Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Final week of Jack and the Beanstalk marked with star-studded closing party including Gok Wan and Lesley Joseph

The final week of Birmingham Hippodrome’s spectacular pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, which stars Jane McDonald, Duncan James, Chris Gascoyne, Gary Wilmot, Paul Zerdin and Matt Slack has been marked with a closing party attended by celebrities from the pantomime and theatre world. Guests  included Gok Wan, Lesley Joseph, X Factor winner Joe McElderry, comedian Billy […]

mid * point: Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s Foundry Forges Ahead For 2015 Giving Opportunities to West Midlands’ Artists


Birmingham Repertory Theatre is pleased to announce that the third REP Foundry scheme will take place from April this year.  Launched in 2013 by The REP’s Artistic Director, Roxana Silbert, REP Foundry is a professional artist development programme that supports the most exciting new generation of theatre artists in the region.

The REP has a long legacy of encouraging new writers and theatre directors, and REP Foundry is rapidly establishing itself as a springboard for emerging talent.  This year three former Foundry artists will premiere their plays in The REP’s Spring season:  Stephanie Ridings’ Unknown Male, Hannah Graham’s Collidoscope and Selina Thompson’s Chewing The Fat.

Having supported 36 artists in its first two years, there are also a number of other successes.  Among them, 2013 Foundry artist Jo Newman is now Resident Assistant Director as part of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme at Salisbury Playhouse, playwright Joe White is now the Channel 4 Playwright in residence at Shropshire-based Pentabus Theatre and writer / performer Francesca Millican-Slater has premiered and toured her one-woman show The Forensics of a Flat. In 2014 the Foundry Artists created mini-productions as part of Home Theatre which brought theatre into the homes of eight Erdington residents.

REP Foundry 2015 will invest in and support a further six writers, six directors and six theatre-makers from across the West Midlands by offering them a year-long development and mentoring programme. The scheme will offer professional support and expertise from theatre professionals at The REP, masterclasses and an opportunity to try out new work in front of an audience in an informal and lively atmosphere that invites feedback directly from the audience.

One of the aims to further develop the REP Foundry scheme in 2015 is to diversify and develop the directors strand, asAssociate Director Tessa Walker explains:

“We are thrilled to be launching a third year of REP Foundry. The REP is deeply committed to honouring its legacy of encouraging new talent and continuing to identify and support artists from across the region.

“The Foundry has reaped rewards over the past two years working with a strong community of 36 emerging artists who now see The REP as a home.  As we head towards the third year we are now keen to diversify and widen the reach of the scheme by encouraging and attracting, in particular, directors at a much earlier stage in their career, proactively recruiting from less advantaged education, demographic and ethnic backgrounds. So with this in mind we’ve created an Introduction to Directing strand this year specifically aimed at those people.”


Applications for REP Foundry 2015 are now open. Anyone interested in applying can find out more by visiting  The deadline for applications is 6pm on Monday 9 March 2015.

The REP will be hosting a showcase of excerpts of work from 2014’s REP Foundry artists on Thursday 30 April, 11.45am – 5.45pm

REP Foundry is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust. The Introduction to Directing Project is part of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme. | |


mid * point: Shows at the MAC

Engineer Theatre Collective: RUN

Wed 4 Feb | 8pm | Tickets £14 (£12) | Age 14+
mac birmingham, B12 9QH

RUN is an exhilarating story of four investment bank interns chasing a career in the city. Whilst they hold little power today, these young financiers will be at the helm of our banks tomorrow.  Inspired by the true story of Moritz Erhardt, a 21 year old intern who died at his London flat after reportedly working 72 hours straight, RUN exposes the glamour and grind of the square mile.


Using striking physicality, sound and contemporary design, and developed in conversation with the freshest financial minds, award winning theatre company Engineer Theatre Collective give an authentic voice to these young financiers. They confront the violence, lust and death that underpins our rapacious relationship with money and portray a gripping exploration of what drives our natural desire for more.


“This show throws into light a side of the banking world not many of us, including myself, have ever taken much time to consider; the lives of the people behind the smartphones and the suits.”

Everything Theatre


More info



Strawberry Blonde Curls: INSIDE

Sat 7 Feb | 7.30pm | Tickets £12 (£10) | Hexagon | Age 14+
mac birmingham, B12 9QH


Inspired by astonishing true stories, INSIDE is a psychological drama that explores the effects of Stockholm Syndrome on a kidnap victim desperate to keep hope. Locked in a basement for 12 years, she has survived physical and psychological abuse by escaping to her childhood and recording video messages to her Mum.


Now, reeling from her latest beating and in the most critical hour of her captivity, the victim discovers that not everything she’s been told is true. But to find a way out, she’ll have to break through something much stronger than just the basement door.


“…an incredibly powerful and emotional piece” ★★★★ The Scotsman
“MacPherson gives a performance of intense realism…” The Stage


More info

mid * point: Birmingham Fest 2015

“Birmingham Fest” is coming soon!

Launched two years ago to a great reception, Birmingham Fest brought together a fantastic selection of the performing arts in a brand new theatre festival.

Last year dozens of artists and companies presented over seventy different shows over a two and a half week period. Pieces were presented from all over the UK and one all way from South Africa.

Some companies took their shows up to Edinburgh for a successful run straight after.

Now it’s back for its third year.

The application process has just opened for the 2015 festival which will take place this summer – just before Edinburgh Fringe.

Anyone from individuals to full companies can apply: theatre, dance, music, comedy, poetry, children’s theatre, workshops or seminars – absolutely anything.

Last year’s winners:

Show of the Festival: SIMPLY SOWETO ENCHA.

Performance of the Festival: GEMMA LAYTON (as Mercedes Benson).


Birmingham Fest is an independent performing arts festival (without funding) designed to celebrate the second city’s venues & arts scene.


For further details please visit


The festival will take place from 17th July – 2nd August 2015 in venues across the city.

mid * point: China Plate – First Bite – Call for applications

First Bite is back!

A call for applications from collaborative theatre makers from across the Midlands (East and West!) to take part in a festival of scratch performance on the 2nd May 2015 at mac birmingham.

First Bite is an opportunity for 10 artists and/or companies to perform new ideas in a supportive and nurturing environment, to an engaged audience of theatregoers and regional industry professionals, two of which will be awarded commissions offered by China Plate, mac birmingham and Warwick Arts Centre to develop the work.

The commissioned pieces are guaranteed a showcase at the Bite Size Festival at Warwick Arts Centre in November and in the South East region via our partnership with greenhouse (

Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity for theatre makers in the Midlands – deadline March 13th.

For more information and to apply, follow the link below and scroll down to Jobs and Opportunities.

Previous Bite Size commissions have included:

Caroline Horton – You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy
Touring since 2010 and seen by over 10,000 people. Winner of The Stage Best Solo Performer Award and nominated for an OFFIE and Olivier Award.

Untied Artists – For Their Own Good and Al Bowlly’s Croon Manifesto
Two UK tours and a run in Edinburgh as part of The British Council Showcase. Winner of a 2013 Fringe First Award.

Babakas – Our Fathers
A run at Summerhall during Edinburgh 2013 and touring nationally and internationally since 2012 inc. Beirut and Athens.

mid * point: Birmingham Cabaret Festival 2015

This May, Birmingham will play host to some of the best cabaret acts in the UK, as The Old Joint Stock Theatre hosts the first ever Birmingham Cabaret Festival.

The festival will bring critically acclaimed and well known acts to the second city, with an aim to develop and stimulate the city’s small but thriving cabaret community.

Cabaret has undergone a renaissance in the past couple of decades: music, comedy, circus, drag and burlesque acts, to name a few branches, frequently dominate the headlines at festivals and venues across the world, and cabaret is often the place to discover the newest and most daring cross-disciplinary theatre. London has been enjoying the flourishing, thriving and multifaceted scene for many years, and it’s something the festival is hoping to bring to the second city.

The intimate one hundred seat studio theatre above the gorgeous Grade II listed Old Joint Stock provides the perfect atmosphere for cabaret, comedy and music alike, and will present a platform where artists can perform for new audiences who may not be familiar with acts regularly seen at arts festivals. The theatre is home to three resident companies and a whole host of professional touring productions which in the past have included the likes of Boy with Tape On His Face, Stewart Lee and Imelda May.

Award-winning musical mischief makers, EastEnd Cabaret, will be headlining the festival which runs from the 14th to the 30th May 2015. The full line up is to be announced later this month and tickets will be on sale from early February.


For all enquiries, please contact the theatre on 0121 200 0946 or at


The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: See more spectacular shows at Birmingham Hippodrome with our ENCORE deal

Want to save money on tickets?  Our new ENCORE deal does just that when you book two or more of the following shows – the multi award winning Top Hat; the brilliant interactive children’s show Dinosaur Zoo; the breathtaking Cirkopolis fusing , circus, acrobatics and theatre and Beautiful Thing, a glorious urban love story in […]

Black Country Touring: The Recollection Chair

We are very excited to be supporting a new interactive, audio installation piece for libraries and town halls. Created by Hannah Graham (Freshold Theatre) the first chair is based on the life of 1930’s Hollywood actress Madeleine Carroll who was originally from … Continued

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Birmingham Hippodrome Friends enjoy tea with our panto stars!

Many of our supportive Hippodrome Friends enjoyed an afternoon of fun recently when stars of the spectacular pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk met up with them for tea and cake in our foyer area. The cast signed programmes, posed for pictures and chatted to them about the show. We had some great comments on Twitter: @ablegirl  Had […]

Women and Theatre: Women’s Work: Current heritage project is off to flying start!

Women's Work image

We’re very excited to be in the first phase of devising our new WWI heritage project ‘Women’s Work’.

During February & March 2015, W&T artists are working with community participants to research the history of the BSA factory and the experiences of WWI female factory workers, before developing research findings into a theatre performance and exhibition.

So far we’ve held two research sessions, and presented a fascinating talk from Chris Upton on the history of the Birmingham Small Arms Factory in Small Heath.

We are keen to stress however that this exciting project is still evolving and it is not too late to get involved…..

Do you have inside knowledge of the BSA Factory in Small Heath? Or maybe you’re a budding performer or an amateur historian?

If so we’d love to hear from you. To get in touch just email