Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Thu 5 Apr 2012

    BOSSES at Avoncroft are seeking a couple to literally spend ‘a night at the museum’ to help the venue kick-off its 50th anniversary celebrations.

    Two people will be able to reside in the 400-year-old Merchant’s House from Saturday (July 7) to Sunday (July 8), experiencing everyday life in Tudor times.

    The chosen couple will take part in all aspects of Tudor life - from dressing in the costume from the era, eating authentic Tudor food and undertaking household chores to trying Tudor recreational activities, such as archery and cloth dying.

    Avoncroft Museum director Simon Carter said the opportunity to turn back the clock hundreds of years was a chance of a lifetime.

    “The Merchant’s House is a stunning example of an early Tudor home.

    “We think the winners will really enjoy this one-off opportunity to make it their home for the weekend and it’s a fantastic way to kick start our 50th birthday celebrations,” he added.

    The building is particularly significant because it was the first one saved by the museum in 1962. After that, Avoncroft was established as a charitable organisation and, over the years, has acquired a variety of buildings, including a Victorian tin chapel, a 19th Century cell block, a post-war prefab and an Anderson bomb-shelter. It is also home to the National Telephone Kiosk Collection.

    Those wanting to put themselves forward to live in the Merchant’s House on July 7 and 8 need to submit a written application to the museum, outlining why they feel they would make worthy Tudors.

    A short-list will then be drawn up and, after an interview with two of the museum’s staff at the end of May, the lucky winners will be announced at the start of June.

    Training will be offered in advance and there will be an opportunity for the winning couple to meet their weekend guides - historians from the re-enactment group ‘Eye on the Past’.

    Applicants must be over 18 and be willing to share their experiences with visitors, as well as via social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, throughout the weekend.

    For more on the competition or to find out about other events taking place at Avoncroft Museum, call 01527 831363, visit or email business [at] avoncroft [dot] org [dot] uk.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Thu 5 Apr 2012

    Arts Council England on Monday 2 April published details of the final award amounts for its Renaissance major partner museums and the final transitional funding budget for museums exiting the old Renaissance programme.

    In the West Midlands Birmingham Museums Trust (Birmingham City Council and Thinktank) will receive £5,091,615,  and Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust will receive £2,434,227 over three years.  They are among 16 Major partner museums in England to receive awards.

    In January 2012, Arts Council England announced the 16 successful Major partner museums receiving funding through the reworked Renaissance programme between 2012-15. This was the first time major grants to regional museums had been awarded for a three year period (2012/13 - 2014/15) by Arts Council England via an open application process against published criteria.

    The 16 successful applicants requested £23.5 million a year against an annual budget of approximately £20 million. The exact amounts of each Major partner museum's award have been negotiated on an individual basis, and are published here.

    The awards to Major partner museums total £62.6 million over the next three financial years.

    For more information visit

  • Tue 3 Apr 2012

    SOME of the most talented young musicians in the country are set to head to the town for an event which forms a special part of Bromsgrove Festival.

    Described by organisers as Bromsgrove’s best kept secret, the Young Musicians Platform sees talented musicians from an international field, come to the town to compete.

    The difficultly of the competition was seen when in 1999, cellist Guy Johnston was runner up in the platform but a year later became the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year.

    The first round of the competition is taking place over two days, April 12-13, at the New Guesten Hall at Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, where the entire event is taking place.

    The second round takes place on Saturday, April 14, while the semi finals will be held on Sunday morning, April 15.

    After the semi finals there will be just three competitors left, who will face each other at the final concert being held on the Sunday evening from 7pm.

    Entrance is free to the early rounds, up to the semi final, which takes place between 9.30am and 6pm.

    Tickets cost £15 for the final concert.

    The next event in the month-long festival is also being held at the New Guesten Hall on Wednesday, April 18, commencing at 7pm.

    Ken Russell’s acclaimed 1968 film Song of Summer is being shown, and this will then be followed by a concert.

    The recital is being given by the Sitkovetsky Duo of Alexander Sitkovetsky, on violin, and Wu Qian, on piano.

    Bromsgrove Festival chairman Mary White said: “How appropriate that Alexander returning to Bromsgrove for the third time, immediate follows the platform.

    “He was first prize winner of the platform in 2006.”

    For more information on the festival or to book tickets, call 01527 876504.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Fri 30 Mar 2012

    THERE were lots of laughs at The Palace Theatre, as All and Sundry performed Joseph Kesselring's classic Arsenic and Old Lace.

    The play centres around drama critic Mortimer Brewster who, in between reviewing plays and trying to decide whether or not to marry the love of his life Elaine Harper, has to also deal with his two aunties Martha and Abby who have acquired a penchant for putting old men out of their misery.

    The performance enabled the audience to take a break from the doom and gloom of the petrol crisis and see a performance which was fueled by plenty of energy, erraticness and enthusiasm.

    This great script was really brought to life by another talented cast that took the writer's intended dramatic tension and used it to the full to create a hilarious night of entertainment.

    Everyone played their part on the night but Barbara Treen and Mary Field excelled in their roles as twittering old dear aunties Martha and Abby. Their dead-pan approach showed perfectly the naivety and irony of their characters who, in their own little world, took a moral high ground on giving their victims a 'good Christian burial' in the cellar and the good jobs that the police did for them, despite them being murderers.

    That aspect, coupled with the brilliant Rory McGhie, who, as favourite nephew Mortimer, was frantically running around trying to cover up the old dears' antics made this production. His comedy timing, erratic actions and mannerisms were immense - especially against the backdrop of the aunties' incessant ramblings.

    Malcolm Berwick was suitably evil as prodigal baddie Jonathan and his side-kick, alcoholic surgeon Dr Einstein, was also well-played by Roger Goddard.

    And, if all that wasn't enough, Chris Hall was also fantastic as eccentric fantasist Teddy Brewster who believed he was American President Roosevelt. His brief appearances added even more comedy to the mix in what was a frantic comedy that you just could not take your eyes off for a minute as you wondered what would happen next.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Tue 27 Mar 2012

    DOZENS gathered in High Street around a statue of Bromsgrove’s most famous son, 153 years after his birth in the town.

    AE Housman, one of England’s best loved poets, died in 1936, aged 77, after spending much of his life with his family in Perry Hall.

    Among those who joined the celebrations on Monday, (March 26), around his commemorative statue were members of the town’s Housman Society, councilors, and guest for the day the Dean of Worcester Cathedral the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson.

    After society chairman Jim Page had given a short address he handed over to the dean, who gave a short readings of Housman’s poetry.

    During his talk Mr Atkinson joked that he wondered what Housman, an atheist, would have thought about being given the tribute by the dean all these years later.

    The guests then moved on to Housman Hall, formerly Perry Hall in Kidderminster Road, for a buffet lunch.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Sun 25 Mar 2012
    Tony Turpin has again helped organise the Bromsgrove Arts Society exhibition, which forms part of Bromsgrove Festival’s fringe. Tony Turpin has again helped organise the Bromsgrove Arts Society exhibition, which forms part of Bromsgrove Festival’s fringe.

    BUDDING artists are being given the chance to see their work go on display at a town exhibition.

    Bromsgrove Art Society’s Art Exhibition is being held at All Saints Church, in Birmingham Road, and will include a large number of paintings with different styles and subjects.

    The exhibition is again being organised by Tony Turpin, and forms part of Bromsgrove Festival fringe.

    Painters are allowed to submit a maximum of five pictures.

    On the back of each picture, artists are asked to stick a label with their name, address, the painting’s title, medium used, and price.

    All framed pictures should have a cord fixed firmly to the back, enabling pictures to be hung easily and securely.

    There is a hanging fee dependant on the size of the picture, while a maximum of five unframed pictures can be submitted at 50p each.

    The church receives 20 per cent of commission, which goes towards the church’s restoration fund and the organising of the exhibition.

    Artists are asked to bring along pictures to the church for hanging on Tuesday, April 17, between 10.30am-4pm.

    The exhibition is running between Saturday, April 21, and Saturday, May 5. It will be open between 10am-4pm weekdays, 11.30am-4pm on Sundays.

    Collection of pictures at the end of the exhibition is taking place on Saturday, May 5, from noon-4pm.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Fri 16 Mar 2012

    A PUPIL from North Bromsgrove High School has become one of the favourite reviewers for bookseller Red House Books.

    14-year-old Jake Rheeston, who is an avid reader applied to the company, which sells books through its catalogue and website, and now the company has featured Jake on its current brochure as one of its top book reviewers.

    Red House’s managing director, Susie Chalmers, said: “Jake joined our team of Red House reviewers in September 2011 and he has already read and reviewed six books for us.


    “Our reviewers are really important to us at Red House because they help us decide which books to feature in our catalogue and on our website. Our reviewers also help other children and their parent's to decide which books to choose.

    “We thoroughly enjoy reading Jake's reviews and we hope he will continue to enjoy reading and review many more books for us.”

    Jake added: “I enjoy being a reviewer because you get to read books you might not normally read. You also get to read books which have not yet been distributed to the shops.”

  • Tue 13 Mar 2012

    ART lovers are being invited to the next meeting of a town art society where a talented artist will be appearing.

    On Tuesday, March 20, Bromsgrove Art Society will be hosting a demonstration of still life painting in oils, which will be given by celebrated artist Terence Clarke.

    The artist has a degree in painting, writes for various art publications, and is widely known for his strong drawing style and use of bold colour.

    His work has been shown widely in the UK and some of his paintings are in important private collections across Europe and the USA.

    The meeting will be taking place at the St John Ambulance Centre, in Barnsley Hall Drive, Birmingham Road, from 7.30pm. Society web site

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Mon 12 Mar 2012

    TALENTED young musicians will be taking centre stage at a special concert at North Bromsgrove High School.

    The concert is the idea of Bromsgrove Concerts, which wanted to give young musicians an opportunity to perform in public.

    Those taking part include pianists Jeremy Ho, Bethan Winter, and Jessica Douglas who also will be playing viola, Jisun Youn on violin, flautist Emily Moseley, her brother Ben Moseley who plays the cello and singer Freya Morgan.

    The varied programme includes pieces by Chopin, Dvorak, Debussy and Leroy Anderson.

    The concert, part of Bromsgrove Concert’s 49th series of chamber music, is on Friday, March 16 starting at 8pm with tickets costing £6 (those under 25 are free).

    For more information, visit

  • Mon 12 Mar 2012

    A SINGER songwriter will be launching his new CD in Bromsgrove on Thursday, (March 15).

    International artist Anthony John Clarke will be launching the CD, Laughing at Clowns, at Bromsgrove Folk Club’s next event being held at Catshill Social Club, in Meadow Road.

    Known as AJ he will be accompanied by talented musicians including his wife Julia on accordion, Elizabeth von Waal on keyboards, and Dave Pegg on Mandolin.

    The CD is a mix of mainly self penned songs but also some by Midlands songwriters including Maybe We'll Dance, which was written by the club's own John Connor.

    Doors open at 7.45pm, with the music getting under way at 8.15pm.

    For more details call Bob on 0121 476 5938, or see the club's website .........

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser