Birmingham news and blogs Wednesday 23 March 2016
Advanced
Careimages website hosting sponsor

 

Views from a Bum

223 stories

RSS feed for Views from a Bum

 

Blog arts
Dealing with Issues 

16 Mar 16

JACKIE – The Musical Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wednesday 16 th March, 2016   Yet another jukebox musical is doing the rounds but fear not, this is one of the better ones.


Blog feature
Ballroom Glitz 

11 Mar 16

KISS ME QUICKSTEP New Vic Theatre, Newcastle under Lyme, Thursday 10 th March, 2016   Amanda Whittington’s new play is already proving popular.


Blog arts
Twins Pique 

9 Mar 16

THE NOTEBOOK Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Tuesday 8 th March, 2016 Forced Entertainment’s current tour is their adaptation of Agota Kristof’s novel about twin brothers sent to live on their grandmother’s farm during the War.


Blog arts
39 Steps to Heaven 

2 Mar 16

THE 39 STEPS The REP, Birmingham, Tuesday 1 st March, 2016   Having only recently ended its West End run of almost a decade, one of my favourite shows comes to town for a week in this exuberant touring production; I am delighted to have the chance …


Blog arts
Everything Rhymed 

1 Mar 16

GILBERT O’SULLIVAN Town Hall, Birmingham, Monday 29 th February, 2016   A couple of years ago I was reawakened to the music of Gilbert O’Sullivan, a figure fondly remembered from childhood viewings of Top of the Pops .


Blog arts
Agent and a Scholar 

19 Feb 16

SINGLE SPIES The REP, Birmingham, Thursday 18 th February, 2016   A double -bill of Alan Bennett plays concerning two of the men exposed as spies for the Soviet Union.


Blog arts
Grab This Granny 

17 Feb 16

GANGSTA GRANNY Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tuesday 16 th February, 2016   Every Friday night while his parents go ballroom dancing, young Ben (Ashley Cousins) has to stay with his granny.


Blog feature
Hit Parade 

11 Feb 16

JERSEY BOYS Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Wednesday 10 th February, 2016   The mean streets of Jersey, a breeding ground for mobsters and organised crime, also spawned the remarkable talent of Frankie Valli and his fellow band members.


Blog feature
A Nightingale Sings in Belgrade Plaza 

11 Feb 16

MISS NIGHTINGALE Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wednesday 10 th February, 2016   It’s wartime London and posh impresario Sir Frank Worthington-Blythe (played by the equally impressively double-barrelled Nicholas Coutu-Langmead) is eager to promote a …


Blog feature
Public Laughs 

9 Feb 16

PRIVATE LIVES New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Monday 8 th February, 2016   Noel Coward’s comedy comes to town in this new touring production and yet again passes the test of time.


Blog arts
Dream A Little Dream 

5 Feb 16

POCKET DREAM Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Thursday 4 th February, 2016   This production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the ever-excellent Propeller company is stripped down to a running time of just over an hour – the cast is …


Blog arts
A Little Learning 

3 Feb 16

THE SISTERHOOD Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tuesday 2 nd February, 2016   Moliere’s Les Femmes Savantes is updated here by Ranjit Bolt – I say ‘updated’, the action is set firmly in the 1980s, yet this biting satire still has much to say to …


Blog arts
Iamb what Iamb 

30 Jan 16

FREE FOR ALL mac, Birmingham, Friday 29 th January, 2016   I get invited to lots of shows – and I’m grateful – and I was happy to receive an invitation from this show’s writer, Richard O’Brien (not that one) to come along and review his …


Blog arts
Good Grief! 

27 Jan 16

A BEAUTIFUL ENDING The Door, Birmingham REP, Wednesday 27th January, 2016 Writer-performer Mohamed El Khatib brings his one-man show dealing with loss and grief to Birmingham.


Blog arts
Grey Area 

27 Jan 16

MACBETH The REP, Birmingham, Tuesday 26 th January, 2016   Directed by Carrie Cracknell and Lucy Guerin, this co-production with the Young Vic and HOME comes to Birmingham for a sell-out week – the place is packed with school parties, which is …


Blog arts
Carmen Get It! 

20 Jan 16

CARMEN Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tuesday 19 th January, 2016   Georges Bizet’s popular opera gets stripped down in this production by OperaUpClose, with only a quartet of musicians and a cast of nine.


Blog arts
Grandad, Grandad, you’re lovely… 

15 Jan 16

ABUELO The Door, Birmingham REP, Friday 15 th January, 2015   This new one-woman piece from writer-performer Amahra Spence draws parallels between the experiences of a young black woman in the West Midlands with those of her grandfather who arrived …


Blog arts
2015 – the year in reviews 

30 Dec 15

Best of 2015 The Year in Review   A bumper crop of excellent shows this year makes it difficult to whittle down to a Top Ten, or even a Top Twenty.


Blog arts
Genie Us! 

23 Dec 15

ALADDIN Birmingham Hippodrome, Tuesday 22 nd December, 2015   Every year the Hippodrome can be relied on to provide the biggest panto – big name stars surrounded by spectacle – and this year is no disappointment.


Blog arts
Bye-bye, 2015 

17 Dec 15

And so another busy year of theatre-going draws to a close.


Blog feature
Chuckles with the Chuckles 

16 Dec 15

PETER PAN Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Tuesday 15 th December, 2015   Every pantomime version of Peter Pan has expectations to fulfil: people expect to see certain things from the original play as well as all the fun and overt theatricality of the …


Blog arts
Hair Tonic 

15 Dec 15

HAIRSPRAY New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Monday 14 th December, 2015   The irrepressibly feel-good musical comes to Brum for the festive season – an alternative to panto but the story has a lot in common with fairy tales.


Blog arts
Fangs A Lot 

10 Dec 15

VAMPOMIME Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wednesday 9 th December, 2015   While Beauty and the Beast runs in the main house, in the Belgrade’s B2 studio an alternative version is presented for grown-ups, performed by a company of vampires.


Blog arts
An Aladdin’s Cave 

9 Dec 15

ALADDIN Derby Arena, Tuesday 8 th December, 2015   All credit to Derby Council for persisting with the wish to stage a pantomime even though the usual venue, the Assembly Rooms, is out of action.


Blog arts
Telling Tales 

7 Dec 15

GRIMM TALES Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Sunday 6 th December, 2015   These dramatisations of Carol Ann Duffy’s adaptations of Brothers Grimm stories are linked together by having the cast meeting up in the middle of a forest to spend the night …


Blog arts
Beautiful and Beastly 

4 Dec 15

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Thursday 3 rd December, 2015   Not as commonly performed as a pantomime (everyone else seems to be doing Aladdin or Peter Pan this year) Beauty and the Beast has become irrevocably influenced by the …


Blog feature
Back in the hood 

29 Nov 15

ROBIN HOOD AND MARIAN New Vic Theatre, Newcastle under Lyme, Saturday 28 th November, 2015   The Christmas show at the New Vic is invariably a highlight of the season and yet again director Theresa Heskins hits the bullseye with her own adaptation …


Blog arts
Narnia Business 

26 Nov 15

THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE The REP, Birmingham, Thursday 26 th November, 2015   The REP’s Christmas offering this year pulls out all the stops in terms of production values in order to bring C S Lewis’s classic novel to the stage in …


Blog arts
A Safe Bet 

26 Nov 15

GUYS AND DOLLS New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Wednesday 25 th November, 2015   Frank Loesser’s classic musical comes to Birmingham prior to its residency in the West End in this new production by Chichester Festival Theatre.


Blog arts
Life Cycle 

24 Nov 15

BERYL The REP Studio, Birmingham, Tuesday 24 th November, 2015   Going in, I felt a little guilty for not knowing who Beryl Burton was.


Blog arts
Some achieve greatness 

22 Nov 15

TWELFTH NIGHT Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Sunday 22 nd November, 2015   There is much to admire and enjoy in Colin Judges’s modern-day production with a distinct Mediterranean vibe.


Blog feature
Let’s Call The Whole Thing Hoff 

18 Nov 15

LAST NIGHT A DJ SAVED MY LIFE Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Tuesday 17 th November, 2015   Yet another jukebox musical is doing the rounds.


Blog arts
Laughs For Laughs 

12 Nov 15

LOVE FOR LOVE The Swan theatre, Stratford upon Avon, Wednesday 11 th November, 2015   The plot of William Congreve’s comedy of 1694 is almost incidental in this exuberant, vibrant new production, directed by Selina Cadell.


Blog arts
Dim and Dimmer 

11 Nov 15

THE GLASS MENAGERIE Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Tuesday 10 th November, 2015   Headlong’s production of Tennessee Williams’s 1940s play curiously sheds light by keeping us in the dark.


Blog feature
We’re All Going On A Soma Holiday 

6 Nov 15

BRAVE NEW WORLD Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Thursday 5 th November, 2015   Aldous Huxley’s visionary 1930s novel is doing the rounds in this new adaptation by Dawn King, and it’s refreshing to see serious science fiction being tackled live on …


Blog arts
Flare-ups with Flair 

5 Nov 15

FLARE PATH Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wednesday 4 th November, 2015   The Original Theatre Company is back on the road, following up their excellent Three Men in a Boat and the superlative Birdsong with this new production of Terence Rattigan’s …


Blog arts
School’s Out 

4 Nov 15

LORD OF THE FLIES The REP, Birmingham, Tuesday 3 rd November, 2015   Nigel Williams’s adaptation of the William Golding classic novel is bang up-to-date with references to Miley Cyrus and selfie-sticks but adheres to the book’s themes and …


Blog arts
Lyre, Lyre 

30 Oct 15

ORPHEUS The REP Studio, Birmingham, Thursday 29 th October, 2015   Continuing the current fad for Greek mythology, Little Bulb Theatre Company brings to Birmingham their retelling of the Orpheus myth and though a tragedy, this version is a pure and …


Blog arts
Another Outing 

21 Oct 15

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT – The Musical New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Tuesday 20 th October, 2015   The big pink bus is back on the road and it’s better than ever.


Blog arts
Another Outing 

21 Oct 15

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT – The Musical New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Tuesday 20 th October, 2015   The big pink bus is back on the road and it’s better than ever.


Blog arts
Movie Musical 

16 Oct 15

THE SMALLEST SHOW ON EARTH Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Thursday 15 th October, 2015   It is commonplace these days to adapt popular films for the stage, often as musicals.


Blog arts
Anita and Me & I 

13 Oct 15

ANITA AND ME The REP, Birmingham, Tuesday 13 th October 2015   Meera Syal’s partially autobiographical novel comes to the stage via this lively adaptation by Tanika Gupta.


Blog arts
Hairspray – Launch 

6 Oct 15

HAIRSPRAY – Launch New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Tuesday 6 th October, 2015   Hairspray first saw the light of day – or the darkness of auditorium – in 1988 as a film by legendary director and Pope of Trash John Waters.


Blog arts
Dead Dog/Live Show 

4 Oct 15

DEAD DOG IN A SUITCASE (and other love songs) The REP, Birmingham, Saturday 3 rd October, 2015   Kneehigh’s latest is one of their best.


Blog arts
Sunshine and Show-ers 

3 Oct 15

SUNSHINE ON LEITH Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Friday 2 nd October, 2015   This jukebox musical is based around the songs of Scottish duo, the Proclaimers – No, I couldn’t name enough of their songs to fill the back of a matchbox never mind …


Blog arts
Played to the hilt 

1 Oct 15

THE SILVER SWORD Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Thursday 1 st October, 2015   Ian Serraillier’s classic novel for children gets a new retelling in this lively musical adaptation by Susie McKenna and Steven Edis.


Blog arts
Prison Visit 

29 Sep 15

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Monday 28 th September, 2015   Stephen King’s novella gave rise to one of the most popular films of all time.


Blog arts
Life at a sitting 

24 Sep 15

SANCHO – An Act of Remembrance The REP, Birmingham, Wednesday 23 rd September, 2015   In this one-man show, writer, actor and co-director Paterson Joseph takes a step to redressing the balance: so much of our history omits or overlooks black …


Blog arts
A Bar is Born 

22 Sep 15

PIANO BAR LAUNCH New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Monday 21 st September, 2015   It’s not all reviews in this game, you know.


Blog arts
Play For Today 

20 Sep 15

FOR SERVICES RENDERED Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Sunday 20 th September, 2015   Somerset Maugham’s 1932 play didn’t go down well when it was first produced.


Blog arts
Chair Man of the Bored 

18 Sep 15

THE RED CHAIR The Door, The REP, Birmingham, Thursday 17 th September, 2015   Clod Ensemble’s The Red Chair is a one-woman show, written and performed by Sarah Cameron, a contemporary fairy tale somewhat akin to Irvine Welsh doing Roald Dahl.


Blog arts
Pulling Their Punches 

10 Sep 15

NO GUTS, NO HEART, NO GLORY The REP Studio, Birmingham, Thursday 10 th September 2015   If I was being uncharitable I might add No Plot, No Story to the title of this one-hour show from Bradford group, Common Wealth.


Blog arts
Heartache and Hockey Sticks 

10 Sep 15

CRUSH Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wednesday 9 th September, 2015   Set in 1963 this new musical by Maureen Chadwick and Kath Gotts takes us to the world of the all girls’ boarding school.


Blog arts
History Tomorrow 

9 Sep 15

KING CHARLES III The REP, Birmingham, Tuesday 8 th September, 2015   Mike Bartlett’s hit play turns out to be something of a modern masterpiece.


Blog arts
Comedy First Class 

6 Sep 15

THE GRADUATE The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Sunday 6 th September, 2015   We are accustomed to seeing films adapted into stage shows these days, usually as musicals.


Blog arts
Chuckles, Cotton and Pan 

3 Sep 15

PETER PAN Panto Launch The Molineux Centre, Wolverhampton, Thursday 3 rd September, 2015   The Grand Theatre’s pantomime this year will be Peter Pan , starring the indefatigable Chuckle Brothers as a pair of hapless pirates, Paul and Barry Smee, …


Blog arts
Blue Suede Show 

25 Aug 15

LOVE ME TENDER New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Monday 24 th August, 2015   This jukebox musical, inspired by and including songs made famous by Elvis Presley, turns out to be the epitome of the genre.


Blog arts
Tapping Into Talent 

14 Aug 15

42 nd STREET New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Thursday 13 th August, 2015 Stage Experience is an intensive two-week programme in which youngsters from across the region rehearse a full-scale production and have it fit for public consumption in a …


Blog arts
Wrestling with Fame 

26 Jul 15

AN AUDIENCE WITH GORGEOUS GEORGE Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham, Saturday 25 th July, 2015   Alex Brockie’s new one-man show is a biography of a famous American wrestler who was, we are told, one of the first big stars of television and a …


Blog arts
Oldie But Goodie 

22 Jul 15

THE GRANDMOTHER Ron Barber Studio, Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Tuesday 21 st July, 2015   It starts in a bathroom where Dad (Simon Chinery) is in the tub, trying to relax.