Having very much enjoyed Surtra – the Sidi Larbi/ Shaolin monk/Antony Gormley kung-fu/dance-fest at the Hippodrome last week I’m on the lookout for a bit more contemporary dance. With Pilot Night on Thursday night at our place and Friday nights domestically in demand I may struggle to get to Dan Canham’s Ours Was The Fen Country which is a shame as it sounds like an intriguing idea and worth checking out.
Last night at the Dorchester Hotel. PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music 20×12 won the Concert Series and Festivals category of the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards. Which, as The Voyage was one of the twenty twelve minute long pieces which made up the series must make us 1/20 winners. Unfortunately we didn’t get to go to the Dorchester… Well done to the PRS team for pulling it all together.
Winners of the Audience and Engagement Category were The Philharmonia Orchestra for their Universe of Sound project, which arrives at the Birmingham Municipal Bank building on Broad Street on 25th May. Coincidently we have been commissioned by Symphony Hall to compliment Universe of Sound by installing The Orchestra Dream – a spin off from The Steps Series – in their foyer spaces.
We are rather flattered to recently have appeared in a new publication – A Community Lovers Guide To Birmingham. There’s no great mystery to how this came about, it’s edited by Stan friend and Podnosh boss Nick Booth. It’s a small, attractive book built around a series of short essays telling stories of socially engaged projects that have taken place in Birmingham over the last few years. Amongst these are those we thought we were familiar with (unlit we learned more from the book) are Created in Birmingham, the 4am Project, Social Media Surgeries and the delicious Change Kitchen; others we knew nothing of (but now do) are Saheli Women’s Group, Loaf, Urban Harvest, Friends of Cotteridge Park and Big City Talk Plan.
It takes an hour or so to read, so long as you spend some time gazing at the lovely photos and of course being all about generosity and openness and making things happen you are welcome to read it on-line: and we recommend you do.
Two items of news coinciding reflect the tenor of the times. From Sandwell news that The Public is under threat of closure and from Sheffield, news that Point Blank are to broker more free temporary space in the Midlands.
Despite it’s painful birth we have a strong affection for The Public, we had a great time installing Sandwell Steps there in 2011 and have enjoyed regular visits since, including a great evening watching Bobby Baker. The building is home to many local arts organizations including Black Country Touring and the Learnplay Foundation who have started a lobbying initiative to persuade the local council to retain The Public. You may choose to add your weight behind this and sign their petition.
Point Blank are a resourceful theatre company based in Sheffield who have the happy skill of persuading landlords of empty properties that it would be cost-effective to let artists use them for free. They are the company who brokered the space on Birmingham’s New Street last year which was run by Little Earthquake and next week they are holding an open event Transforming Empty Space: Birmingham Meet on 23rd May at 12:30 in which they will share news of new space coming available for use. So you may choose to go to that.
The important thing to note is that temporary free access to a shop unit given to artists by a landlord as a way of dodging business rates whilst a paying tenant is found does not replace The Public. In order for the arts to thrive they needs proper support not crumbs that fall from a table. I’ll end there before a re-rehearse my rant.
Last night was perhaps the first time that our opening night anxiety has been more focused on whether the venue would be finished than whether the show would be finished. Two Snowhill is a huge new office development, the biggest to open outside London this year, so there is little surprise there have remained many snags to iron out. We probably haven’t helped the snagging process as increasing numbers of builders have been popping in with their mates to visit the show as it has been prepared. Read the rest of this entry »
These are busy times for many people. We are delight to announce that in a couple of weeks (22nd April) Improbable will be bringing their new show The Bear to our venue @ A E Harris. Later that week Stan’s Cafe Associate Artist Bernadette Russell will be at the venue with a Work-in-Progress Preview of her new show 366 Days of Happiness, a show with serious roots in Birmingham. If you want to come and see this you won’t have to pay any cash but you do need to be invited (which is easy). Details of both these shows are on the @ A E Harris website.
Over at MAC next week (16th – 20th April) there are further showings of the Jane Packman Company show A Thousand Shards of Glass, which you may have missed when it was at @ A E Harris last year.
If you need to earn some cash before seeing these shows maybe you can become the new/first producer for The Other Way Works (though you will need better qualifications than just needing the cash).
If you need to make cheese, friends of Stan’s Blanch & Shock can show you how in London on 20th April.
Our friend/colleague Andrew Fox, who is an excellent photographer specialising in amazing fashion shots, is looking to collaborate with a Theatre Company on a Portrait Project. It sounds like fun so read on… Read the rest of this entry »
The globe has been taken out of storage and is being smartened up for its next public appearance, at Two Snow Hill.