Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Thu 25 May 2017

    A BROMSGROVE theatre group is appealing for people to come forward to play three key role in its next production.

    The Fairbourne Dodders will be staging classic French farce Don’t Dress For Dinner at the Village Hall on August 11 and 12.

    Due to the group having to move the date, they no longer have an actor to play Bernard and two of the three female parts – a cook, the wife and the mistress – also need filling.

    The potential performers needs to be aged between 35 and 55.

    The show centres around husband Bernard and wife Jacqueline who is having an affair with Bernard’s best friend Robert.

    When Bernard plans a weekend away with Robert there are more twists and turns and hilarity.

    Anyone interested in the role should call James 07946 715220.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Tue 7 Feb 2017

    CHANGES are being made to Birmingham’s Community Library Service which would see a reduction in opening hours for both Northfield and Frankley libraries.

    Under the changes being undertaken by Birmingham City Council to save £1.9million from the budget by 2018/19 the Northfield Library, Church Road, is considered a ‘Tier 1’ library and Frankley in the Tier 2 bracket.

    It means, should the proposals be given the go ahead by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday (February 14), Northfield would open for 35 hours a week, rather than the 39 it is now. Self-service equipment will be installed.

    Frankley would be open for 21 hours, rather than the current 21.5 it is now although council bosses say there could be other options, such as ‘working with partners’ which could see an increase in those hours.

    Across Birmingham the number of full-time library staff would be reduced from 112 to 99 but, council chiefs say, that is up from the original proposal of cutting to 88.

    The city-wide book fund would increase to £380,000 from the £140,000 and the repairs and maintenance fund for libraries would also go up by £50,000 to £145,000 per year – both those would be annual budgets set until further notice.

    In addition to that, there would be an investment of £800,000 in new technology to improve self-service facilities for library users.

    Coun Ian Ward, Birmingham City Council’s deputy leader, said when the public consultation was launched last year he made it clear it was a genuine chance to ask residents for their ideas to deliver a library service within the financial constraints the authority was having to operate under.

    “I am delighted by the engagement we have had through our series of public meetings, consultation survey, petitions and other channels.

    “Almost 2,000 formal responses were received, which confirms how well-regard the city’s service is – and by working collaboratively we’ve been able to come up with revised proposals that address our challenges and broadly meet the wishes of partners and citizens.”

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Sun 5 Feb 2017

    A PROGRAMME of events have been organised across Bromsgrove to celebrate LGBT month.

    It starts with a photographic exhibition ‘Be Masculine, Be Feminine, Be Both, Be Neither, Be Unapologetic’ by Megan Jackson who has been exploring different presentations of gender in her photography.

    A book display featuring LGBT authors and related subjects will also be held at Bromsgrove Library.

    Now in its sixth year, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month has a new addition – two ‘drive-in movies’ at Artrix.

    The first – Dirty Dancing – will be on February 14 and the second – Carol – will be on Feruary 15.

    Parking will open at 6pm with the films starting at 7.30pm.

    Admission is £20 per car and food is also available including hot dogs, burgers, veggie burgers and fish and chips.

    Tickets for these events must be booked in advance.

    Bromsgrove and Redditch councils are also supporting the celebrations by offering a month’s programme of events, exhibitions and information displays at Artrix and Bromsgrove Library.

    Coun Peter Whittaker, portfolio-holder for leisure services, said “We are proud to be supporting LGBT History Month and this year’s programme is bigger, better and more thought-provoking than ever.

    “I hope residents really enjoy and get involved.”

    LGBT History Month is held annually to celebrate and recognise contributions made to society by LGBT members of the community.

    Email equalities [at] bromsgroveandredditch [dot] gov [dot] uk or visit for more details.

    Reprinted by kind permission of he Bromsgrove Standard

  • Sat 4 Feb 2017

    AN AUTHOR from Barnt Green is set to publish his latest book charting the forgotten sacrifices made by British sailors during the First World War.

    ‘Securing the Narrow Sea’ by Steve Dunn details personal accounts from members of the Dover Patrol as they fought to keep control of the English channel during the Great War of 1914 to 1918.

    The book details how anti-submarine work, shore bombardment and barrage building was undertaken, along with how vessels, including trawlers and yachts manned by volunteers, complemented Cruisers and Destroyers from the Royal Navy, to secure control of the channel.

    Other duties included the protection of troops and supplies to the Western Front and ship-to-ship engagements with German forces.

    Mr Dunn told the Standard “This was the longest, arduous, continual campaign to protect Britain’s supply chain, with 2,000 personnel making the ultimate sacrifice. What stands out about these men is their uncomplaining devotion to a hard duty.

    “They coped with the daily perils as they fought against the German u-boat threat in an effort to protect Britain’s supply chain.”

    A wealth of eye-witness material held by the Imperial War Museum, the Churchill Archives and the National Archives was accessed whilst researching for the book, providing details of how a raid on Zeebrugge in 1918 resulted in Victoria Crosses being awarded to a number of the patrol.

    ‘Securing the Narrow Sea’ is the fifth book written on the First World War by Mr Dunn since he gave up his day job to become a full-time author.

    Previous books by this author include ‘Blockade cruiser warfare’, ‘The scapegoat’ – about Admiral Craddock, and ‘Formidable’, the first British Battleship sunk by torpedo.

    Securing the Narrow Sea is available from all good bookshops, and – it is priced at £25.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Fri 3 Feb 2017

    A SINGER-songwriter from Rubery is releasing a song to campaign against gun, knife and other violent crimes.

    Lucy Shaw will be using her song ‘Gunshots’ to put forward a positive message of hope about gun, knife and other violent crimes, and to profile hospital radio and its volunteers across the UK.

    “Growing up in Birmingham I am aware of gun and knife crime and the impact it has on society.

    “I see the inhumane acts of violence that cause suffering through the use of weapons, and I want it to end.”

    The single is set to be launched next Saturday (February 11) on the hospital radio network with people requested to listen to the track on either Spotify, iTunes or hospital radio.

    Lucy also urged people to speak to those around them about the dangers of carrying weapons and ask them why they felt the need to possess them.

    She added the hard work of the emergency services and staff in A&E departments has influenced her campaign.

    Search for ‘Lucy Shaw Music’ on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and SoundCloud for more on Lucy and go to @lucyshawmusic to follow her on Twitter.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Tue 31 Jan 2017

    A GROUP of Bromsgrove students have tackled the concept of age discrimination through a thought-provoking photography exhibition.

    As part of an ‘intergenerational project’ at North Bromsgrove High School, the Year 13 photography students produced a series of images, which are now being exhibited to the public for a number of weeks from yesterday (Friday) at Artrix.

    Sixth-formers also worked with the volunteers in utilising photography equipment and editing software to overcome technological barriers.

    Katy Travers, an art and photography teacher who was approached to organise the project, said: “The aim of the project was to portray the volunteers in unconventional settings in order to get people to think differently about the older people in our community.

    “Our sixth-formers really enjoyed working on the project and are very pleased with the final images.”

    Community Safety Project Officer Wendy Thompson from the Bromsgrove and Redditch Community Safety Team has supported the project, which has been funded by the Safer Bromsgrove CSP Group.

    Reprinted by kind permission og The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Mon 30 Jan 2017

    A SHOWCASE of local musicians are set to perform at Artrix to raise funds to support refugees.

    Organised by Bromsgrove and Redditch Welcome Refugees (BRWR), ‘Gimme Shelter’ is a fundraising concert supporting the local Syrian community who arrived this summer and to help refugees displaced across Europe.

    Held on Wednesday (February 22) at 7pm, the concert will see performances from Rubery poet ‘Spoz, Oya Batucada Samba, Jack Blackman, Abi Budgen and Dan Wilkins.

    Alistair Waugh of BRWR, said: “We’re planning a sensational night with a lively Samba band, Bromsgrove’s Town Crier and a wealth of local talent that spans several styles.

    “The message behind the concert is simple; we all feel love and pain. And we all deserve a safe place to live.

    “We chose the title ‘Gimme Shelter’, by The Rolling Stones, as the song sums up the cause well.”

    BRWR also works in partnership with Worcestershire charity ‘People In Motion’ who are helping at refugee camps in France, Serbia and Greece.

    Tickets cost £15 and are available at Artrix Box Office on 01527 577330 or visit for more information.


    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Tue 27 Dec 2016

    BROMSGROVE singer and writer Phil Haynes has released two new songs which he hopes will inspire residents across the district and beyond.

    He said the first ‘She Answered My Prayer’ was centred on the Pagan, Celtic, Druid practice of ‘Handfasting’ – getting married but without the convention, in the open air, such as in a forest. There people say the things they want to say to each other.

    His other song Energy is about the importance of energy and of being ‘in tune’ with your surroundings and situations.

    The new songs have been produced by Birmingham music producer, musician and engineer Bob Cheel and follow on from ‘It’s Christmas in Our Town’ – a traditional festive pop song which Phil wrote, performed and released as Vintage 12 back in 2014.

    Phil said: “I had a great time writing and recording the new songs – I just want people to have a listen and see what they think.”

    The Bromsgrove Day of Kindness was the brainchild of Phil but he has struggled to organise one this year, because of time restrictions.

    In 2017 he is hoping to start ‘Bromsgrove Let’s Talk’ to provide an opportunity for anyone to speak and listen on a variety of subjects they feel are important, from local issues to World events, along with spiritual and conspiratorial theories.

    Anyone wanting to find out more can call him on 07949 763027.

    Visit for more on Phil and his songs, which are available to download on Amazon, Google store, Spotify, iTunes and Deezer.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard and The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Thu 22 Dec 2016

    A SINGER-SONGWRITER from Bromsgrove has released a new CD to raise funds for the Primrose Hospice.

    ‘Find Your Song’ has been created by Keith Judson, the hospice’s chaplain, using his eldest son Ben’s school music studio.

    It features 14 songs – nine of them original by Keith with the remaining ones being put together by Ben, Tim (his middle son) and local songwriter Bryn Phillips.

    There are also a couple of traditional songs on the album as well.

    Since then Ben has pulled in some very talented musicians to produce the album which Keith said he was really pleased with.

    The tracks have now been mastered in a professional studio.

    The CDs are available from the Primrose Hospice and from Keith’s website – – for £10.

    All of the proceeds will be going to the charity and the studio and manufacturer have given discounts to keep production costs to a minimum and to help maximise the profit-margin for the Primrose.

  • Mon 17 Oct 2016

    MORE THAN 35 artists from the UK, USA, Germany and Spain will head to the Longbridge Light Festival next Saturday (October 22nd).

    Part of the Longbridge Public Art Project (LPAP), the show will become a platform to showcase the work of multi-talented artists.

    The theme Shadow Factory is a historical reference to the Shadow Scheme of the Second World War, led by Lord Austin, founder of the Austin Motor Company.

    An urban myth details how Longbridge’s Second World War shadow factory was painted to resemble terraced houses from the air by local artists, painters and theatre set designers.

    Following the success of the first Longbridge Light Festival in 2014, this year’s offering brings a series a spectacular light and art installations across the town centre. There will also be a free festival on Saturday night featuring music, performance art, pop-up theatre, family workshops, artisanal market stalls and award-winning street food.

    And there will be art and performance from local schools and Bournville College students.

    Resident artist Whipps is also in the final stages of restoring a 1979 1275GT Mini, and has recorded former Longbridge workers reciting the names of every paint colour ever produced on the former car factory site.

    Visitors will be dazzled by a dramatic series of projections lighting up the night sky, a range of sculptural installations, and a series of works reflecting the local community’s heritage.

    The show kicks off at 6pm, runs until 10pm and admission is free.

    Visit for more information.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard