Monthly Archives: September 2015

Fierce Festival: ICA Off-Site: Digbeth, Birmingham


ICA Off-Site: Digbeth, Birmingham
in association with Selfridges Live + Loud

2 – 4 Oct 2015

The ICA, in association with Selfridges, presents ICA Off-Site: Digbeth, Birmingham. The off-site project coincides with Selfridges’ Live + Loud and is the ICA’s first project in the city. ICA Off-Site: Digbeth, Birmingham aims to reference recent trends in contemporary urban sub-cultures and features a temporary exhibition and music programme that draws on Birmingham’s mix of industrial and post-war brutalist architecture, celebrating the city as a centre for creativity and a source of inspiration.

Participants include Fergadelic, Tim & Barry / Just Jam, Tyrone Lebon, Ben Sansbury and Ashley Williams.

To accompany the exhibition and events programme, Voodoo Rays provides New York-style pizzas and drinks inspired by local Birmingham flavours.

Join in the conversation on social media with


Tim & Barry present Tom of England

Fri 2 Oct, 8pm-12am

Tom of England will headline the opening live music event with support from Tim & Barry and their signature psychedelic visuals.


JUST JAM Present Barely Legal, Crack Stevens, Scratcha DVA and Tsunga

Sat 3 Oct, 8pm-12am

Just Jam will present and broadcast a programme of live performances by Midlands and UK based contemporary electronic musicians including Barely Legal, Crack Stevens, Scratcha DVA and Tsunga.


Getting there

Event location:
119 Floodgate Street,
Birmingham B5 5TL

—> For full opening hours, please visit the website.

Whether you’re a Birmingham local, or visiting from further afield, it’s easy to get to the event location.

—> Visit our website for more information on planning your journey.

The project is organised in partnership with Selfridges & Co and supported by the Arts Council

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Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: The Adventures of Alex


It has taken a great deal of editing and debugging but finally we think that the world is ready to read about The Adventures of Alex.

Last year, in the summer term, Kerry Murdock and I spent a series of eight Fridays at Victoria Park Academy with their sixty Year 5 students. Together we worked on a project that combined coding with creative writing. Starting with the idea of ‘cliffhangers’ and inspired by Choose Your Own Adventure stories we plunged into writing a multi-voice multi-strand narrative.

Our idea had been to start off with some untrammeled test writing and coding before cracking on with a more structured story. When we got to the point of dumping the test writing and starting the story proper we realised that many of the students were highly committed to what they had written and keen to extend these stories. We plugged together all the random writing we had at this point and discovered a demented story with incredible uninhibited energy. It was crazy, but we like it and so we were secretly pleased when the student’s voted to both continue with their existing stories and splice them with a new, more structured space narrative.

In order to make this hybrid monster in any way comprehensible we changed the name of the main protagonist in all the stories to Alex. We wrote a few nodal narrative stations to loop stories back to and start them off from. It’s still not perfect but it’s a fun ride: see what you think. Please do report back if you get stuck in any annoying loops or dead ends, we will fix these when we learn of them.

So here we are, welcome to The Adventures of Alex.

Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: So much to see (and hear)

Now the autumn rush is upon us, suddenly there is much potentially exiting stuff to see (and hear) in and around Birmingham. Birmingham Weekender is this weekend. The Stan’s Cafe contribution is a subtle input into one of the most subtle events in festival. Michael Wolters has written a Requiem to be performed in a disused retail unit and we have been called in to consider the presentation of this piece.

Requiem is an hour long performed either by a bass bassoon and voice or just a voice, both versions are accompanied by a prerecorded vocal score. The result is beautiful, hypnotic, meditative and a touch melancholic. Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, who have commissioned the piece, discovered that although there are many empty retail units around the city they are difficult to bust into for musical performances. To the rescue have come the Great Western Arcade. We have called these performances of Requiem, Requiem To Let and have dressed the space accordingly. The first performance is 11am on Saturday. It’s the bassoon version.

There is stuff all over Birmingham this weekend

Fierce have a good looking piece in a car park. In fact it looks like a vintage year for Fierce, a valedictory season for the outgoing artistic directors, including friend of Stan Ursula Martinez and admired by Stan Chris Goode & Company.

The REP are cranking things up as well with Stan collaborators White Rabbit bringing their new show How To Be A Hero to the venue next week before more good looking shows follow it up.

Not to be outdone mac have the internationally acclaimed (a phrase perhaps used rather too liberally at the moment, but certainly true in this case) Ontroerend Goed in town, which is pretty remarkable.

At Warwick Arts Centre is awash with great stuff including Can I Start Again Please, which writing Gerard has seen and recommended to us. ALSO if you missed A Translation of Shadows at The REP we have it back again at WAC as part of Bite Size.

Right people, there is an enormous amount of interesting and exciting and hopefully brilliant theatre out there in the next couple of months, let’s get out there and experience some of it – wallets at the ready.

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Julian Clary and Matt Slack launch our pantomime Aladdin – oh yes they do!

Today we welcomed our pantomime stars Julian Clary (Slave of the Ring)  and Matt Slack (Wishee Washee)  for a busy day of media interviews and photographs ahead of the opening of the spectacular new production of Aladdin. Aladdin  producer and director Michael Harrison, who was also at the media day said “You can’t beat a […]

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Julian Clary and Matt Slack launch our pantomime Aladdin – oh yes they do!

Today we welcomed our pantomime stars Julian Clary (Slave of the Ring)  and Matt Slack (Wishee Washee)  for a busy day of media interviews and photographs ahead of the opening of the spectacular new production of Aladdin. Aladdin  producer and director Michael Harrison, who was also at the media day said “You can’t beat a […]

mid * point: Many & Varied Salon – Free – an afternoon of inspiration, making connections and mutual support

Join us for another afternoon of inspiration, making connections and mutual support.

Get your FREE tickets now at
1-5pm, Friday 2nd October 2015
The Bond, Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5SE

Our October Salon is co-curated with Ruth Claxton and features guest speaker Eleanor Morgan.

As ever, the conversation could go in any direction, but if you’re interested in processes of making, collaboration across disciplines or more-than-human design, this would be a particularly good gathering to be a part of.

Eleanor is an artist interested in materials and processes of making, in particular how human making intersects with that of other animals. She is currently Leverhulme Trust artist in residence at the Grant Museum of Zoology, where she is exploring their collection of glass sponges – animals that are formed of 90% silica. Other projects have included rubbing fish, embracing a giant sea anemone and serenading a spider.

Ruth is currently developing Workshop Birmingham, a new project which aims to connect artists, makers and designers with manufacturers and industrial processes in order to develop new skills, knowledge and working relationships.

The afternoon consists of a mixture of presentations from our guest speakers and opportunities to chat with other attendees. All are welcome; whatever your background. We provide tea and cake to facilitate the process!

More details are available on the Eventbrite sign-up page.
Work in Progress; what are you working on?

A core part of the Salons is giving people a chance to talk about, demo and ask questions of the projects they’re working on at the moment. That means you! How can a room full of curious, intelligent people help you move forward?

Get in touch if you’d like to harness the power of a many and varied audience to feed into your work.

Once again, the link to book your place is:

See you there!
Nikki and Katie

Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: Work Opportunity

Image: Gareth Courage.

We are shortly to undertake an exciting project with 120 Year 10 students from across Birmingham. In order to pull off this rather ambitious plan we are looking to engage some freelance help. We are looking for people who are inquisitive and resourceful with a strong interest in young people, social cohesion and literary ideas. If this sounds like you or someone you know then please follow this link for more details of the opportunity.

Fierce Festival: Made in Brum

Man Made & co. present

Made in Brum

An intimate mixed-bill performance curated by Man Made featuring original live dance, film and spoken words pieces.

Inspired by Birmingham’s industrial landscape and by the bonds and conflicts of the city’s night children, the work explores physical movement and mental constraints associated with friendships and affiliations.


When: Thursday 8 October, 7.30pm (Running time: 60 minutes)

Where: Centrala Gallery


Produced by Man Made Youth Company (Johnny Autin & Jerrel Jackson)

Man Made & co (Man Made Youth Company/Autin Dance Theatre/ Jerrel Jackson Company/Vanhulle Dance Theatre)
Supported by Arts Council England, mac birmingham and DanceXchange

More info at their website and make sure you follow them on twitter! @manmadeyc