Lots Of Things To See And Do In The West Midlands: April 2008
This month is clearly all about fighting, and orchestral & choral music. Maybe all at the same time.
Standard disclaimers: I can’t ensure that these events will go ahead, that they’ll be good, or that I will be going to them. This is just a list of things I found that looked like they might be interesting, so please do not contact me to ask for your event to be included. That’s not the way it works.
Saturday the 29th of March till Sunday the 6th of April – ‘Dance Steps’ (Stan’s Café) @ The MAC, Edgbaston, Birmingham – You, yes that’s you, can perform this play by means of choosing and following different sets of instructions and directions scattered around the MAC. From the people that brought you the (I’ll say it yet again) magnificent The Cleansing Of Constance Brown.
Tuesday the 1st – Beethoven’s 5th (CBSO) @ Symphony Hall, The ICC, Birmingham – Dur-dur-dur DUUUURRRRR! Dur-dur-dur DUUUURRRRR!
Wednesday the 2nd and Wednesday the 9th – ‘Midland Journey: Archive Film Of Wolverhampton And The Black Country’ @ The Light House, Wolverhampton – Showing various films of how it was in The Good Old Days. It promises chainmaking and groaty pudding.
Thursday the 3rd until Saturday the 5th – ‘Days Of Hope’ (MAC Productions) @ The MAC, Edgbaston, Birmingham – A Howard Goodall musical translating the events in The Balkans in the late 80s into a Spanish civil war setting. It’s had some very good reviews.
Thursday the 3rd till Sunday the 6th – British Open Show Jumping Championships @ The NEC, Marston Green, Birmingham – Neigh, neigh and thrice neigh.
Friday the 4th till Sunday the 6th – MAC closing weekend @ The MAC, Edgbaston, Birmingham – The final hurrah of the Midland Arts Centre before it closes until Autumn 2009 to be refurbished and rebuilt. As well as the abovementioned ‘Dance Steps’ and ‘Days Of Hope’, Friday is the storytelling day for families, then there are a couple of days of puppetry events and the grand finale of the MAC On Screen film showing.
Saturday the 5th – Handel’s ‘Messiah’ (Ex Cathedra/Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment) @ Symphony Hall, The ICC, Birmingham – Oh hey they’re playing my song.
Saturday the 5th and various dates up until till Saturday the 19th – ‘Top Girls’ (Crescent Theatre Presents) @ The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham – The excellent Caryl Churchill play. The people putting it all together have set up a blog. This is a very good thing. They’ve neglected to put the dates and times and so forth on it, but still. Baby steps.
Tuesday the 8th – John Barrowman @ Symphony Hall, The ICC, Birmingham – Captain Jack sings.
Friday the 11th – ‘The Masque Of Red Death’ (The Happiness Patrol theatre company) @ The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham – Poe. And I ain’t talking about La-La’s mate.
Saturday the 12th – AMMA @ The Holte Suite, Aston Villa Football Club, Aston, Birmingham – Amateur and B-class pro MMA, and they’re always good shows. This version of the card is fairly up-to-date, I believe.
Sunday the 13th – Portishead @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Of course it’s already sold out, you silly moo.
Sunday the 13th – Pugilist Promotions’ “Old School/New Blood” (Boxing) @ The Tower Ballroom, Edgbaston, Birmingham – Fighting sports return to the reservoir-side venue for the first time in aaages. You have amateurs early in the afternoon, then (after a break) professionals in the evening.
Monday the 14th – ‘The Terrible Tudors/The Vile Victorians’ (Horrible Histories) @ The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – For kiddies, though, so I doubt it will stoop to the genuine horrible and vile depths.
Monday the 14th – Mil Millington @ Hall Green Library, Hall Green, Birmingham – Go here (and laugh fulsomely) if you don’t know who Mil Millington is. This reading thingy is only for ages 16-25, though.
Wednesday the 16th – Merzbow and The Dirty Noise Ensemble @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – Noizez. Not, I would suggest, for the faint of heart or the delicate of eardrum.
Thursday the 17th – Lethal Bizzle @ The Academy, Birmingham – If you’re going to this, don’t take any beef with you. You’ll risk losing some teef. And you don’t want that.
Saturday the 19th – The Presidents Of The USA – The Academy, Birmingham – This is one of those instances where I used to adore this band, but (without ever at any point consciously going off them) they’ve declined in importance to me to the point where I’m not really all that fussed. Still: “Peaches come from a can/They were put there by a man”. I can’t argue with that.
Saturday the 19th – Thai Boxing (Firewalker) @ The Light Bar, Wolverhampton – I have no details at all, but if you want to see some Muay Thai then this may be the place to go.
Sunday the 20th – ‘As Seen On TV’ (Notorious Choir) @ The Electric Cinema, Birmingham – ‘The choir with a difference’ a-singing television themes.
Sunday the 20th – Mahler’s 2nd (Birmingham Philharmonic/City Of Birmingham Choir) @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Surely the greatest symphony to hear live. (And if you like a bit of Gustav, there’s also his Fifth at Symphony Hall on the 22nd).
Tuesday the 22nd – Gogol Bordello @ The Academy, Birmingham – Take up thy caravan and travel.
Tuesday the 22nd – Boris @ The Medicine bar, The Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham – This gig in collaboration with one Michio Kurihara, which may well mean more to you than it does to me.
Thursday the 24th and Friday the 25th – “Packers” (Zip Theatre) @ The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham – A comedy set in The Land Of The Righteous (The Black Country, to the likes of you). Apparently “a story of pain, pathos, severed digits, mad boyfriends, hypochondriacs, attempted murder, sex and parcel-tape.” Also at Newhampton Arts Centre in Wolves on the 18th and 19th.
Thursday the 24th and Friday the 25th – ‘Blue Planet’ (Manchester Camerata) @ Symphony Hall, The ICC, Birmingham – A documentary from off of the telly about fishies and such (remember: keep friends close, anemones closer), with the Manchester Camerata a-playing a score specifically composed by George Fenton.
Friday the 25th – Wayne Elcock vs Darren McDermott for the British middleweight title (Hennessy Sports) @ The Aston Villa Leisure Centre, Aston, Birmingham – Birmingham vs Black Country, and it’s the big one – the British title. Come On Macca! (Although: guh! at the ticket prices. Almost glad I won’t be going, with that sort of piss-taking).
Friday the 25th – Bjork @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Well it’s Bjork. Obviously.
Friday the 25th to Sunday the 27th – English Originals @ The Town Hall & Symphony Hall, Birmingham – An English folk festival, just after St George’s Day. This really does look fantastic: the main gigs are Billy Bragg at The Town Hall on the Friday, Tunng and Seth Lakeman at The Town Hall on Saturday, and The Daughters Of Albion (Kathryn Williams, Norma Waterson, and others) at Symphony hall on he Sunday. You’ve also got free sets (Rush Hour Blues stylee) from The Old Dance School (Friday) and Little Sister (Sunday) at the Symphony Hall foyer in the ICC, and a free showing (if you have a ticket for any of the gigs) of the Folk Britannia documentary at 2pm in The Town Hall on Sunday.
Monday the 28th until Sunday the 25th of May – International Dance Festival @ all over Birmingham – Loads and loads and loads of dance and dance-related events from all over the world are taking place over the course of a month, at various venues in town.
Tuesday the 29th – Alabama 3 @ The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – Woke up this morning. Obviously. I wouldn’t be typing this otherwise.
Wednesday the 30th – Cursed @ The Medicine Bar, The Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham – Sometimes sludgy and sometimes crusty hardcore, but (and this is the best bit) they’re actually really good unlike most of the bands that most of the people who’ll tell you Cursed are good will tell you are good. Good. Tell. Good.
Wednesday the 30th – Boxing (First Team) @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – The New And Radical Dean Harrison Matchmaking Philosophy continues to bare fruit – he’s fighting Gary Reid here, which is a genuinely risky fight. Good luck to him, ‘cos it’s great to see.