Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Thu 11 Jan 2018

    BROMSGROVE’S Stage Door Dance Academy has celebrated its 13th anniversary with its members taking part in the successful All and Sundry pantomime Cinderella.

    The sell-out show took place at Artrix in the run-up to Christmas.

    Martina Ponsonby is the Principal of the Stage Door Dance Academy which has been based at Stoke Prior Village Hall since 1994.

    She said: “A pantomime is not the same without children appearing in it and we were delighted to have a great group of students performing in this production.

    “We are tremendously proud of our students who worked so hard throughout rehearsals and the extended run of the panto.

    “They were deserving of the wonderful applause after each show and shone like stars.”

    She said events such as the pantomime created wonderful lifelong memories, gave participants dance and performance experience and saw great friendships forged.

    This year’s pantomime was particularly special for the dance academy’s senior student and assistant Laury Wiggins, who took centre stage as ‘Cinderella’.

    “Laury first made her debut appearance with All and Sundry in the January 2007 production of Cinderella when she played a Sprite at the tender age of seven and has been in the panto every year since.

    “From there to appear as the Principal was a wonderful journey for her,” added Martina.

    She also praised the school’s strong support network, along with the parents, former students, friends and colleagues who were involved in the production.

    “There is nothing more rewarding from a teaching perspective, than to see your students thrive and grow into all round performers.”

    Call Martina on 01527 577594 for more information on the academy.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Thu 11 Jan 2018

    A TRADITIONAL Wassail will be held at 4.15pm on Saturday in the Lickey Hills Country Park community orchard.

    Participants should meet at the Visitor Centre in Warren Lane.

    Wassailing is a medieval rural English ritual which is aimed at an area getting a good fruit harvest.

    This event, organised by the country park’s ranger team, is open to everyone.

    Local Appalachian dance group ‘Step on Board’ will provide live music in the Visitor Centre prior to the Wassail.

    Participants should wear warm clothing and wellies and take anything they have to make a noise and frighten off evil spirits.

    They can also take a torch and an ‘apple-based beverage’ to drink to the health of the community orchard’s fruit trees.

    Items commonly used at the lighthearted event include pots and pans.

    The wassail bowl funded by the Lickey Hills Society will again be used this year.

    Call the rangers on 0121 445 6036 for more information.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Sat 6 Jan 2018

    JIGSAW Players theatre company will be staging a production of hit musical Guys and Dolls in May.

    And the group wants people to audition for parts at an informal session on Sunday (January 7).

    The try-outs will be held at the Trinity Centre in Lickey, with the show taking place at Droitwich Spa High School from May 18 to 20.

    Maggie Bishton, from the Jigsaw Players, said: “This is a fabulous stage show, with a wonderful score including memorable songs Luck Be A Lady, Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The Boat, If I Were A Bell plus fabulous choreographed routines. ”

    The musical fable of Broadway, based on the story and characters of Damon Runyon, will be performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe).

    Anyone interested in taking part can book places at Sunday’s session by calling 07919 505764 or 07772 645722. Alternatively, would-be performers can email jigsawplayers15 [at] gmail [dot] com to find out more.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Sun 24 Dec 2017

    BROMSGROVE’S Artrix is celebrating after raising nearly £9,000 in one week as part of a festive fund-raising campaign.

    The popular arts centre announced The Big Give Christmas Challenge fund-raising target was achieved, with £8,983.50 raised in one week.

    High profile performers took to the stage last week, including comedian Sarah Millican, to lend their support by recording messages of encouragement and asking audiences to give generously.

    This amount includes £4,273 of online donations, matched by £2,753 of pledge funds, £1,500 of champion funds (The Reed Foundation) and £458 of gift aid.

    With the help of this funding, Artrix plans to create a two-year youth mental health programme, to enable young people and the wider community to understand the importance of looking after mental health.

    Artrix can forge ahead with developing the production of ‘Hyped’, outreach work with local young people and delivering a youth arts mental health festival as part of World Mental Health week in March, 2018.

    This two year project has the potential to positively impact on thousands of local young people engaged in the process, through audience and workshop experiences, and online through mental health campaign engagement.

    Director of Artrix Hannah Phillips said: “We hope this will be the beginning of an annual youth festival programme and will support us in our aim of becoming a centre of excellence for youth engagement and programming.

    “We hope to make a genuine difference in the lives and experiences of young people and believe that Artrix and our strategic partners can work together to achieve this.

    “I would like to say an enormous thank you to all of those who donated and worked so hard towards achieving this target including our wonderful partners, North Worcestershire Business Leaders, Biz Smart, Open Door Counselling Service and Heart of Worcestershire College.”

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Mon 18 Dec 2017

    BROMSGROVE town centre was illuminated on Sunday as a sea of lanterns journeyed down the High Street for the Festival of Light.

    It followed previous lantern parades, including last year’s organised by The Friends of St John’s and the one organised for Artrix’s tenth birthday but this one was bigger and better. And it is hoped the Festival of Light will become an annual event.

    The show was directed by Kristoffer Huball who specialises in outdoor theatrics on a grand scale and is an Artrix Associate Artist.

    The procession was led by town Samba band Someone at the Door and featured a 20ft Bunraku puppet which was created by the 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space and puppeteered by Beautiful Creatures.

    Hundreds of people turned out to see the spectacular show which was made possible after Huball worked alongside Artrix staff to organise lantern making workshops in schools, community centres and numerous other public spots.

    Their aim was to get as many people creating lights as possible and more than 250 were in the festival parade.

    There was also a performance by Birmingham-based Balkan Gypsy band The Destroyers.

    BBC Hereford and Worcester’s Tammy Gooding also made an appearance to introduce the proceedings.

    Bromsgrove centres Mmanager Cheryl Welsh said; “It’s wonderful to have such a community led, accessible and inclusive event taking place at this time of year and I think this Christmas we’ve proven what a fantastic venue our town centre can be.

    “It’s been fabulous end to a jam packed calendar of events and I cant wait to see what next year holds.”

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Sat 16 Dec 2017

    THE WINNERS of this year’s Christmas card competition organised by Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid have been announced.

    Hundreds of pupils from schools and nurseries across the district took part in the contest to provide a picture for the front of the card Mr Javid will send out.

    The winner was eight-year-old Holly Moult from Beaconside Primary School.

    The runners-up, whose designs will feature on the back of the card, include Aaron Brittain, three, from Coppice Nursery, Isabella Pettet, four, from Coppice Primary School and Amelia Cook, seven, from Beoley First School.

    The judges from this year’s competition included Richard Nokes from Bromsgrove Printing Company, Lorita Cornish from Decanter Spirit, and Lesley Macpherson from Allan Morris Estate Agents.

    Sajid said: “Each year, I look forward to seeing the brilliant creative work of my constituents.

    “Congratulations to Holly, Aaron, Isabella and Amelia.

    “Well done to all the children across Bromsgrove who entered the competition, and thank you to the judges who had a difficult job deciding the winner.”

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Sat 16 Dec 2017

    THE BRAND new Performing Arts Centre at Bromsgrove School has opened its doors after years of planning and construction.

    The centre, which includes the new Cobham Theatre and Routh Concert Hall, seats an audience of 300 and includes a large drama studio, a suite of new music classrooms, recording studios and practice rooms.

    The theatre has flexible seating options to accommodate a variety of performance styles and a hydraulic thrust stage allowing for a wide range of drama and dance performances.

    At the grand opening last week, guest of honour Prof Julian Lloyd Webber, the Principal of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the Honorary Christopher Lyttleton, 12th Viscount Cobham, officially opened Routh Concert Hall and Cobham Theatre.

    Prof Lloyd Webber and the Conservatoire are closely involved with The Bromsgrove International Young Musicians’ Competition, hosted annually at Bromsgrove School.

    A variety of drama performances were also held in the new Cobham Theatre, including the opening scenes and finale from The Pierglass, written by Bromsgrove’s Director of Performing Arts, Tim Norton, an extract from The Tales of The Thousand and One Nights and an extract from Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’.

    The Routh Hall Opening Concert featured performances by senior school percussionists Drum Line, senior choir, string orchestra, jazz band and concert choirs.

    Tim Norton, director of performing arts at Bromsgrove, said it was a huge honour and a privilege to be temporary custodian of such a beautiful and exciting new centre.

    “I’m delighted we were able to show off so many of the magical things the theatre can offer, but the opening showcase – highlighting flying, complex sound and lighting design and pyrotechnics was just a taste of what we can do.

    “Similarly, we have shown just the slightest morsel of what our extraordinary performers, from the youngest to the oldest, can achieve.

    “We now look forward to finding ways of unlocking the full potential of both our students and our facilities over the coming years and exploring the many ways we can share what we have created with our local community.”

    The performances were all live-streamed to the school’s Facebook page.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Wed 29 Nov 2017

    BROMSGROVE Samba band Someone at the Door, which will be leading the Festival of Light parade on December 17 has just celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special party.

    The community band, which has about 30 musicians of all ages and abilities, play music based on Brazilian Samba with influences from Reggae, Hip Hop, Bhangra and more.

    The anniversary event was held at Bromsgrove Tennis and Cricket Club and saw members past and present enjoy live music and a hog roast.

    Overhead projections and static displays showed the band’s 20-year history and a Samba Band jam of about 40 percussionists ended the night.

    Formerly the Bromsgrove Community Band, Someone At The Door became independent in 1999 and performed at various carnivals, village fetes and parades.

    Band member, Maurice Preece said: “Recently we have performed at The LG Arena-NEC and The Ricoh Stadium Coventry with the highlight of our career to date being invited to perform at the Anniversary Olympics in 2013.

    “Together with more than 600 others we also hold a Guinness World Record for the most drummers performing in one place at one time.

    “A huge thanks to Rory Shannon for his organisation and coordination.

    “It was a fantastic and memorable evening with our Samba Band family, the beat goes on.”

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Tue 3 Oct 2017

    PEOPLE wanting to get in touch with their creative sides can go along to a craft group at Hollymoor Church, Manor Park Grove.

    The Hollymoor Craft Group meets on Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 9pm.

    Participants can take their latest projects to the sessions, pass on their knowledge and pick up tips about various activities.

    Tea, coffee and biscuits are available at the group.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard


  • Mon 2 Oct 2017

    A TASTER session in playing the ukulele will be held at Avoncroft Arts Centre, Redditch Road, Stoke Heath, from 2pm to 4pm next Friday, October 6.

    It has been organised by the Friends of Avoncroft Arts Society and is open to members and non-members.

    Ukuleles will be available to play and participants will find out if the instrument is for them.

    There are 15 places available which will be given on a first come basis.

    Admission is £2 and following that, the society hopes to offer a ten-week ukulele course.

    Email avoncroftarts [at] btconnect [dot] com or call 01527 833829 to reserve a place.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard