Banner Theatre

I got an email last week from Banner Theatre about their current production, Strangers in Paradise Circus, which is currently playing in schools across the city. A bit of digging revealed the fascinating history of the Banner Theatre. Formed in 1973 at the inspiration of broadcaster and musician Charles Parker the theatre is avowedly political … [Read more…]

International Puppetry Festival

The Dynamics 07 International Puppet Festival starts on May 19th and runs across the West Midlands for full month. Those events taking place in Birmingham are happening at the MAC, the Drum, Solihull Central Library and Chelmsley Wood Library. With over 100 performances in 30 places over 30 days, you’ll find a whole array of … [Read more…]

The Traditional Arts Team

Pam Bishop of the Traditional Arts Team writes to inform me of their existence for which I’m very grateful. What are the traditional performance arts? Activities using music, dance, song and storytelling which were traditionally learned and passed on by ear or word of mouth. Even if the texts or the tunes are nowadays learned … [Read more…]

B-Theatre’s PILOT

The B-Theatre is a “support and development structure for new theatre practice in the West Midlands” created and co-ordinted by Simon Day. (I assume that’s this Simon Day though don’t hold me to it. [Layer: Nope, it’s a different Simon Day]) Their main show is PILOT which tours around venues in the West Mids every … [Read more…]

Drum Open Day

The Drum in Aston is having an open day tomorrow from 1.30 – 9.30pm aimed at local creatives who might be interested in working with them. The Drum is Birmingham’s leading African, Asian and Caribbean arts centre. Over the past 10 years, we have built a reputation for nurturing local talent within the creative industries … [Read more…]

Licensing Live Music and Dancing

I’m growing to like the Number 10 petition site. The petitions might not achieve anything in themselves but they do serve to stimulate debate on issues that have slipped off the media’s agenda. A recent one that’s relevant to this blog is to recognise that music and dance should not be restricted by burdensome licensing … [Read more…]

The B.E.A.S.T. Unleashed

The Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre, aka The B.E.A.S.T., is one of the city’s secret gems. Based at the University of Birmingham’s music department it’s essentially a speaker system taken to an extreme level, comprising of 30 speakers separately amplified and individually controlled from a custom-built desk. This allows the performer to “create an infinite number … [Read more…]

Open Mikes

Googling for info on some flyers picked up in Jibbering Records I stumbled across Quoonsweird, a collection of videos on YouTube of live music and poetry performances in the Moseley Area. It’s mainly open mike and acoustic stuff and there’s a lot of things I’ve never heard of here. The open mike scene in Birmingham … [Read more…]