Thursday, 31 October 2013

No sleep till Bearwood

We’re exhausted just looking at Thimblemill Library’s November calendars. There's a calendar for adults and a calendar for children.

So much happening! What we want to know is where do they find the time to sleep!

Our highlights over November and the start of December have to be Swing Café and Radio Soop.

Get in the swing on the evening of Saturday 16th November for Thimblemill Library’s Jazz Night.

Swing Café is a stylish swing/jazz band, playing well known and well loved jazz standards from
the 1920s to the 1950s. Led by female vocalist Billie, the band is made up of talented young musicians from Birmingham’s Conservatoire Music College. Their authentic style and love of the music they play shines through every unique performance. They have played at numerous venues across the Midlands and beyond including jazz festivals.

Bearwood’s swingsters Amelia Wallace and Joe and Kim are also on the bill.

Finding themselves plunged into a live radio broadcast with acute staff shortages, a radio repertory company are forced to come up with the sound effects for three one-act plays. Can they vocalise a death-defying car chase round the coastal paths of Cornwall? Will they pull off an alien invasion using just the contents of a handbag? Can the sound of a few sandwiches conjure up a terrifying tale of terror? As off-air mishaps collide with on-air drama, you can be sure of only one thing: the Fifties will never sound the same again!

Performing three original plays inspired by the heyday of radio, four actors provide all the voices and sound effects in an affectionate pastiche of classic genres, including a tale of intrigue and espionage, gothic horror and American science fiction. Radio Soop is an hilarious theatrical event that recreates the magic, tensions, humour and chaos of live radio.

The live theatre production is on Thimblemill Library on Thursday 5th December. Tickets only £5 per person....sooper!

Bearwood Promoters AGM Announcement

Photo Credit: Wayne Fox Photography

The Bearwood Promoters team are holding their AGM on Tuesday 12th November at 8pm. 

It looks likely that it will be at The Bear Tavern on Bearwood High Street but watch this space for confirmation.

The team are busy making their plans for 2014 events and if you are interested in being involved in future Bearwood Shuffles you are more than welcome to come along.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Tell-Tale Heart

Bearwood's very own baddie, Laurence Saunders, and Smethwick's eerie sound effects genius Iain Armstrong are currently touring with their brand new adaption of Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Tell-Tale Heart' and come to the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton this Friday (or should we say Fright!) night, 1st November.

The story goes that...."in the heart of a bustling city, a wealthy recluse hides behind a barricade of bolted doors and blacked-out windows. His only companion is a private nurse, entrusted with taking care of him.

After many months of confinement, suspicion and resentment grow between the pair until the nurse hatches a foolproof plan to dispose of his patient. When the deed is done, the silence of the seemingly empty house is quickly shattered by a curious thumping beneath the floorboards…"

You'll be able to hear every heartbeat, every ticking deathwatch beetle, every bump in the night all happening right in front of you! Yikes!

Tickets are only £10 each (£8 concessions) and you can get yours right here!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Haunted Woods

Warley Woods has so much history that it really is not surprising that it has its own ghosts!

Have you heard about The Grey Lady of Warley Ghost who paid so many visits to the park that in 1822 she was cited in a murder trial? Or how about the Chinese man in oriental dress who is meant to have connections with Warley Abbey and who is rumoured to have stabbed his lover to death in a mad rage of jealousy?  Spooky!

Feeling brave and want to know more? We bet you do! Warley Woods are inviting you to come and explore the woods with your torches and find out about the ghost stories of Warley Woods between 6pm – 7.30pm on Halloween night.

You can pick up your map and story information at the Pavilion, Lightwoods Hill (£1.50 per person) and find your way to the different ghostly locations. Work out the spooky word and be rewarded with a scream-egg. You can grab a hot drink from the Pavilion to calm your nerves too!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Give A Little Bit!

Ok we'll be the first to admit yesterday wasn't the best of Sundays!  Thanks to those lovely people at Severn Trent Water most of Bearwood was without water for hours.  We were without for roughly 12 hours! H2O dear...

Although at the time it seemed really dire and it was a real inconvenience it did make us stop and think how fortunate we are most of the time.

Chris Gregory recently contacted us about the Kindness event which is taking place on 10th November at ICC. Lots of random acts of kindness are planned on the day, there will be free arts and crafts sessions, music, free sessions from holistic can even pledge your act of kindness on the Birmingham Kindness tree and get a free hug.

Jacqui Land Keaveny had the original idea to bring World Kindness Day to Birmingham and along with Chris and three other business women they're making it their mission to do just that. Chris would love to get people from Bearwood involved in helping to spread kindness around for the benefit of people in our local area too.

Kindness Birmingham is encouraging their visitors to bring along donations to support 3 Birmingham charities: 

  • Chris explained that St Basils charity works with young homeless people in the city and urgently need toiletries.
  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital have also requested toiletry items to help them provide emergency parent packs for those who have to stay overnight with their children. The Hospital would also like to receive donations of art and craft supplies to use with the patients.
  • The third charity is the Birmingham Basket Brigade. They would really appreciate non-perishable food items to include in small hampers that they will give out to disadvantaged families at Christmas time.
Chris told us that “We want to scatter kindness, “I’m looking forward to being part of something that is going to support people in need that makes people feel good and is going to be great fun.”

The motto for the inaugural Birmingham event is ‘Kindness costs nothing yet its value is priceless’. It will take place just a few days before World Kindness Day on 13 November.

“Clearly, we recognise that the 10th is also ‘Remembrance Sunday’,” says Jacqui, “and we hope many of those taking part in the service in Centenary Square will come and join us afterwards.” The quote that sums up the selflessness of kindness for Jacqui is Kevin Heath’s: “Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference”.

Kindness Birmingham is a not-for-profit organisation. Financial donations from members of the public and sponsorship from heart-centred companies are therefore welcomed to help fund this groundbreaking event via their website.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if there were more acts of kindness?

Sunday, 27 October 2013


Lots of spooky goings on and fun for the kids this half term at Thimblemill Library! 

Friday, 25 October 2013

New Chippy on the block!

There used to be a time when you would have to go to the seaside to enjoy proper fish and chips. Fortunately for us, the times they are a changing!

Bearwood Fish Bar recently re-opened with new owners and they're getting very good (or should we say… very cod! hee! hee!) reviews on their Facebook page so we decided to go fishing and find out more.

New owners Andy and Amanda have rebranded Bearwood Fish Bar with a Traditional theme. The pair have gone back to basics with proper chips cut from locally grown potatoes prepared and cut on the premises and fresh fish, landed at Grimsby and delivered to the shop the same day. They also serve traditional Black Country Faggots, made locally, wrapped in caul and served in homemade onion gravy.

Andy grew up at home in a family owned Fish and Chip shop having learnt his trade from an early age he move on, to run his own Chip Shop in Hinckley. Amanda was part of the management team of an award winning Chippie in Hartlepool before the pair met and moved to Bearwood. They make a formidable pair running a clean and efficient shop producing excellent food at a reasonable price.

Their new shop has a large seating area, where you can take a load off and enjoy your food at a leisurely pace. If you feel like eating in, you could take advantage of their senior special. Available throughout the week between 12:00 and 15:00 this offer includes: Cod and chips, a pot of tea, bread and butter, mushy peas and tartar sauce. For £4.50!! No way! 

If you don’t feel like making the trip to see them then use their delivery service and they will bring your food to you. Call them on: 0121 420 4300 (min order value £10 free delivery within 3 mile radius).

Regular visitors to the shop are rewarded with portions of free fish and chips, though the shops loyalty scheme. After collecting six orders over a value of £5 you qualify for a free regular fish and chips which cost £5.20.  Bargain! Why not drop into the shop to pick up your card.

Bearwood Fish Bar have lots of offers and promotions in the pipeline and next week they're holding their very own Halloween Party.  Tickets cost only £2 each which includes one kid's meal (drink included), facepainting and lots of spooky goings on!  

Andrew is particularly excited about the new batch of Mad Man Hot Sauce he has just made.  He told us that "everyone that's tried it has come back for more.  The sauce is made from the two hottest chillies in the world which are the chilli being the second hottest and the worlds number one hottest chilli the Trinidad scorpion chilli."  Hot Stuff! We dare you to try it!

Thank Fish it's Friday!  Get yourselves along to Bearwood Fish Bar (101 Three Shires Oak Rd) and try the new chippy on the block. 

 P.S. You can find out more about what they've got in store by liking their Facebook page, just click here!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Introducing Miss Halliwell

Bearwood's music scene is alive and definitely kicking!

Much loved by Bearwood's no 1 music blog, The Hearing Aid, Miss Halliwell is one Bearwood band that we keep a very close eye on.  Their new video Rulerfueller needs to be screamed out about from Bearwood's roof tops.  We are not worthy!

Make sure you visit our favourite music blog too to find out more about Miss Halliwell and other exciting music news.  The link's right here!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Daytona @ Birmingham REP, Monday 21st October 2013

Another week and another great cast and production at The REP, this time courtesy of a three header starring Maureen Lipman, Harry Shearer (perhaps best known as the voice behind The Simpsons’ Mr Burns and Ned Flanders) and John Bowe. Lipman and Shearer play Elli and Joe, amateur ballroom dancers preparing for their next big competition. All’s going well until someone from their dim and distant past, Billy (played by Bowe), suddenly cha cha chas back into their lives. Pretty much any mention of the plot would spoil things somewhat (much of the power of the piece lie in its revelations) but suffice to say there are quite a few surprises as the well worn threads of the trio’s lives are picked apart.

Perhaps it’s no great stretch for Lipman and Shearer to portray a bickering but generally content Jewish couple, a set up that writer Oliver Cotton artfully exploits for its comic potential. If you’re a Simpsons aficionado you’ll keep catching hints of Principal Skinner in Shearer’s voice, not entirely unsurprising given that his character in this play is also a little hen pecked. Lipman, absent for most of the first half, really comes into her own in Act II courtesy of a powerful and revealing monologue and a sweet dance routine with Shearer (if the producers of Strictly are looking for someone for the next series I reckon she’d be up for it). 

The undoubted star of the show though is Bowe. Everything revolves around his character and he makes the most of this with a performance that wouldn’t be out of place in something more Shakespearian (it comes as no surprise to learn that he’s been in more than his fair share of Shakespeare’s works over the years). 

In fact there’s something of King Lear in his portrayal of Billy (not in terms of the plot I hasten to add), from the righteous rage of his confession in Act I through to the odd moment of madness and the gradual acceptance of his fate in Act II. Completing this link he really does leave you feeling that he’s, in the words of the bard, “more sinned against than sinning” which, when you learn what he’s done, is quite some feat.

Overall it’s a thought provoking piece with some well placed humour and enough plot tension to keep you gripped to the very end, itself a particularly poignant moment...again we’ll leave it there, wouldn’t want to give the game away. What I can say with confidence is that it’s certainly well worth making a date for Daytona.

Daytona is on at The REP until October 26th. 

Photos by Manuel Harlan

Identical Roles for Bearwood Twin Sisters

Jo and Judith are encouraging shoppers to donate and visit their local stores in Bearwood.

Being big fans of Bearwood's charity shops, we guess you could call us regulars of the Acorns Children's Hospice and British Heart Foundation shops on Bearwood High Street.

We just love this story about identical twin sisters Jo and Judith especially as they are always really friendly and helpful

Identical twin sisters have been working as charity shop managers, on the same street in Bearwood, for over eight years.

The 50 year olds, Jo Cooper who works for Acorns Children’s Hospice and Judith Hughes who works for the British Heart Foundation, both enjoy running their charity stores and working so close to each other, but still have a sense of sibling rivalry.

Smethwick based Judith said: “I started off as a volunteer in Jo’s Acorns store, which inspired me to become a manager myself. I definitely enjoy working so close to Jo. But it certainly hots up the competition between us!

“We have some regulars who know us both. But there are other people who come into our stores and get confused, and think that the same person is running both stores!”

Acorns’ Jo, who lives in Oldbury, said: “Our shop has struggled a bit for the past three years, and recently we closed for two weeks for a refurbishment, so the competition is even fiercer now.

“We’ve just re-opened, so I am urging people to help Acorns. Our charity relies on donations and fundraising for most of its income, so we need people to bring in any un-wanted items, including children’s, men’s and ladies clothing, household items, books, CDs and DVDs.

“And by coming to shop in the store, people can really support the hospice. It can be a lot of fun too; you never know what you might find!”

Jo explained: “I’ve always worked in retail – I used to be the manager of a bakery. When I was young however, I always wanted to be an office clerk. But I’m pleased to be working for Acorns; it’s a really good cause, which looks after local life limited and life threatened children so well.

“I most enjoy meeting all the different people who come through our doors and working alongside our fantastic volunteers.”

She continued: “Even with the competition between our shops, it’s great to have my twin sister Judith working on the same road as me. She pops in every morning to say hello before work.”

You can find out more about Acorns, right here and more about the British Heart Foundation here.  Get along to the charity shops on Bearwood High Street too.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Kevin Bares All!

Our Bearwood Trades page is getting nicely filled up with local trades people whom you feel rightly deserve a recommendation.

One that caught our eye was Bare Wood Carpentry run by Bearwood carpenter, Kevin Ready. We were able to drag Kevin away from his chisel and wood plane to find out more.

We love the fact that you have called your carpentry business Bare Wood. Where did you get the name from and how did you start your business?
I’m glad you like the name. It’s a fun little play on words and just felt very fitting. I’ve been working in carpentry since I left school sixteen years ago. During that time I worked in many different aspects of the trade from cabinet shops to high end domestic renovations. I also spent a couple of years living and working in Canada building straw bale houses. I set up Bare Wood Carpentry six months ago. We offer a full range of carpentry services from domestic repairs and renovations to bespoke furniture commissions. At the moment I am working on some shaker style built-in wardrobes.

Your work is of a very high quality. What wood do you like working with best and why?

Oak is probably my favourite wood to work with. It has a lovely grain and finishes beautifully. However, it can be a tricky customer and each piece is different just like every tree is different. I have to take my time with it and respect the fact it has taken a long time to grow and that it has been around a lot longer than I have.

How did you get into carpentry? Who inspired you to become a carpenter?

My dad was a carpenter so I grew up watching him work. I used to spend hours in his workshop making little projects. I guess it was inevitable that I would follow in his footsteps. Having a trade has been a great thing for me as it has allowed me to travel around parts of the world working as I went. Someone always wants something fixed.

So where can we see examples of your work ?

I have a facebook page, Bare Wood Carpentry, which has lots of photos of examples of my work. Pop over and have a look. You can also email me ( or ring me (07890 949 869) otherwise I can often be found looking in skips. People throw away the most amazing timber that’s just begging to be saved and turned into something beautiful.

What's your connection with Bearwood?

I was brought up in Harborne, but we often came to Bearwood. My dad used to take my brother and I to Bernard’s for a haircut then we’d go down the high street. There used to be a great toy shop that sold cars you could drive, but no amount of nagging got me even close to getting one. When I was nineteen I rented a flat on the high street above Natural World Health Foods. The flat was huge, but freezing in the winter. We used to have to sit in the living room in sleeping bags just to try and stay warm. I have some great memories from those crazy days. I now live in Bearwood with my wife and five month old daughter.

We're sure you've seen many changes in Bearwood since you started living here. What do you think the future holds in store for Bearwood?

I think Bearwood has a very bright future. There is a lot going on and a strong sense of community. People are proud of the area and are working hard to improve things and get things going. I think with the renovation of the house in Lightwoods Park is a positive thing. It will bring people to the area and breathe new life and energy into the high street.

We agree!  Please tell us your Bearwood All-Star.  In other words what,who, or where makes you smile in Bearwood?

There’s lots I like about Bearwood and a lot of great people that make it what it is. I guess my highlights would include Warley Woods, the Silvershine Jazz Club, the Shuffle, the T’ai Chi school (that runs classes in the hut on Wigorn Road) and of course Purnima which does the best curry outside of India.

We're going to have to give Purnima a try.  This is our final question which we like to ask everybody.  What makes Lightwoods Chippy's chips orange?

I’m not sure what weird and wonderful concoction they use, but I do know they are famous. Frank Skinner mentions them in his autobiography and someone once asked me about them when I was in New Zealand so the word is out.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Calling all Bearwood Brain Boxes!

We love a good quiz! Do you? If so, this night is just for you!

Bearwood Baptist Church are excited to announce that they will be hosting a Quiz Night at Thimblemill Library on Saturday 2nd November at 7.30pm.

It's going to be a great night out with FREE refreshments and all proceeds raised going to the Christian Aid Syria Crisis Appeal.

Doors open at 7pm and it costs just £2 per person

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Make a date with Daytona

The Birmingham REP is going from strength to strength. Their next ‘main house’ play after the sold-out-soon-to-be-transferring-to-the-West-End Twelve Angry Men (starring Martin Shaw, Robert Vaughan, Jeff Fahey and Nick Moran - wow!) is Daytona.

How do you top a cast like 12 Angry Men? Try Maureen Lipman, John Bowe and Harry Shearer...perhaps best known as the voice of Mr Burns from The Simpsons. Exxxxxxcellent.

Daytona is a haunting, funny and poignant play full of mystery, with not one but two love stories at its heart. Happy in their shared passion for ballroom dancing, Joe and Elli plan to win the next big competition. But the unexpected arrival of a figure from their past threatens to throw everything off balance. What can this man possibly want of them on this cold winter’s night? What can be gained from this uneasy reunion? When they discover the story behind his sudden return, Joe and Elli must confront a profound moral dilemma.

This brand new play written by Oliver Cotton and directed by David Grindley is visiting the Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 21 to 26 October as part of its eight week UK tour.

Tickets from £13.50 - £35 with concessions are available from The REP's Box Office on 0121 236 4455 or via the REP's website.  

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Happy Birthday Bead Savvy!

Bead Savvy is 1! Pop down to the bead shop today in Bearwood Indoor Market to join in with their celebrations.

To mark their opening date on 13th October 2012 there's 10% on all sales over £13. There's going to be some birthday cake too.

Bead Savvy meeting Bearwood's need for beads!

Friday, 11 October 2013

BBC Good Food Show Winter, NEC, Birmingham, 27 Nov – 1 December 2013 COMPETITION!

The BBC Good Food Show Winter is running from 27 Nov – 1 December 2013 at the NEC in Birmingham and to celebrate we have teamed up with the organisers to offer you this fantastic prize!

Win one of five pairs of general admission tickets to enjoy a day at the Show (excluding Saturday 30th November 2013).
The Show will feature over 50 chefs and experts from across the country on 7 different stages this is the perfect place to prepare for Christmas!

The nation’s favourite TV programmes will be brought to life with Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry live in The Great British Bake Off, James Martin live and John Torode and Gregg Wallace live in MasterChef cook offs on the Supertheatre, sponsored by Tesco finest. 

Visit The Great British Bake Off Village where you will find The Great British Bake Off Stage featuring some of the most popular past contestants and winners including the 2013 winner.

The MasterChef Masterclass will host demonstrations from current champion Natalie Coleman as well as Celebrity MasterChef winner Phil Vickery.

Plus Marks and Spencer will be bringing some Christmas sparkle to the Show on the Christmas Theatre.  The Producers’ Village will be packed with some of the best artisan producers in the country including our pick in the Good Food Champions area as well as the Bursary Award Winners – perfect for picking up tasty stocking fillers and unique ingredients for the festive season.

To enter all you have to do is answer the following question:

What is the name of the cookery TV programme James Martin hosts at the weekend?

If you’re a culinary master mind and you know the answer, please email your answer to us at along with your full name and address.

The 5 lucky winners will be picked randomly and will be notified by email on Monday 4th November. The tickets will be forwarded by post shortly afterwards.

Good Luck!

P.S. You can also book tickets and get more information on the BBC Good Food Show Winter by visiting the BBC Good Food Show Winter or calling 0844 581 1341

P.P.S Here's the terms and conditions for the competition

All tickets are general admission excluding Saturday.

Tickets are non refundable and non-exchangeable. Ticket terms and conditions apply.

Tickets will be mailed out directly to the competition holder by BBC Haymarket Exhibitions. It is the responsibility of the competition holder to forward tickets to the winners. Competition holder to confirm receipt of tickets and subsequent delivery to winners to BBC Haymarket Exhibitions.

Tickets do not include a seat in the supertheatre.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Coral Takes A Coffee Break

Photo Credit: Coral Musgrave
Bearwood resident and coffee lover, Coral Musgrave, popped along to Coffee Junction (on the corner of Bearwood Rd and Three Shires Oak Rd) yesterday morning for its grand opening.

By the sounds of things she had a brilliant time…….

“Steve Love, the owner/chef of Love's Restaurant in Birmingham performed the official opening ceremony at Coffee Junction today .

Coffee Junction is a community cafe run by QAC and is next door to I Cycle also run by QAC. Above these premises is also a training facility for students. QAC is a national college for people aged 16+ with visual impairment and/or other disabilities.

It was lovely to see a group of young moms with their children there. They said that this was what Bearwood had been lacking, somewhere they could meet up with friends that had plenty of room for the push chairs and baby changing facilities. And really good coffee. And cake. When asked what could improve it, the answer, Eggs Benedict for Sunday Brunch.

Photo Credit: Coral Musgrave
Coming soon to the cafe is Coffee Jungle, an interactive play and reading area for families with babies and toddlers. What a lovely place to meet up with other parents after dropping your older children at school.  

Ray Piggot, Director of Business Development said that when he was working on the project, his dream was to have a cafe where all the community would feel welcome. When recruiting staff to run the cafe he said that a long time ago someone told him that you can teach someone to use a till but you can't teach friendliness.

Photo Credit: Coral Musgrave
The manager Ismail is a fine example of this recruitment policy as are all his team. Warm, friendly, welcoming and experienced. Good coffee, tea and Chai Latte that I can personally vouch for, and the macaroons were very, very good, so good I had two!

Ray urged customers to feedback to Ismail about the cafe and make suggestions, as they really wanted to make sure they offered what the local community wanted from a cafe.

Ray then gave a tour of the training facilities. A fully equipped kitchen that Master Chef would be proud of. This will be used to train students who attend QAC for careers in the catering industry. The coffee machine was, he explained, equipped with blue tooth programmed to produce the perfect coffee (no idea how this works) as well as the equipment demanded by a trained barista.

The cafe also has free Wi Fi, just staff ask for the password. I can certainly see Coffee Junction as the place to meet friends, take the family for lunch or just work on my laptop. Something for everyone, not just hipsters.

Maybe even the place for a Bearwood Bake Off? Or Pop Up restaurants? Or a Social Media Surgery?

Photo Credit: Coral Musgrave

What would you like to see at Coffee Junction? Pop in and let them know. But buy a coffee first. :)"

Thanks Coral.  We will!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Twelve Angry Men @ The REP, Tuesday 8th October 2013

The REP’s first season since moving back home has already won some rave reviews and this powerful revival of Twelve Angry Men looks set to maintain the winning streak.

For anyone not familiar with the plot (first revealed in a TV play back in 1954 before being made into a classic movie three years later) the premise is relatively simple, a jury of twelve men are locked in a room to consider a murder case. So far so straightforward. On the surface the defendant looks as guilty as sin too and all but one of the jury vote accordingly. Could this be the world’s shortest play? Happily for the audience...and the man has his doubts though. Twelve Angry Men sees these examined, in turn forcing each of the jurors to reconsider their verdict and, ultimately, their own prejudices. This makes it perhaps the ultimate ensemble piece, giving each cast member their own moment in the spotlight. 

It’s a suitably impressive line up as well including Martin Shaw who casts aside his Judge John Deed robes to take the role Henry Fonda made his own in the movie, Nick Moran (currently appearing in BBC2’s comedy The Wrong Mans) and The Man From U.N.C.L.E himself, Robert Vaughan (a mere 80 years young). Shaw perfectly maintains that calm, measured approach that makes his character so convincing whilst Jeff Fahey provides the yang to his ying as the short tempered and stubborn ‘Juror number 3’. Somewhere between the two is where most of us fall and the rest of the cast bring a whole (nut)case of particular traits that we can all identify with. That, in part, is the genius of the piece. Within such a pressure cooker environment, simply but effectively depicted and lit in this production, all human characteristics are laid bare and you’re drawn in, becoming more and more involved as the drama unfolds. Inevitably you wind up asking yourself the same questions as the jurors, making this a particularly powerful theatrical experience.

As the evidence is picked and argued over there’s neat bit of symbolism that shows how things are developing too – the table the jurors are sat around subtly moves. So engrossed were we in the action that we didn’t actually see it happen, but throughout the evening it rotated 360 degrees...a literal manifestation of turning the table on the original verdict.

Each and every one of the cast impressed. Miles Richardson nailed the gruff garage owner ‘Juror number 10’, Martin Turner crafted a particularly accurate portrayal of the immigrant watchmaker, ‘Juror number 11’ and Owen O’Neill wisecracked his way through the performance as ad exec ‘Juror number 12’. 

Vaughan’s portrayal of Juror number 9 as a slightly frail and confused character was so convincing at times that I feared for his health. Seeing him striding across the floor after the show allayed any such fears though. A masterclass in the actor’s art.

Atmospheric, brilliantly produced and acted and well paced throughout (with a surprising number of chuckles to provide some light relief) this is one revival of Twelve Angry Men that truly deserves to be ‘court’.

Twelve Angry Men is on at The REP until 19th October before transferring to the West End.

PS: After the well deserved curtain calls actor Samuel West (not appearing in the show himself) delivered one of the most powerful speeches about the importance of theatre that I’ve ever heard. Faced with savage cutbacks there’s a real concern that some theatres risk going the same way as the dodo and there’s now a simple campaign ‘My Theatre Matters’ designed to ensure that those in power remember just that. If you’ve ever been to the theatre or, perhaps more importantly, ever plan to do so it’s well worth supporting. 

All photos taken by Robert Day and cannot be reproduced without his permission. If you do you'll probably end up in court there. 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Bearwood's Jazznights

We caught up with cool jazz cat, Paul Foad, who runs Bearwood's Silvershine Jazz Club to find out what they had in store to keep us warm on these progressively colder Thursday nights.

"We've got a great act on this Thursday, 10th October. Back by popular demand, Lucas D and the Groove Ghetto featuring Luke Shingler are playing to the Silvershine Jazz Club, Bearwood."

"We've also got a fabulous line-up for the next few months".
Oct 17th The Blue Notes - £4.00 (3.00 Concs)

Oct 24th Roy Forbes with The Blue Notes - £4.00 (3.00 Concs)

Oct 31st Arabella Sprott Quartet - £5.00 (£4.00 Concs)

Nov 7th Andy Gayle Quintet - £5.00 (£4.00 Concs)

Nov 14th Dutch Lewis Broadband - £5.00 (£4.00 Concs) 

Nov 21st Delano Mills: The Dreadbeat and Jazz Session - £5.00 (£4.00 Concs)

Nov 28th The Blue Notes - Jam Night - £4.00 (3.00 Concs)

Dec 5th Steve Ajao Quartet - £5.00 (£4.00 Concs)

Dec 12th Kansas Smittys feat. Reuben James - £6.00(£5.00 Concs)

Dec 19th SILVERSHINE CHRISTMAS PARTY with Bobby Wellins and The Blue Notes - £8.00

If you've not been before a visit to The Silvershine Jazz Club at Corks (558 Bearwood Road) is a must. And even if you have been we insist you go again.

Entry from only £4 per person and a pint of mild at only £2.10…..nice!  

Friday, 4 October 2013

Bearwood Man in Pawn Film!

The welovebearwood team's Cable TV box seems to be permanently stuck on the History Channel American Pickers (we want their job!), Pawn Stars, Storage Wars and American Restoration...we love them all.

We've just found out that you can see the Godfather of the Cigar Box Guitar John Wormald who lives in Bearwood (of course!) in Episode 6 of Pawn Stars UK. Wow! He told us that he was called in to Regal Pawn in Chester to appraise a cigar box guitar that someone had brought in to try and sell..."

Tune into the History Channel tomorrow at 11am to watch Chicken Bone John's evaluation and to see if the cigar box guitar gets sold.

You can find out more about Chicken Bone John here and here and here!


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Bead Savvy's First Birthday Celebrations

Popped into Bead Savvy in Bearwood's Indoor Market on Saturday and found out their very exciting news they're just about to complete their first year of trading. How can time fly by so quickly! Tempus Fugit!

To celebrate their first birthday Bead Savvy are throwing a party and Bearwood's Bead Master, Stefan Clayon, asked us to pass on the following message....

"Hi everyone. Soon it will be our 1st Birthday, and we couldn't have made it this far without all of the suport from you, our friends and customers.

So, to celebrate, and to say thank you, on October 12th we will have another offer for everyone who pops in, and maybe some cakes too!!"

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Your coffee...your way!

We loved it when this popped up in our welovebearwood in box recently...... 
On Wednesday 9th October you’re invited to attend the grand opening of Coffee Junction, Bearwood’s newest coffee shop!

Leading local chef Steve Love, from Loves Restaurant in Birmingham, will be officially opening Coffee Junction at 11am, before inviting everyone inside to relax on the comfy chairs and enjoy the authentic Italian coffee.

Located on the bustling Bearwood High Street, on the corner of Bearwood Road and Three Shires Oak Road, Coffee Junction is Bearwood’s new local, family-friendly coffee shop. Offering a variety of sandwiches, panini and cakes alongside a selection of fine Italian coffee and free wifi, it’s the perfect place to eat, meet, chill and chat.

To mark the grand opening, there will also be a free prize draw to win an iPad mini!

 A great place for families, the Coffee Junction has a large buggy park and prides itself on serving up fantastic coffee and a warm welcome to everyone.

As they say at the Coffee Junction "Your coffee, your way."

Coffee Junction is part of the QAC Enterprises Ltd, which is owned by registered charity Queen Alexandra College. Well known around the Birmingham area, it is a national college for people with visual impairments and other disabilities