Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Thu 15 Dec 2011

    THE CLASSIC tale of Beauty and the Beast was brought to life at Bromsgrove's Artrix in another superb pantomime put on by All and Sundry and directed by Alison Berrisford.

    In truth, there were too many highlights in this show to mention them all - from the charismatic cast and colourful costumes to the magnificent music and delightful dance routines.

    No panto would be complete without good old-fashioned audience participation and plenty of double entendres and this production also had those elements in abundance.

    The pick of the comedic performances came from Kat Cashmore as Polly Potts and the two panto dames, Nigel Buckley and Mick Randle, aka Lambrini and Chardonnay - the rapport and on-stage chemistry between those two was wonderful to watch.

    The best bits of audience interaction were provided by the performances of Andrew Hill as Crouton and Emma Hobday, who rightfully earned plenty of boos and hisses with her portrayal of the evil Victor Vandare and his ever increasing sword.

    But, although this show had the audience in hysterics throughout, it wasn't just about the humour - there were some very touching moments too. The most notable of these were the scenes in the grand ballroom where the prince / beast (Jamie Grant) and Belle (Arali McGrath) performed their slow dances. Another highlight from Arali was her amazing voice which never failed to reach a note.

    The reputation of All and Sundry, since its formation in 2003, has grown and grown in Bromsgrove, Redditch, Birmingham and beyond and this year's panto is yet another peak for the group's performers.

    Beauty and the Beast is on at Artrix at 7pm tomorrow (Thursday), tonight (Friday) and at 2pm and 7pm tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday (December 18). Tickets are £13.50 (£12 concessions) or £41 for a family ticket. They are available by calling 01527 577330 or visiting:

    Reprinted courtesy of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Fri 18 Nov 2011

    A NEW music project in Bromsgrove is set to entertain townsfolk for the first time next month.

    The Orchestra of St John’s Church invites local players and members of youth music projects to participate, and is designed to prepare them for the church’s main orchestra.

    The new venture is the brainchild of Bromsgrove residents Alastair and Cathy Moseley, Sue Peters and Colin Butterworth and is designed to extend the church’s already significant musical activity.

    The first performance of the project is to be conducted by Richard Jenkinson, principal cellist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, (CBSO), and will be taking place at the Kidderminster Road-based church on Saturday, December 3.

    The vicar of St John's Church, Chris Wingfield, and musical director, Jonathan Kingston, are giving their full support to the project, and are hoping as many people as possible can attend the event, taking place from 7.30pm.

    The concert will include favourites such as the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings and Elgar's Introduction and Allegro for strings.

    Charlotte Moseley, daughter of Alastair and Cathy, is a member of the quartet performing at the event, together with three other players from the CBSO Youth Orchestra.

    There will be a festive slant with Corelli's Christmas Concerto, in addition to a well-known Handel Organ Concerto performed by Paul Charman, the former organist at the church.

    Tickets cost £10, which includes a programme and refreshments. Tickets are available from the Parish Office on 01527 878801, or on the door.

    Under 16s go free, but should be accompanied by an adult.

    For more details on the orchestra see

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Wed 12 Oct 2011

    CREATIVE young people from Bromsgrove are being urged to enter a brand new arts competition.

    Launched by the Artrix in partnership with county councillors, Go Create has four age categories from four to 25 and four media categories; photography, film making, animation and creative visual arts.

    The theme for entries is Here I Am, which is open to wide interpretation.

    It could be work based around the environment, on the entrant’s home or school or the people they see on a daily basis.

    It is open to young people living in the electoral divisions of councillors Anthony Blagg, Sheila Blagg, Maddy Bunker, June Griffiths, Emma Moffett and Kit Taylor.

    Closing date for entries is January 31.

    For more information, visit or email artrixoutreach [at] ne-worcs [dot] ac [dot] uk

    Reprinted courtesy of Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Mon 10 Oct 2011

    BROMSGROVE residents can get involved in this year’s Black History Month at a series of events, being supported by Bromsgrove District Council.

    Amongst a programme of events marking Black History Month, a full evening of entertainment at Artrix on Thursday, October 20 concludes with an 8pm performance of "Rivers to Cross" by the Gazebo Theatre Company, with an African Caribbean buffet free for ticketholders.

    Tickets for this powerful new multimedia play spanning 174 years of true stories of great accomplishments in the face of imperialism and segregation right up to modern day are £12, £10 concessions, or £8 for block bookings of 10 or more tickets, with food included.

    The buffet, provided by the Wildmoor Oak’s award winning chef Lorenzo Richards, is from 6.30pm.

    Contact Artrix Box Office on 01527 577330 or see

    Bromsgrove District Council’s portfolio holder for Legal, Equalities and Democratic Services, Councillor Mark Bullivant, said: “We are proud to be supporting Black History Month for another year.

    “The events are invariably fun and entertaining, as well as being educational and helping to bring together different parts of our community. This year’s programme looks excellent.”

    Chairman of Bromsgrove Black History Society, Trevor Rigg, said: “The time for celebrating Black History Month is here again. We applaud the involvement of our partners, the district council, Artrix, Bromsgrove Library, and North Bromsgrove High School for helping towards our aims through these events.”

    On the same evening the foyer at Artrix will also host Bromsgrove’s first glimpse of The History Detectives’ exhibition “Black People in the West Midlands 1650-1918", from 6pm. It’s free of charge and includes a free prize draw for other event tickets.

    For the full list of events and activities taking place in the district during Black History Month 2011, see the district council’s brochure at

    Reprinted courtesy of the Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Sat 17 Sep 2011

    WORCESTERSHIRE County Council is once again offering grants to local voluntary and community sector organisations.

    The eighth round of the council’s grants scheme is seeking applications from organisations which develop diversity in the community, provide community based activities for older people or are involved in the provision of community arts.

    Coun John Campion, responsible for localism and communities, said: “We are really pleased to continue supporting activities in the community in this way.”

    Anyone interested in applying for a grant should visit and follow the link for ‘VCS Grants’. Application forms are available from gwills [at] worcestershire [dot] gov [dot] uk (subject: Grants%20for%20volunteer%20and%20community%20groups) (gwills [at] worcestershire [dot] gov [dot] uk )or 01905 766864.

    The deadline for applications is 4pm on Friday, October 28.

    The above reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Tue 13 Sep 2011


    Arts Council England has today, Tuesday 13 September, opened applications for the revised Renaissance in the Regions major grants programme for regional museums.

    We have also published Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone - the document which sets out how we will place museums and libraries at the heart of the organisation.

    Both moves come as part of the preparation for the Arts Council assuming key responsibilities formerly held by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) from 1 October 2011. Since agreeing in December 2010 to take on these key functions, we have been working to develop funding programmes and to secure the best expertise to provide ongoing support to museums and libraries. The ultimate aim is a fully integrated cultural offer that inspires more people to get involved with the arts, museums and libraries.

    Our investment

    We have a budget of £46 million a year for our new responsibilities with £43.6 million set aside for Renaissance in the Regions - a 15 per cent reduction in the Renaissance budget for 2012-15 when compared to the last spending period.

    The funding for the reworked Renaissance major grants programme - which replaces the MLA's core museums fund - is £20 million a year. For the first time, major grants to regional museums will be awarded via an open application process, assessed against published criteria, in a similar fashion to our National portfolio funding process for arts organisations earlier this year. We hope that by opening up the application process a new mix of museums across the country will find support through Renaissance.


    Applications open today (13 September) and close on 2 November. Funding decisions will be announced towards the end of January 2012. Grants of between £500,000 and £2 million will be awarded for a period of three years, April 2012 - March 2015, and only accredited museums with designated collections will be eligible to apply. Face to face briefings for museums interested in applying are taking place throughout the country this week. Visit the Renaissance major grants programme page for full details of the criteria and application process and to download the briefing presentation.

    The major grants programme is one of the four key parts to Renaissance - an improvement programme for regional museums that Arts Council England sees as the key way to drive excellence and deliver long term change in museums in England, with the aim of attracting more visitors to museums and enabling people to experience them in new and innovative ways. Find out more about the programme and our investment.

    Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: 'Our National portfolio application process for the arts was a major step forward in making regular funding available to a wider range of arts organisations and  today we are offering a similar opportunity to regional museums through this revised Renaissance programme.

    'As ever, our resources are limited and we will not be able to fund every application we receive - we expect that some organisations will no longer be funded but others will be offered support for the first time. However,our ambitions for culture in this country are undiminished and we intend to grasp the exciting opportunities presented by our expanded role.

    'We recognise and celebrate the fact that arts organisations, museums and libraries are distinct from each other and offer a wealth of different experiences. From the community to the university library, a small independent museum to a large regional collection, or a small poetry publisher to a national theatre company, there is a real cultural richness that everyone can enjoy.

    'We'll also be playing a focused role in supporting and developing libraries, through initiatives like the Future Libraries programme, and I look forward to working with arts organisations, museums and libraries across the country to really bring the cultural offer together for the benefit of audiences.'

    We hope that Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone will act as a starting point for conversations and informal consultation over the coming year to help shape a single vision for the arts and culture from 2015.

    Further details of other Renaissance funding, and of support for libraries, will be announced in the coming months.

  • Tue 13 Sep 2011


    The Arts Council has today published Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone - a framework for future cooperation. This publication sets out how we will place museums and libraries at the heart of our work and our vision for the future; it is a companion piece to our 10-year strategic framework for the arts Achieving great art for everyone.

    Download the publication here and find out how to feed in your views.

    From October 1 2011 the Arts Council will assume some responsibilities currently held by the Museums and Libraries Archives Council (MLA) following its closure. Though this change was born out of necessity, we are inspired by the opportunity it presents for the arts, museums and libraries, and their audiences and users.

    The new framework revisits our strategic goals, making sure they are appropriate for our expanded role.

    Our plans

    We recognise that arts organisations, museums and libraries are distinct from each other and offer a wealth of different experiences. We should celebrate this, not be afraid of it. Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone articulates how we plan to champion, develop and invest in museums and libraries, and how they in turn can contribute to our strategic goals - offering exciting and imaginative experiences to as many people as possible and developing a strong and sustainable cultural sector.

    The new framework also sets out how we will work with museums and libraries over the next three years (funding period 2012-15) and provides a structure for our forthcoming funding decisions – including the revised Renaissance in the Regions major grants programme which is open for application from 13 September 2011.

    We will hold an informal consultation on the longer term focus beyond 2015, this autumn to make sure that we hear a wide range of views on the long-term ambitions of all the cultural areas that we now represent.

    Download the publication here and find out how to feed in your views.

    A review of research and literature on museums and libraries

    In preparation for our new responsibilities and to help us understand the museum and library landscape, we have also undertaken a range of activities to understand the needs and priorities of the sectors and published A review of research and literature on museums and libraries.

    Download A review of research and literature on museums and libraries.

  • Tue 6 Sep 2011


    Lottery awards for three arts events


    Three major Lottery awards have been made by Arts Council England for key arts events in the West Midlands.

    They include a craft exhibition across the West and the East Midlands, a youth project in Herefordshire and Stratford Music Festival.

    Made in the Middle has received a Grants for the arts award of £39,000. The grant is to Craftspace in Birmingham which is organising this exciting, triennial craft exhibition.  For the first time it will feature work from makers from both the East and West Midlands.

    This major touring exhibition will launch at mac birmingham in February 2012.

    The exhibition, which is free to visitors, will showcase work of all disciplines by contemporary craft makers based in or affiliated to the region. Work will be on sale. Made in the Middle has been developed by Craftspace, which is an independent crafts development organisation based in Birmingham.

    Craftspace is well known for their innovative work and exhibition partnerships with venues in the Midlands and other parts of the UK.

    Previous Made in the Middle exhibitions have focussed on the West Midlands, so it is a new approach to involve the whole of the Midlands. It will be the seventh Made in the Middle show, and is a partnership between Craftspace and mac birmingham in collaboration with The National Centre for Craft and Design.

    The selection of makers for the exhibition has recently taken place and will be announced on Craftspace's website:

    An award of nearly £38,000 has been made to Herefordshire Council for an arts project involving young people, aged between 11 and 25.

    The pilot - named y.Art - will involve a series of contemporary arts projects led by professional artists. It will end with a large-scale evening public performance in Hereford in March 2012 showcasing all the work that has been produced from ten groups.

    The project will employ a lead artist and lead designer/technician to guide and oversee the work of six artists who will lead 140 workshop sessions with the young people.

    Around 600 individuals are expected to be involved in the project with 300 taking part in the final celebration. They will be recruited from youth centres, skate parks, social housing projects and through publicity activity.

    Stratford Music Festival is receiving £17,000.  The festival runs in the town from 15 to 22 October this year.

    During the eight days the music will range from contemporary, classical, jazz, folk, world and music played on period instruments. The 2011 Festival seeks to develop new audiences, old and young and give performing opportunities to young artists and composers alongside established musicians.

    Ambrose Miller, Artistic Director, said the festival has existed since 1996 and has a reputation for offering a high standard of performances and value for money.

    This year's theme is New Lands, New Horizons. It will include work associated with or influenced by a country, rather than the composer's own.

    The festival takes place at various venues around the town. For more information visit the website:


  • Tue 2 Aug 2011

    BROMSGROVE'S Artrix scooped a prestigious accolade at the annual awards held by the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

    The popular arts centre saw off its competitors to be named the two counties' Community Enterprise of The Year Award for 2011.

    In the last 12 months alone, Artrix has been involved in a partnership with NEW College to help provide courses in performing and production arts, media and music technology and has also ran 492 workshop sessions in dance, drama, music, belly dancing and stand up comedy. Also, as part of its link-up with the organisations in Bromsgrove Arts Alive, 41 shows have been staged at the venue, there have been monthly exhibitions by local artists and there have been 34 schools activities and 126 children's holiday activities.

    As well as those successes, the centre's Outreach programme has seen 40 activities take place at community locations throughout the Bromsgrove district.

    Andy Woods, the art centre's director, said: “Since we opened in April 2005, one of our key strengths has been the partnerships we have formed with Bromsgrove’s creative communities.

    "Over the years, Artrix has secured an excellent public profile as an innovative centre for the creative arts. 

    "Earning recognition for our achievements from our peers in the business community is a tribute to all our staff, partners and volunteers who have worked so hard to establish Artrix."

    For more on Artrix, visit:

    Reproduced by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Mon 1 Aug 2011

    The curtain will rise this week on another fun-filled summer of public Street Theatre entertainment across Bromsgrove district.

    This year’s Street Theatre calendar begins at the Recreation Ground in Bromsgrove on Wednesday August 3 and continues through to August 18, with six shows across Bromsgrove, Wythall, Hagley and Rubery.

    Crowd favourite Robot Titan will play the first two shows in Bromsgrove and Wythall, with Bruce Airhead – as seen at Glastonbury festival – wowing the crowds in week two at Bromsgrove and Hagley. Returning Tanzanian acrobat troupe the Black Eagles will perform the final two shows in Bromsgrove and Rubery in week three.

    All Street Theatre days also see the return of children’s artwork, workshops, face painting, Mendhi painting and more.

    Bromsgrove District Council’s portfolio holder for Leisure and Cultural Services Cllr Michael Webb said: “I hope that residents right across the district will take the opportunity to enjoy the sixteenth year of Street Theatre. Every year our Street Theatre brings the community together for summer holiday fun and I’m sure this year will be no different.”

    Street Theatre fun starts at 10am on every date, with performances starting at 10.30am and then every hour on the half hour until 1.30pm. Events finish at 2.30pm. Bring a picnic!

    Street Theatre is just one part of Bromsgrove District Council’s Go 4 Fun summer activity schedule. A brochure with full details of Go 4 Fun was distributed to households with residents’ magazine Together Bromsgrove and is available on the Events section of the district council’s website

    • August 3, Recreation Ground, Bromsgrove, Robot Titan
    • August 4, Wythall Park, Wythall, Robot Titan
    • August 10, Recreation Ground, Bromsgrove, Bruce Airhead
    • August 11, Hagley Park, Hagley, Bruce Airhead
    • August 17, Recreation Ground, Bromsgrove, Black Eagles
    • August 18, St Chad’s Park, Rubery, Black Eagles