Lots Of Things To See And Do in The West Midlands: November 2013
I have managed three of these in a row! Hooray!
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.
Friday the 1st till Saturday the 16th – “Tartuffe” (Birmingham Rep Theatre Company) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – Molière, played in this instance by Peterson/We Wanna Be Tergevva. Apparently he was in Harry Potter too, if you must.
Friday the 1st till Thursday the 14th – The Coventry Peace Festival @ various venues in Coventry – I can already imagine the tedious jokes that some will make about there never being any peace in Coventry. Lots of things are happening so clickedy-click for the line-up.
Friday he 1st till Saturday the 9th – “Bedlam: A Festival of Mad Ideas” @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – A series of mental-health-themed events, with both theatre and practical talks/workshops. [Rare moment of non-flippancy]I’m always happy to see any sort of awareness-raising like this[/Rare moment of non-flippancy].
Friday the 1st – “The Tell-Tale Heart” (Little Earthquake Theatre) @ The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton – Thump-thump, thump-thump. Can’t say I’ve ever had a problem with the body parts I’ve put under the floor myself, but it takes all sorts.
Friday the 1st – The Full English @ The MAC (theatre space), Edgbaston, Birmingham – A supergroup (if you feel like you’re in a position where you, in point of fact, will) of folksy sorts with Martin Simpson (see also the 27th ), Seth Lakeman, and loads of others. They’ll be performing bits from the Full English, which is apparently a new digital archive of traditional music.
Friday the 1st – Slade / The Sweet @ Warwick Arts Centre (Butterworth Hall), near Coventry – Glam! Maybe possibly a few original members!
Friday the 1st – “Dinosaur Zoo” (Erth Visual & Physical Inc.) @ Warwick Arts Centre (theatre space), near Coventry – Is it just me or do there seem to be loads of dinosaur shows for kids lately? Not that it’s a problem. Kids love dinosaurs.
Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd – Peaky Blinders-themed walking tours around Digbeth @ starting outside The Rainbow, Digbeth, Birmingham – I got bored and gave up halfway through the telly series (visually spectacular, of course, but then that is the most boring sense), but I suspect that this’ll be very interesting.
Saturday the 2nd – Youngblood Brass Band @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – SOU. SA. PHONE. (Chant with me now). SOU. SA. PHONE.
Saturday the 2nd – Paul Merton’s Impro Chums @ The Warwick Arts Centre (Butterworth Hall), near Coventry – Ian Hislop isn’t a chum, presumably. Nor Boris.
Saturday the 2nd – Charlemagne Palestine, Rhys Chatham, and The Ex Easter Island Head Large Guitar Ensemble @ The Library Of Birmingham (studio theatre), Birmingham – The only chance in the UK to see/hear this Charlemagne Palestine collaboration. I suppose you would need a large guitar if you were a massive stone head.
Saturday the 2nd – English Dogs @ The Adam & Eve, Digbeth, Birmingham – Proper punk. I’m still not entirely clear whether they became Janus Stark for a few years or whether that was actually a different band.
Sunday the 3rd – Eddie Reader @ The Glee Club, Birmingham – What she doesn’t want is a half-heated love affair. At the very least, three-fifths of a heart will be required.
Sunday the 3rd – Mark Lanegan @ The Institute, Digbeth, Birmingham – You have to wonder what he did to the poor trees.
Sunday the 3rd – The Stylistics @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – On the off-chance that there are any original members left, they’d probably love you to make them fell brand new.
Tuesday the 5th – “The Ghost Ship” (Rumpus Theatre Company) @ The Arena Theatre, Wolvehampton – Is it me or are a lot of Joseph Conrad things getting adapted for stage just lately?
Tuesday the 5th – Enablers @ The Rainbow, Digbeth, Birmingham – Post/indie-rock poetry , and an amazing live band.
Tuesday the 5th – Xhumed/Dead Good (not sure which of those is meant to be the name of the event) @ The Library Of Birmingham, Birmingham – Six people give speeches as six (late) people from history – J.B. Priestley, H.G. Wells, Mary Shelley, Erasmus Darwin, Andrew Carnegie, Geraldine Cadbury, Matthew Boulton, and John Baskerville. There seems to be something of a local slant there.
Thursday the 7th till Saturday the 9th – “The Anatomy Of Melancholy” (Stan’s Cafe) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – As I always say when it comes to anything regarding them, it’s Stan’s Cafe and so it’ll be brilliant. I actually read Robert Burton’s “The Anatomy Of Melancholy” this year. I genuinely have no idea how they’re going to turn the blighter into a stage work, but that just makes it more exciting.
Friday the 8th – The Hollies @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – All they need is the air that they breath, food, water and shelter.
Friday the 8th – Billy Joel @ The LG Arena, Marston Green, Birmingham – I like him (nuts to you), but he seems to protest too much sometimes. He didn’t start the fire, he says. He’s an innocent man, he says.
Saturday the 9th – Esoteric @ The Asylum, Hockley, Birmingham – The doom band from Birmingham called Esoteric, rather than any of the other bands from elsewhere called Esoteric. They’re good but when I saw them the singer completely failed to make use of the Madonna-styled headset mic. No dance moves at all.
Saturday the 9th – “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” (Tutti Frutti Productions) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – Inspired by, but not actually, the Aesop fable.
Sunday the 10th – “Down The Rabbit Hole” (Companis) @ The Library Of Birmingham, Birmingham – A “five course sensory mobile meal”, taking place around the library and involving readings and sensory deprivation. I don’t know if any of the courses actually are rabbit.
Monday the 11th and Tuesday the 12th – operas courtesy of Ellen Kent International @ The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – “La Boheme” on the 11th and “Aida” on the 12th (and they’re also doing that one at Warwick Arts Centre on the 21st). If you fancy an opera-themed week, this could be usefully combined with…
Tuesday the 12th till Monday the 18th – Welsh National Opera coming around these parts @ The Hippodrome, Birmingham and this time also at The MAC (theatre space), Edgbaston, Birmingham – Right, so, you have the “The Tudors” season at The Hippo, which sees Donizetti’s Anna Bolena on the 13th, Maria Stuarda on the 14th, and Roberto Devereux on the 15th. Alongside that, there’s also Tosca at The Hippo on the 12th and 16th, and on the 18th at The Mac there’s the new “I Had An Angel” by John O’Hara.
Tuesday the 12th and Wednesday the 13th – “Peppa Pig’s Big Splash” @ The New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham – I don’t know much about Peppa Pig other than that she’s really cute, but she is really cute.
Tuesday the 12th – Bellowhead @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Bands with a double-figures number of members are always good live. That’s a maxim that will never fail you.
Wednesday the 13th till Saturday the 16th – “Road” (Warwick University Drama Society) @ Warwick Arts Centre (Studio Theatre), near Coventry – Add stock (albeit true) comment here about this play probably being just as fitting now as it was in the mid eighties.
Wednesday the 13th – Flatpack Festival’s “Miners’ Hymns” @ The Town Hall, Bilston – A screening of Bill Morrison’s “The Miners’ Hymns” (which sounds brilliant), as well as additional related local archive footage.
Thursday the 14th – Cockney Rejects @ The Robin 2, Bilston – England belongs to them. Quite a big claim, when you think about it.
Friday the 15th till Sunday the 17th – This Is Tmrw’s “All Year’s Leaving” festival @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – Thr nght fstval t th Hr & Hnds, brght t y by Brm prmters Ths s TMRW nd nvlvng Dstph, Bt T Rw, Sky Lrkn, Vctrs t S, nd lds f thrs. S, ‘m ll cl lk th yng pple wth n vwls.
Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th “Zhe: [Noun] Undefined” (Collective Artistes) @ The Rep, Birmingham – A play exploring the identity & sexuality of two British Africans. ‘Zhe’ is a gender-neutral pronoun, although it isn’t clear to me in which language. That may or may not be part of the point.
Friday the 15th – Mahler’s 7th symphony (Philharmonia Orchestra) @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – As conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, who is never not described as charismatic.
Friday the 15th – Soul II Soul @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Back to life, back to the Town Hall.
Saturday the 16th – Mozart’s “Requiem” (Orchestra Of The Swan) @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – They’re playing the overture of “The Marriage Of Figaro” too, which is great fun.
Saturday the 16th – Editors @ The Academy, Birmingham – A band I’d forgotten about. Perhaps we should become re-acquainted.
Saturday the 16th – Boxing (Errol Johnson promotions) @ The Town Hall, Walsall – Fight fight fight
Tuesday the 19th – “The Events” (Actors Touring Company, Schauspielhaus Wien, Brageteatret, and the Young Vic) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – David Greig’s play, looking at ideas of community and using local choirs wherever it goes. I still can’t help thinking of this, though.
Tuesday the 19th – Gary Numan @ The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – Right-wing-rockstars in Wolverhampton on the 19th #1: The “I only voted Tory once, honest” division.
Tuesday the 19th – Motorhead @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Right-wing rockstars in Wolverhampton on the 19th #2: The “I only dress up like a silly arse, I’m not one really, honest” division.
Tuesday the 19th – So Solid Crew @ The Institute (library room), Digbeth, Birmingham – Rescheduled from last month. Whether that eats into their allotted 21 seconds or not is something that I don’t know.
Wednesday the 20th till Saturday the 23rd (and I think there may be more yet to come) – Capital Theatre Festival 2013 @ The MAC (Foyle Studio), Edgbaston, Birmingham – “The Disappearance Of Sadie Jones” updates Strindberg’s “A Dream Play”, and “Ugly, Duck” sees an ordinary fella from Stoke become a nude model. It would seem that there are also further plays yet to be announced.
Thursday the 21st till Saturday the 24th – Festive Gift Fair 2013 @ The NEC, Marston Green, Birmingham – All I want for Christmas is either A) you, or B) me two front teeth. Christmas~!
Thursday the 21st till Saturday the 23rd – “Josef K” (can’t seem to see the theatre company) @ The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham – Inspired by, but not actually, “The Trial”.
Thursday the 21st – Adrian Edmondson & The Bad Shepherds @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Eddiiieee! Eddie-ee-ee!
Thursday the 21st – Go Kart Mozart @ The Academy 3, Birmingham – Them what did that “Selfish And Lazy And Greedy” song. It seems that the fella was in some other bands that a lot of people seem to like, too, but I don’t know about any of all that.
Friday the 22nd – Benjamin Britten Centenary Concert (CBSO Chorus) @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – I do hope that people aren’t getting bored of Britten due to over-exposure, just lately. The recent (amazing) “Peter Grimes” at Symphony hall was quite sparsely attended.
Saturday the 23rd – The Supreme Cat Show @ The NEC, Maston Green, Birmingham – Every cat is The Supreme Cat if you ask it, of course.
Sunday the 24th – Billy Bragg @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Just because I’m lazy, doesn’t mean you’re better than me (that’s my version and I’m sticking to it).
Sunday the 24th – Sham 69 @ The Roadhouse, Stirchley, Birmingham – Weeeeeeee’re gowin’ dahn tha pab…
Sunday the 24th – Akala @ The Academy 3, Birmingham – Braggy, Sham 69 and Akala all in Brum on the same evening. Revolution a-brew, ah reckons.
Sunday the 24th – Terry Riley’s “In C” (Adrian Utley’s Guitar Orchestra) @ The Library Of Birmingham, Birmingham – The one you always forget from Portishead’s new ensemble, performing the influential minimalist piece. (Ooh I’ve just seen that Pram will be playing as well, so that’s cool).
Sunday the 24th – Goodnight Lenin @ The Institute, Digbeth, Birmingham – Supporting Stornoway, who I thought were pretty dull when I saw them, but still. G’Lenin are ace.
Monday the 25th till Wednesday the 27th – “Beauty And The Beast” (One Of Us Productions/Improbable Theatre) @ Warwick Arts Centre (studio theatre), near Coventry – An adult version. Hopefully not that definition of ‘adult’ that just means ‘childish’.
Monday the 25th – Shellac @ The Rainbow Warehouse, Digbeth, Birmingham – … Of North America.
Tuesday the 26th till Saturday the 30th – “Cabaret” (Bill Kenwright Ltd.) @ The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – With Will Young as the Emcee. For some reason.
Tuesday the 26th – Om / Ore @ The Rainbow Warehouse, Digbeth, Birmingham – I didn’t really like drone-doom types Om that much when I see them, but people always manage to make them sound good when describing them so maybe I should have another go someday. Also, tubah monstahs Ore are playing.
Wednesday the 27th until the 4th of January – “A Christmas Carol” (Birmingham Rep Theatre Company) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – This must be the single thing I’ve seen the most different versions of, between book/stage/screen. Christmas~!
Wednesday the 27th till Sunday the 1st of December – The BBC Winter Good Food Show @ The NEC, Marston Green, Birmingham – I’d be interested to see the BBC bad food show as well.
Thursday the 28th – John Cooper Clarke @ Warwick Arts Centre (Butterworth Hall), near Coventry – The flipping train is flipping late, you flipping wait you flipping wait.
Friday the 29th – Five @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Aw, I always liked Five. This is the boyband Five, not the metal band 5ive.
Friday the 29th – “Bring Your Own Beamer” @ Vivid Projects, Digbeth, Birmingham – In this context ‘beamer’ apparently means a digital overhead projector, rather than sim sim simma who got the keys to my etc. Those participating are to project their responses to the last eight months of revolution/protest-themed material displayed at Vivid.
Saturday the 30th till Sunday the 29th of December – “Room On The Broom” @ Warwick Arts Centre (theatre space), near Coventry – I like the cat, although I expect everyone says that.
Saturday the 30th – Crystal Fighters @ The Institute, Digbeth, Birmingham – Spanish folk meets bangin’ dance choons. As I believe the young people say.
Saturday the 30th – various bits of J.S. Bach, John Adams and Steve Reich (CBSO) @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Unlikely bedfellows, you might think.