick and efficient there was enough time for a bit of chat. It was soon confession time. I had to admit that Stan’s Cafe owed David a small royalty fee. Back in 1999 we made a show with De Montfort University students in Melton Mowbray called The Hearing of Susan Tuesday. The first half was performed without words and with liberal use of their fly tower zooming curtains in and out. This was performed to Louis Andriessen’s De Staat. The second half was slow and measured, set in a court, contained words and was performed to Slow Movement by…. David Lang. It is a beautiful piece and I lost the CD it was on, possibly leaving it in the CD player in Melton Mowbray. As David told a short story about the genesis of that piece I was struck by how strange if would have seemed fifteen years ago to have been told about this afternoon’s meeting at the Royal Festival Hall.

mid * point: Theatre Cuppa


Theatre Cuppa is coming!  We’re looking forward to the first ‘Cuppa’ of the year, and we’ll be meeting on Monday 10th March at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, in the main foyer area from 5pm.

It’s another chance to get together with other theatre, radio, television and community arts professionals working in the West Midlands region, in a relaxed and friendly environment. Plus, having welcomed The REP staff to previous Cuppas, holding Theatre Cuppa at The REP provides another great opportunity for regional professionals and The REP staff to meet up and have a chat. Come along and stay for as long as you like, have a drink or bite to eat, and catch up with old friends and make new connections.

If you haven’t been to a Theatre Cuppa before, don’t worry. The emphasis really is on relaxed and informal, and we – Ali and Rochi – will be on hand wearing carnations so you know who to grab when you arrive!

We welcome professionals from all over the Midlands and the theatre is just a short walk from New Street Station so do join us. And, as always, children and babies are welcome.

Theatre Cuppa attendees also have the chance to see Never Try This At Home, a REP and Told by an Idiot coproduction in The REP Studio on Wednesday 12th March for free. Tickets are available by quoting THEATRECUPPA when booking through the website

And don’t forget our facebook page for updates on future Theatre Cuppas.