Saturday, 30 March 2013

Happy Easter Bearwood

Happy Easter with all our best wishes from the welovebearwood team.

Hope the Easter Bunny brings you lots of Easter goodies!

Don't forget Bearwood Chapel's Easter events and Warley Woods' Easter Egg Roll which fingers crossed weather permitting will happen on Easter Monday.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Celebrating the Music of Andy Hamilton @ Silvershine Jazz Club, Bearwood Corks, Thursday 28th 2013

When Andy Hamilton passed away last year it ended a truly incredible career that began way back in 1928 when he formed his first band in his native Jamaica. In the intervening years he went on to act as Errol Flynn’s musical arranger before ending up in Birmingham, working in a factory by day then playing jazz at night. In the 70’s he promoted some of Steel Pulse’s first gigs, helping to usher in a new era of roots reggae, as well as encouraging many internationally famous jazz bands and solo stars to play Birmingham and, in later years, his newly adopted home of Bearwood. In 1986 he nearly died from diabetes but not only went on to make a remarkable recovery but, at the tender age of 73, also recorded his debut album, Silvershine, which became the UK’s biggest selling Jazz Album of the Year in 1991. Over the next 20 years or so he carried on playing, almost until the very end, with weekly gigs in Bearwood, monthly shows at Birmingham Symphony Hall and a regular slot at the prestigious Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival. 

Now, just a couple of days after what would have been his 95th birthday, an impressive line up of past Blue Notes musicians (the band he formed back in 1953 and fronted for the next 60 years), family and friends gathered at the club named in his honour last year to pay tribute to one of jazz’s true legends.

Over the course of 3 hours the core Blue Notes band was joined by a series of guest artists including Steve Ajao and Alvin Davis, two of the UK’s leading sax symbols, with (amongst others) Roy Forbes and Kevin McCann on vocals, the nattily behatted Johnny Hoo on drums and (just a year or two younger) a kid called Aiden. At just 12 (I think...) he’s one of many younger players that Andy continued to encourage and, judging by his seemingly effortless style of drumming, it’s pretty clear that Andy’s legacy is in safe hands (more on that later by the way). 

Highlights came thick and fast throughout the evening, with a mellow selection of tracks early in proceedings giving way to some pretty funky stuff as the night got its groooooooooooove on. Part one saw some stunning playing from one of Andy’s long time collaborators Dutch Lewis (the dude seems to be able to play anything that you blow...flute, sax, clarinet, name it) and Steve Ajao, whilst Vic Evans took to the mic to pour that uniquely oaked voice of his all over some of Andy’s favourite tunes. I swear that man could sing a tax return and make it sound like the most beautiful thing in the world. Meanwhile on keyboards Tim Amann (also tonight’s musical arranger) drove the whole thing along in fine style, dishing up some wonderfully intricate flavours and providing all the other musicians with the perfect canvases for their solo slots. Part two lifted the pace with Vic Evans getting the crowd singing along to traditional Jamaican number Hold Him Joe (I’m sure it’s rude but that might just be my dirty mind...) and Johnny Hoo swinging the sticks on a super cool Autumn In Paris. 

A downright funky Autumn Groove (off Andy’s 1st album) narrowly missed out on being the track of the night, that title was won...perhaps as it should’ve been a whole new generation of Hamilton, his granddaughter Sophie, who out Ella-d Ms Fitzgerald on a super sassy Shiny Stockings. Roy Forbes’ perfectly pitched tribute to his mentor, a cover of Unforgettable, reminded us all while we were here before a suitably ska tinged number got some of the more energetic members of the audience up and shaking some ass, gently encouraged by Andy’s daughter Kim (also Sophie’s mum). 

All good things must come to an end though and what better way to cap things off than the rum rich vocals of Vic Evans on That’s All and a rousing Don’t Worry, sending everyone out into the cold night air with a warm Jamaican glow.   

I’m ashamed to say that, despite being a Bearwoodian for 20 years, this is my first visit to Bearwood Corks and the Silvershine JazzClub (formerly Bearwood Jazz). Really, really have no idea why. Just one of those things I meant to do but never got around to. For 20 years. Yes, I know. Slackness is thy name. I actually like jazz too, not an expert by any means but I know my Courtney Pine from my Cannonball Adderley and own at least one copy of A Love Supreme excuses. It’s a lovely venue too, intimate, charmingly old school (£2.10 for a pint of mild) and echoing with a thousand and one great nights past. It deserves to have an equally great future too. Support it.  It’s what Andy would’ve wanted. Silvershine on...  

PS: Just discovered that Paul Foad, key member of The Blue Notes and Sophie’s dad, was in legendary post punk band The Au Pairs too! there’s a reunion the world needs right now... 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Welovebearwood think it's wonderful news that after 35 years in Harborne, iCycle, the bike shop, have moved to Bearwood. 

The shop is located where Mike Draper Fruit and Veg used to be on the corner, opposite the Bear Tavern.  It’s much bigger than their current shop and will feature a large repair centre and a brand new Cafe next door which means i-Cycle can train more QAC students in both working environments.  I-Cycle will also be the only distributer of Bamboo Bikes in the Midlands.
To celebrate the occasion icycle told welovebearwood that Shaun Jones, iCycle's shop manager, is inviting cyclists of all ages and standards to join him in a charity cycle ride from the old shop to the new one.

The majority of the 2 mile route will take cyclists along the pathways of the scenic Harborne Walkway, which follows the old railway line. The riders will be escorted along the route by safety marshals, who will also be on their bikes.

So here are the details you need...

• Date: Saturday 27th April 2013

• Starting place: iCycle (on the corner of Harborne High Street and Ravenhurst Road)

• Start time: 11am prompt

• Arrival time at new shop approximately Midday

On arrival at the new shop, all riders and their families will be able to enjoy light refreshments and will also be given a gift from iCycle. There will be a raffle to win a variety of bike accessories as well, with all the money raised going to Harborne-based QAC, a national charity for people with visual impairments and/or other disabilities.

Shaun Jones, iCycle's shop manager said "we hope we'll get lots of families and groups of friends joining us for this great cause, it will be fun and it's a great way to mark the opening of the new shop! It's important that people sign up for the ride at least a week before it takes place though, that way we can ensure we have right number safety marshals and of course enough refreshments for everyone!"

If you're interested in signing up for this excellent event, simply email the names and ages of the people joining us along with a contact telephone number to: 

Live Web Chat!

We have received news in our welovebearwood inbox from West Midlands Police Sandwell Unit that there's going to be a live webchat next week!

It's next Tuesday (2 April) at 5.30pm between Inspector Ian Massey and James Morris MP and you can log on and get involved.

Ian Massey is the Neighbourhood Inspector for South Sandwell which covers Smethwick, Oldbury and Rowley Regis and James Morris is MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis.

To find out more details please just click here.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

My first Bearwood Handmade Fair!

On Saturday I did my first ever Bearwood Handmade Fair and I have to say it was a wonderful experience.

There were so many happy smiley faces despite the arctic conditions outside (can it really be Easter next weekend!), friendly customers - THANK YOU, endless cups of teas from the lovely Marianne and lovely fellow stallholders to chat to. Watch out for welovebearwood's article on Laura's delicious cakes coming soon.

Those Crafty Muthas did Bearwood proud with a great fair
Photo by Wayne Fox Photography

The idea behind old'scool trading has been in the making for a while really but only really got going when I got slightly carried away at a Biddle and Webb auction in January.
I love old costume jewellery and was getting very annoyed when I kept losing out on all the brooch lots I wanted so when a very shiny collection of military buttons and cap badges came along I just knew I had it to be mine. Yeah!

Military buttons are great for transforming clothes and giving very plain jackets/waistcoats/shirts/skirts etc etc a new lease of life.

They make great  jewellery too, forget Versace.... military button earrings are the future!

Photo by Wayne Fox Photography

With lots of help and advice from the very patient Stefan at Bearwood Indoor Market's Bead Savvy I got busy making jewellery. Necklaces, rings, handbag charms, brooches - there's so many different things you can do with them. It's been a real learning curve for me....the kitchen table has never been so untidy, I've never glued my fingers together before and I never realised how much a big part of your life it can become.

I have really enjoyed giving cigarette cards from the 1930s/1940s a new lease of life by converting them into magnets and keyrings (people did look so much more glam back then), turning old keys, some of which I'm sure are over 100 years old into necklaces and making greeting cards using old postcards (much more special than the over produced cards today). Very old'school trading.

Photo by Wayne Fox Photography

Thanks to the loan of Thimblemill Library's badge maker (Julie McKirdy is such a love), I designed lots of tache badges (even the Queen looks good with a handlebar moustache!). Bearwood badges were created too (Bearwood the thinking person's Harborne was very popular!

Photo by Ceri Saunders

I have to say a very big thank you to my lovely hubby...who has put up with my frustrations, the kitchen being a mess and for giving me lots of brilliant ideas....not forgetting for giving me the inspiration for old's cool trading slogan of copying his handlebar moustache.

Photo by Wayne Fox Photography

Photo by Wayne Fox Photography
Photo by Wayne Fox Photography

We're going to be selling the Bearwood badges on the blog and if you saw anything at the fair on Saturday or in these photos which you fancy too, please get in touch at

Photo by Wayne Fox Photography

On a final note, if you asked me if I would do a Bearwood Handmade Fair again, the answer every time would be YES PLEASE!

 P.S. If you had a stall at last weekend's Bearwood Handmade Fair and would like to be featured on the welovebearwood blog please contact us at

P.P.S. We love Wayne Fox Photography, definitely one of the best photographers in the business.  For more examples of his photos please visit the Gig Junkies music review website or Wayne's own website.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Thimblemill Library April 2013 Calendar

Looks like an exciting month at Thimblemill Library so here's welovebearwood's preview!

Storyteller Dave Tongue tells us his tales of Dame Fortune's Wheel and the Three Estates at Utter Bearwood's Storytelling Cafe on Thursday 25th April

And then there's Thimblemill Library's Jazz Night with The Notebenders on Saturday 4th May....nice!

Andy Hamilton Silvershine Jazz Club Special

This Thursday (28th March) the Silvershine Jazz Club is putting on a very special tribute night in honour of jazz legend Andy Hamilton who sadly passed away last year at the grand old age of 94.

The legendary jazz club, which is held every Thursday night at Corks on Bearwood High Street, has brought together as many current and former members of Andy's band, The Blue Notes, as possible to perform together and celebrate the music that he wrote and played in a career that lasted over 80 years (incredibly Andy formed his first band in 1928!).

There will also be some very special guests including sax stars Steve Ajao and Alvin Davis. With top jazz tunes including Silvershine, Jamaica By Night, Acafess and Paris all promised the night's set to bring a real (and much needed given the Arctic weather!) Caribbean groove.

The show starts at 8.30pm to fit in all the fun and tickets on the door are just £5 per person.

See you there!

photo by Garry Corbett

Monday, 25 March 2013

Let’s Get Bearwood Blooming!

We have recently heard on the Bearwood Grapevine about a front garden competition that's going to be run.  Between trying to clear the snow from her rosemary and thyme plants we asked Deborah Yuill, one of the competition organisers, for more details. 

Deborah... this sounds like a great idea. What's the competition going to be called,   who can enter,how are the front gardens going to be judged and most importantly (of course!) what are the prizes for best front garden in Bearwood?

It’s called 'Let’s Get Bearwood Blooming!' and it is open to residents of Bearwood, as defined (more or less) by the area encompassed by four pubs: The Bear, The Dog, The King’s Head and The Barleycorn. There are three cash prizes for the best front gardens, starting at £200 and rising to £500.

The gardens will be judged by a panel of three or four local residents, though I’m not sure who yet. I will probably ask my friend Pam who is a fantastic gardener and also a member of Thimblemill Library’s reading group, Bearwood Bookworms. I will have the final say though if the judges can’t agree!

So...what do you think of Bearwood’s front gardens? Have they improved over the years?

I think what’s happened to front gardens in Bearwood reflects what is happening everywhere really – they are getting paved over. Did you know that one-third of Britain’s 26 million front gardens have been converted to hardstanding? It’s a real tragedy, not just from a horticultural point of view, but also because paved front gardens increase the risk of flooding, increase the heat-island effect in cities, and destroy wildlife habitats. And they look awful too! So the competition is basically saying ‘save it, don’t pave it!’

Please tell us what you think makes a good front garden....

We walk through our front gardens every day, in all seasons and all weathers, so it is a focal point, yet I see so many that are neglected or a dumping ground as I walk round Bearwood. That journey to the front door, however short, can be one that is filled with colour, scent and the sound of insects. For me, a front garden looks welcoming if it has plenty of colour and cover using a mixture of shrubs and herbaceous plants. Personally, I love a traditional cottage garden look, but there are loads of other options.

It's Easter this week and OMG it's still bitterly cold.  The bookies have bets on that we're going to have a white Easter this year (no way!).

What tips can you give any other gardeners to help them make their front gardens look pretty?

Work out which direction your garden is facing, and whether it is shaded or sunny: that way you can choose plants that will thrive in that position. It also helps if you look at what does well in neighbouring gardens: Bearwood has a clay soil, so you see camellias, fuchsias and hydrangeas doing well here. And be tolerant of weeds and pests: I’d much rather see a garden that is a bit messy than one that’s been sprayed into perfection using weedkiller!

We can tell you just love gardening, what do you particularly like about it?

The most important thing for me is providing a green corridor for wildlife. I find that so satisfying. In the past 10 years, I’ve seen a huge increase in the diversity of birds coming into my garden because I garden organically - chaffinches, bullfinches, goldfinches, robins, wrens, sparrows, greenfinches. When I arrived here 10 years ago I was lucky if I saw so much as a pigeon (they still visit of course!)

Your garden looks so pretty. Who inspired you to be so green fingered?

My mum. She is 92 and has had the same garden now for the past 30 years. She is a bit too old to garden very much now, but when I was growing up she was always in the garden, planting, staking and trying to make the waterfall in the pond work properly. I used to love browsing the seed and rose catalogues and I think I inherited my love of gardens from her. The smell of tomatoes in a warm greenhouse always reminds me of my mum.

We would love to know more about your connection with Bearwood. How long have you lived here for?

I moved to the West Midlands from my birthplace in Sheffield about 22 years ago. I hated Birmingham for the first five years, but when I discovered Bearwood, I fell in love. (Mrs B - love this answer!)

We are so lucky to have Warley Woods and Lightwoods Park on our doorstep. What do you think the future is for our favourite parks?

I hope people continue to respect them as green spaces, and not just as ‘amenities’ for us to use.

It would be great to find out your your Bearwood All-Star. In other words, who/what or where makes your smile in Bearwood?

Crikey – lots of things – but if I have to choose one, it is Bearwood Pantry, our wonderful, unique food co-operative.

We alway ask everyone this question. What makes Lightwoods Chippy’s chips orange?

I hope it is a natural additive – turmeric perhaps?  (we hope so too!)

Thanks Deborah...sounds like a blooming good competition!
We will keep you posted with how you can enter the 'Let's Get Bearwood Blooming' competition on our Bearwood Blooms page.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Our favourite plaice!

Welovebearwood are big fans of Chamberlains on Hagley Road so we're really happy that they're celebrating their 2nd birthday this week. 

What they have achieved since 2011 is fish-tastic....“Best Newcomer in the UK to the Fish and Chip industry”, “Choice Chip Awards for the Midlands”, they've been awarded the 5 star quality award too which puts them in the top 2% of fish and chips shops in the UK...the list is endless. 

As part of their 2nd birthday celebrations  they're offering any 2 courses for only £10 (wow!) this Sunday and they've even got the Easter Bunny coming to visit over the Easter Weekend!

It's no wonder...there's no plaice we would rather be!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Lightwoods May Day Festival

This looks so good....fingers crossed the weather behaves itself!

Roll With It!

Ok.....we have to admit it....welovebearwood are not the biggest Oasis fans in the world but their song 'Roll With It' just seemed like the right musical choice to help promote Warley Woods' Easter Easter Egg Roll event on Easter Monday (1st April 2013).

Viv Cole, Warley Woods Trust Manager, told us that "The main focus of the event is the Easter Egg roll down the meadow’s long bank (called the death run in snowy weather) with prizes for the egg-roller that rolls the furthest.  We will also be repeating the Egg Roll for Adults as it was so popular last year. This is their chance to see if they can beat the children’s distance."  Wow!  Very egg-citing!

Other activities include the Decorated Egg Competition and an Easter Quiz Trail with clues which will lead visitors through the Woods to the Pavilion where there will be other fun eggy activities. There will be a special raffle for a giant easter treat.

Viv added that "I can’t believe this is our 6th year of the Egg Roll and it has become a really popular event. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the fun – whether you are a child or adult, artistic, competitive, or just want an Easter stroll through the woods.”

Anyone who would like to take part should bring their hard boiled eggs to the Upper St Mary’s entrance of Warley Woods at 11.00am. Entry into all activities is £1

For all Oasis fans out there this one is especially for you...

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Heather Gardner @ The Old Rep, Tuesday 19th March 2013

Elisabeth Hopper (Heather Desmond)
Photo by Robert Day

In this reboot of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s (aka The King of Gloom) acclaimed masterpiece Hedda Gabler Birmingham’s very own Robin French transports its heroine to Edgbaston in the early 1960s.
In this setting the play’s the story of a socialite, Heather Gardner, returning from her honeymoon to her dream home and, supposedly, dream life. Sadly (sadder still for the poor sap she married) she feels little affection for her new hubby and zero gratitude for the cushy life that she now finds herself living.

Elisabeth Hopper (Heather Desmond)
Photo by Robert Day

Keen to spice things up a little she decides to meddle in the lives of others, notably an ex squeeze and rival to her husband (a lecturer at Birmingham Uni) with...well, you’ll just have to go and see it to find out the consequences, but it ain’t pretty.
French has done a fine job in dragging the play from its original 1890s setting twisting and shouting into the 1960s, liberally scattering crowd pleasing Brummie references throughout the piece (yep, even Bearwood gets a few mentions...hurrah!).

Elisabeth Hopper (Heather Desmond) and Sean Hart (Alex Lambart)
Photo by Robert Day

Despite the bleakness of the play’s climax there are plenty of gentle chuckles to be had too with James Bradshaw in fine form as Heather’s charmingly nerdy husband, George. Heather herself is played with just the right hint of simmering insanity and disdain by Elisabeth Hopper whilst Christopher Ettridge (best known as PC Reg Deadman in Goodnight Sweetheart) channels his inner Patrick Stewart rather splendidly as the louche Peregrine Brand.

Anyone who might be put off by the prospect of an adaptation of a Norwegian playwright’s work can relax, this is an incredibly accessible version that can be enjoyed on two levels. On the one hand there’s enough humour and duplicity to keep soap fans entertained for 90 minutes on the other the play retains enough of its original DNA to give the deeper thinkers out there something to mull over...mental illness, sexual politics, existentialism...the perils of Balsall Heath...

Heather Gardner is on at The Old Rep until 28th March 2013 with tickets from as little as £8.

PS: If you’ve not been to The Old Rep for a while this is the perfect chance to visit too as it’s celebrating its centenary this year. It’s a lovely little theatre, simple and intimate but with a touch of elegance that its big sister will find hard to match...

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Pop Along Saturday!

Not sure what to do this Saturday...we've got 2 great events for you to pop along to!

Bearwood Handmade Spring Fair's on at St Mary's Church (that's right...the church opposite Aldi).

Full of all kinds of handmade loveliness, make you sure check out the old's cool trading stall in the smaller room where you'll be able to buy very limited edition welovebearwood and 'Bearwood and proud' badges.

You'll also be able to savour some of Bearwood Pantry's delicious homemade soup just in time for lunch (from 12 onwards), we've heard its the perfect remedy for this dreary weather.

Then from 12 - 4 Bearwood Chapel are hosting a pop-up cafe to raise funds for Different Strokes, a very worthy cause run by stroke survivors for stroke survivors, for active self help and mutual support.

See...what did we tell you... even more good reason to pop (or pop up!) into Bearwood this Saturday!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Hot News Flash! It's Red Nose Day Tomorrow!

If you have missed the TV adverts and the One Show’s coverage all this week of Miranda Hart’s Mad March Challenges....TOMORROW IS RED NOSE DAY!!!!!

We were so happy when we managed to catch Miranda being filmed for her Join a Girl Band Challenge at the Bullring last night. She made a great Spice Girl!

Photo courtesy of Birmingham Mail

THE BEACH in Bearwood will be holding a collection for Comic Relief too. Dave told welovebearwood that he will also be raising funds for The Birmingham Children's Hospital Cancer Ward where his 14 year old nephew Taro Moore has been since August last year being treated for a malignant brain tumour.

As well as being able to make your own donation at THE BEACH, the beauty shop will also be donating 10% of all their sales to these very worthy causes.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

How Egg-Citing!

We love it when we get updates for our What's Happening in Bearwood calendar. 

Dave from Bearwood Chapel emailed us with his news regarding events over the Easter weekend.

"We’ve got some fantastic things going on at the Chapel over Easter.  You may remember the fantastic Family Fun Day that we had to celebrate the Jubilee last year.  We’ve decided to host another family fun day, this time on Saturday 30th March.

There’ll be all sorts of fun including games, competitions, art, craft, story- telling, music etc as we explore the Easter story together.  The day will run from 10:00am-3:00pm and we’re encouraging everyone to bring a picnic lunch, rugs etc and if the weather is dry we’ll have our first Calthorpe Haven picnic of 2013."

Dave told us the other activities at the Bearwood Chapel will include:  
Holy Week Communion (Wednesday 27th March, 10:30am)               
Good Friday Breakfast and Communion (8:30am) 
Easter Sunday Celebration (10:30am)

Watch out for Bearwood Chapel's other activities and events round Bearwood.

This Easter picture has been painted by Cherong, a South Korean artist who is currently working with the Chapel.

P.S. If you would like us to help promote any events (fairs, gigs, plays, shows, fire-eating competitions, wine tasting events(yes please!) etc etc) that you are putting on in Bearwood please send over the details to and we'll be more than happy to blog about them on welovebearwood for you!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Bearwood Rocks!

OMG! It's cold today! You would never guess we were in March. Mr Weatherman, we want warm! PLEASE! the weather may not be making us smile but one Bearwood event that always makes us happy is Bearwoodstock. Great name, great line-up and always in aid of a great charity.

The next Bearwoodstock is on Friday 5th April and this time it's their comedy night!

The night is to raise money for 'Stroke', who do a grand job supporting stroke survivors, families and carers and funding research into the prevention and treatment of strokes.

Mark who runs the Bearwoodstock events has also told welovebearwood that he's putting on a Steve Gibbons Solo Special too on at the Bear on Saturday 27th April.

When he's not performing solo Steve's fellow band members in Brum Rocks include Bev Bevan (The Move, ELO) and Trevor Burton (The Move). Steve's a local music legend in his own right of course who definitely deserves his place amongst Brum's Rock Royalty.

Mark has so many musical treats in store for the night including morris dancing and Brandhall Community Choir that we thought we would give you welovebearwood's video preview!

Steve Gibbons

Brandhall Community Choir

To avoid disappointment get your tickets quick for Bearwoodstock Comedy night from here and for the Steve Gibbons gig from here!

P.S. Bearwoodstock V will be on Saturday 21st September so we'll keep you informed when we have more details.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Bearwood Folk!

Have to give a big thank you to The Baron, who writes Bearwood's (and in our opinion not that it's biased (hee! hee!) in the world!) top music blog The Hearing Aid, for finding this one!

Folk trio, Bearwood, describe their music as a "mixture of self-penned, traditional and contemporary songs mainly around the folk and acoustic music clubs of the Home Counties.  Influenced by the likes of Bob Fox, Vin Garbutt, Cara Dillon, Eddi Reader, James Taylor  and the McCalmans they love to play live in intimate settings."

The band are based down south but we definitely have to get them to play here! 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Bearwood Handmade Spring Fair 2013!

Definitely a date for the diary Bearwood!

As the Crafty Muthas would there or be a Granny Square!

P.S. Visit the Old's Cool Trading stall too (smaller room) and you'll able to buy your very own very limited edition welovebearwood badge!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Hedd over Heels!

The REP contacted welovebearwood to tell us how excited they are about their new play, 'Heather Gardner'.

'Heather Gardner' is a compelling new version of Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. Critics have considered the character Hedda Gabler to be one of the greatest female dramatic roles in theatre.   This modern re-working by Robin French and directed by Mike Bradwell is being staged at The Old Rep Theatre, in Station Street, Birmingham from 14 to 28 March. 

As the REP explained "acclaimed young writer Robin French re-imagines one of Ibsen’s most irresistible heroines, Hedda Gabler, as Heather Gardner – a glamorous young woman who’s thrilling, enigmatic and seductive.

This fresh and stylish new version, directed by Mike Bradwell, is set in 1960s in Birmingham’s affluent Edgbaston in the home of former Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain – and just down the road from where writer Robin grew up.

The play is set in September 1962. Beautiful socialite Heather returns from her honeymoon to her dream home in Edgbaston but soon finds herself on a spiral of self-destruction, caught between her old flame Alec Lambart and the clutched of the predatory solicitor Peregrine Brand. There can be only one outcome…" 

For further information about the show visit The Rep's website or call 0121 236 4455.

As this is our 300th post (omg we are so old!) we've decided to join up with The Rep for competition time. Yeah!

We have x2 pairs of ticket to give away on Tuesday 19 March at 7.00pm. 

To enter the competition just answer this question;

Heather Gardner is based on the classic play Hedda Gabler – who wrote Hedda Gabler?

a) Anton Chekhov

b) Henrik Ibsen

c) George Bernard Shaw

Please forward your answer to by 10th March. 

The winner will be chosen at random and notified of the prize details by email.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Mosaic Maker

Photo credit: Ema Van Souwe

Bearwood has become a real hub of creativity.  We've got bakers, fashion designers, poets, writers, musicians, photographers, artists and even our very own mosaic maker.

Caroline Jariwala runs Mango Mosaics and has been teaching the art of mosaic for 15 years. She is a professional member of BAMM (British Association of Modern Mosaic) too.

Her next workshop is this Sunday (3rd March) and it's so popular that there are only 4 places left. 

Caroline told us that "this is a one day workshop for grown-ups who want to learn a new skill in the company of a small relaxed group and to have some time-out in the homely, informal setting of my studio."

If you always wanted to have a go but weren't sure where to begin Caroline's workshops are a perfect choice.   No previous mosaic experience is necessary and all equipment and materials are provided.  The cost is £60 per person which includes all of the materials you use.

To book your place and see more examples of Caroline’s mosaics visit the Mango Mosaics Facebook page today.

Don't worry though if you can't make this Sunday, Caroline has just confirmed the next set of workshop dates:

Saturday 27 April
Sunday 28 April
Saturday 18 May
Sunday 19 May
Saturday 29 June
Sunday 30 June
Saturday 13 July
 Sunday 14 July