This autumn we’re taking a brief hiatus from doing shows at the brilliant Birmingham Rep to tell the story of the city’s old Victorian Lock-Up. Since 1892, tens of thousands of people have passed through the jail on their way to court, prison or even the noose. What brought them to this desperate point in their lives? And what memories have they left behind?
BOLDtext’s writers will resurrect the ghosts of The Lock-Up’s past, summoning them back to the cells, stairways and corridors where they once walked. As you move around the building you’ll meet robbers and drunkards, prostitutes and murderers, as well as the policemen and pioneering policewomen who held the keys.
Beware! The past still has lessons to teach us. Those who dare to enter The Lock-Up get taught those lessons well.
You can buy tickets at www.lockupbehindbars.eventbrite.co.uk
Duration approximately 1 hour. Not suitable for children under the age of 12.
Please be advised the Lock-Up is an old building and is not equipped with modern disabled facilities. Flat shoes are advised.
Presented in association with the West Midlands Police Museum.
Supported by Arts Council England and the Sir Barry Jackson Trust.
BOLDtext member Tim Stimpson writes about the Writers’ Guild AGM in Birmingham and his election as Chair of the West Midlands Branch.
During my time as Deputy Chair of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain I was keen that we should reach out to the whole of Britain more. It’s bad enough that the industry is so London-centric without my union doing the same. Having completed the maximum three years allowed, I stepped down as an officer but obviously my message had been heard. For the first time in Guild history our AGM was held outside London. Even better it came to my home city of Birmingham. How did that happen?! I have to admit that I was little nervous as I walked towards the magnificent Library of Birmingham where the AGM was being held. Would people actually turn up now we weren’t in the capital? It’s was therefore a relief to walk into a packed room and even more gratifying to learn that it was one of the best turnouts ever.
During the AGM I was elected as Chair of the West Midlands branch, a position I held before becoming Deputy Chair of the Guild. I’m really pleased to be able to focus back on my region again, especially now that we’ve proven you can succeed outside London!
You can read a full report of the AGM here.
BOLDtext’s very own STEPHEN JACKSON (aka Ted Pigeon) has a fab new show previewing at Hall Green Little Theatre this Saturday and Sunday 2-3 June 7.30pm. It’s called The Bingo Caller – and the box office opens at 7pm. All tickets £10 pay on the night…. http://hglt.co.uk/bingo.htm
….before the show moves to Soho Theatre next week on Thursday 7 till Saturday 9 June at 7pm. https://sohotheatre.com/shows/the-bingo-caller/
Welcome to the Binley-on-Sea Caravan Park and Social Club, where Buster Bingham is calling his last game of bingo. After 23 years, he has been sacked – and the audience play bingo as Buster crumbles on stage.
The Bingo Caller is back by popular demand, having premiered at HGLT in 2013 starring Marcus Hendry. Writer Stephen Jackson is the Winner of The West End Wilma Award for Best Comedy 2017 and The Verity Bargate Award 2015.
BOLDtext member Tim Stimpson writes about his recent visit to Downing Street.
It’s funny how things happen. I was squeezed into the crowded top deck of the No.50 bus on my way back home from Birmingham city centre when an email appeared in my inbox. I had been invited to a reception at No.10 to celebrate International Women’s Day. Things got even stranger when I received another email saying that the Prime Minister would like to meet me! This was of course all a result of the Helen and Rob domestic abuse storyline in The Archers.
A week later I was queuing up outside the gates to Downing Street with Louiza Patikas (AKA Helen Archer), Alison Hindell (Head of BBC Radio Drama) and Kim Greengrass (Archers producer), along with what must have been a hundred other people working across the various sectors supporting women’s rights. In these circumstance I always feel a bit of a fraud. Ultimately I’m in the business of entertainment, while most of the other guests were helping real people in the real world. However, when Louiza and I were ushered into the ‘White Room’ we were able to tell Theresa May and the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, about the impact the story had made. In particular I mentioned a barrister I’d been told about who changed his approach to psychological abuse cases having listened to the show. So I suppose we do have an effect on real people in the real world.
The main point of the reception was to launch the government’s domestic abuse bill, which aims to introduce new powers to protect victims. I hope it succeeds. Whatever your politics though, it did strike me standing in a room full of mainly women, speaking to a female Prime Minister and a female Home Secretary that although we still have a long way to go, we’ve come a long way too.
The last two BOLDtext Open Door shows at The REP couldn’t have been more different on the surface but again reflected the strange times we live in.
On September 19th 2017, the theme of the four short plays was Fake Times, inspired by the fake news that had exploded into our consciousness and set the tone for the year. We were certainly not short of material. Brexit fake facts, Trump and the Russian election interference continue to rumble on into 2018, and trying to sort fact from fiction remains a problem. Four of our playwrights – myself (Julia Wright), Liz John, Nicola Jones and Tim Stimpson tackled the theme, reflecting the difficulties we all experience in sorting out who we can trust for our information.
Our January 8th 2018 show was called A Mouthful of Rhinestones to mark the birthday of one Elvis Presley. How is The King relevant today? The theme of separating fact from fiction again raised its head but this time in relation to the myths and truths surrounding celebrity: ‘Elvis might be gone but he ain’t never left the building.’ Continue reading
Genius born in poverty; prodigal of the Mississippi Delta; adult suitor to a love-struck teen…
January 8th 2018 would have been Elvis’s 83rd birthday and to mark the day BOLDtext are presenting three short script-in-hand plays as part of the regular ‘Open Door’ season at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Written by Julia Wright, Helen Kelly and Vanessa Oakes, they will explore how one musical genius unleashed a tidal wave of inspiration, obsession and exploitation.
In the absence of the King we have BOLDtext’s very own Prince (of the mop and bucket), the talented (and mildly psychic) Ted Pigeon, who will be hosting the Christmas present swap where we prove that one woman’s unwanted bath bombs are another man’s… well… wanted bath bombs. So don’t ‘Return to Sender’ but instead bring all your unloved presents along and swap them for other people’s!
Tickets are FREE but please do book ahead by clicking HERE or call The REP’s box office on 0121 236 4455.
As always we’ll be rattling buckets at the end so keep a few quid handy to help us cover our costs – and then join us in the bar afterwards where the lovely people at Marmalade are ‘All Shook Up’ about creating a special cocktail for us. See you there!
All you have to do is complete our quick 10-question survey to help us develop our programme of work. Our own Stephen Jackson’s Roller Diner was showcased at The REP and went on to win the Verity Bargate Award. It had a fantastic run at the Soho Theatre, and we’re incredibly proud of our mate Steve.
Click on the link to do our two minute survey. Please complete before November 15th so we can get cracking with our planning. Thank you!
Our next show is brewing – 8pm Monday 8th January 2018 at The REP, followed by our ridiculously popular Unwanted Christmas Present Swap. Save the date and watch this space for more info.