Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Meet the Bashment Housewives, Sun 5 Oct @ The Drum

It’s not easy being a young woman in Britain today. There’s so many pressures, so many expectations to live up to, and so many problems in the way of getting what you want. But some girls won’t let anything stop them from living the dream, even if it makes some enemies along the way… Meet the Bashment Housewives, coming to The Drum on Sun 5 Oct.

This explosive, ghetto-fabulous, rags-to-riches comedy fairy tale follows the lifestyles of four competitive young women who’ve worked their way out of their old neighbourhoods and into the entertainment business. Now they each live up-scale lives of wealth and indulgence, but find some parts of their old lives are harder to shake than they realized, and that more money usually just means more problems.

Bashment Housewives is the latest pieces from dynamic playwright Tennexa, also known as Tennesa Young, a rising star in the UK Theatre scene with a well-earned reputation for pulling no punches. Her stark, honest yet affectionate portrayals of the lives of young black people in modern Britain have come to The Drum before, with her first play Voice of the Youth proving a sell-out success. Her follow up Pimps and Riches, a compelling drug-dealing drama, was a similar hit, and we’re honoured to welcome her back from for the third part of an unofficial trilogy of amazing drama.

With an all-star cast including Debbie Diamond and Birmingham’s own DJ Countryman, this side-splitting comedy proves that if money makes the world go round, but Money can’t buy you Love, then Love just might be the answer to all life’s problems…

Come meet the girls, have a gossip, and find out what all the fuss is about – Click Here to book your tickets now!

The Strong One Rises Again – Etana returns to Birmingham, Fri 17 Oct

With her sensational vocal talents and undeniable charm, Etana is one of the most distinctive Reggae artists currently performing. Known to her fans as The Strong One, she is an utterly accomplished performer whose meteoric rise to stardom over the last decade has been a true story of just what unbridled talent can achieve when matched by passion and hard work. Her fourth studio album, I Rise, will be released on Tue 28 Oct, and comes hot on the tail of a solid string of hits over the last few years.

Like many greats, Etana’s talent started to shine very early. Born in Kingston, Jamaica and growing up in the eastern Saint Andrew community of August Town, she started her musical career singing along to hits on the radio. Emigrating to America in 1992 she was soon snatched up as part of larger all-female groups, but quickly began to strike out on her own, returning to Kingston to find her own voice.

After touring internationally as a vocalist for Richie Spice, her first single, Wrong Address, became an instant hit with its fusion of acoustic folk, roots reggae rhythms neo-soul vibes. Her 2008 debut album The Strong One took her around the globe as a headline act at major reggae festivals worldwide, and was nominated for a MOBO Award for Best Reggae.

Now she heads to Birmingham’s New Bingley Hall for one amazing night as special headliner alongside superstar heartthrob Sanchez as a true champion of Reggae. You won’t want to miss a moment of her enthralling performance, so make sure you’ve got your tickets – they won’t last long!

Just click here to book your tickets for Etana and   Sanchez on Fri 17 Oct, or call our Box Office on 0121 333 2444. Want to pick yours up in person? Pop into any of the stores below across the Midlands – just tell them The Drum sent you!

Please note this event will be taking place at:

The New Bingley Hall
1 Hockley Circus
B18 5PP

Ticketing Outlets
Please note booking fees apply on all tickets except ticket purchased from The Drum Online


Bingley Hall: 0121 666 7610
Summit Records: 0121 455 8844
Hatman: 0121 643 2047

Markies Barbers: 0796 027 8059

Rockaboom: 0116 2538 293

Ultimate Barbers: 0115 970 3033

To hear the great new track Trigger from Etana’s new album, click here

Award-Winning Pandora’s Box comes to The Drum

The Award-Winning Pandora’s Box production is coming to The Drum on Wed 1 Oct, as part of Nigerian 54 Independence Day Celebrations. There are some experiences so unique and personal they must be lived to be understood, and being a parent can hold many such worries. Yet sometimes, experience can be so powerful, some emotions so deep, that they transcend all boundaries, speaking to us on a deeply and universally human level. Nowhere is this more perfectly illustrated that this breath-taking play.

“You think England is hard? Compared to Nigeria? My dear, you haven’t seen anything yet!”

On holiday with her streetwise and rebellious son in Lagos, a mother is in turmoil. Should she leave her only child in a strict boarding school to learn the discipline the might turn his life around, or return him to inner London, where a future of diaspora, violence and uncertainty awaits in a country they call ‘home’, but feel like strangers in?

A moving mix of comedy, tragedy and family drama, Pandora’s Box exposes the heart-rending dilemmas faced by parents, whilst addressing the unique feelings of diaspora and confused identity experienced by British families divided between generations and cultures.

The play is presented in association with this year’s Nigerian 54 Independence Day Celebrations, marking the fifty fourth year to the day since Nigeria achieved democratic independence in 1960. Throughout the world from New York to Sydney, festivals, parades and parties will be held to celebrate both this monumentous achievement and everything about Nigerian culture. The Drum is proud and honoured to be a part of the celebrations, and hope you’ll join us for this unique and touching event.

Click here to book your tickets for this incredible theatrical experience for only £12.50. You won’t be disappointed.

Uncle Ben needs you this Christmas!

Graft Entertainment is looking for Birmingham based Actors to perform in the comedy/theatre Christmas Pantomime production, Uncle Ben’s Festive Block Party.

We are looking for both Male and Female actors aged sixteen and above from African, Jamaican, Caucasian and Asian background, with Acting and performing experience, however, it’s not vital as all actors will be given necessary training to prepare for live performances.

Rehearsals will begin from October, until performance dates Thu 18 until Sun 21 December. All actors must be available throughout this period for all rehearsals. If you are interested email graftproductions@gmail.com the following information:

  •  CV
  • Your bio (including any relevant acting experience)
  • A high quality profile picture

Auditions will take place on Sat 4 Oct from 12pm until 4pm, all candidates are required to arrive a minimum of thirty minutes before beginning of auditions.

FYI: All candidates invited to audition are required to prepare a monologue to perform in front of the panel.

Lovers Legends Unite for One Night Only! Champion MC’s & Lovers Rock Singers Roll Call 2014, Sat 27 Sep @ The Drum

You won’t find a line up like it anywhere else – join The Drum for a very special night of celebrations as we turn back time and pay tribute to some of the UK’s most legendary Reggae MCs and Lovers Rock artists of the last thirty years. A sensational all-star line-up including Tippa Irie, General Levy, Top Cat, Winsome Benjamin, Peter Hunnigale (Mr. Honey Vibes), Don Campbell and many more take to the same stage for the first time for a jam packed night of music.

How could things get any better? As if the night wasn’t special enough, it’s Tippa Irie’s Birthday, and everyone’s invited to come join the party! Such a legendary line up needs some serious sound system support, and we’ve pulled out all the stops. A host of sensational DJs from across the country will be stopping by to keep you dancing, including DJ Little Richie, DJ Billy Spice, and original London sound system pioneer Trevor Sax of Saxon Sound. With Trevor Ranks and MVP holding sway and everyone raising a glass, this is one Birthday you won’t want to forget.

Tickets are only £20, so why wait any longer? Click here or call The Drum’s Box Office on 0121 333 2444 to book your tickets for this award-winning ensemble of talent – you won’t find a line up like it anywhere else!

Freedom or Death – The Drum welcomes renowned photographer Dr Vanley Burke

As part of this year’s Afrovibes Festival and Black History Month, The Drum is honoured to host an exhibition by preeminent documentary photographer Dr Vanley Burke.

Charting the final days of the apartheid era in South Africa by capturing the everyday lives of the people most directly affected, this unique exhibition compiles images Dr Burke collected during his travels through Soweto, Sharpeville, Bophuthatswana, Cape Town and Durban.

The images communicate the fragility, tension, and joy of those most turbulent times – the country’s transformation to democracy, the freeing and election of Nelson Mandela and subsequent nation-wide celebrations. Burke immortalises these historic moments, capturing their power, emotion and significance to both the people of South Africa and the world.

The exhibition will launch at The Drum with a special inaugural event at the Black History Month Launch on Fri 26 Sep at 6pm, and will be available to view until Fri 7 Nov.

Acclaimed by scholars and honoured by academic institutions, Dr Vanley Burke has dedicated his career to documenting and celebrating the changing experiences of Britain’s black population through photography, compiling an incredible archive of materials and exhibitions which have been displayed throughout the world.

We hope you’ll join us and enjoy this special exhibition.

Infections Rhythms from the Heart of the Midlands

East meets West in an utterly unique fusion of music, percussion and passion as infections rhythms from the Heart of the Midlands comes to The Drum on Sat 20 Sep as Birmingham born Tabla master, composer, and The Drum’s Resident Artist Mendi Mohinder Singh brings us his ground-breaking new work in United Rhythms.

Classically trained at the feet of legendary percussion master Ajit Singh Mutlashi, Mendi has travelled the world enthralling audiences with his incredible compositions. His music is a true reflection of the cultural melting pot familiar to anyone who grows up in Birmingham, a beautiful blending of influences which produces music, and musicians, not found anywhere else in the world. Mendi has toured from Europe to South America delighting audience of thousands, playing with artists as diverse as sitar master Pandit Shalil Shankar and singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel. Throughout his travels he has added to his musical repertoire, incorporating styles and sounds from across the globe.

The Drum is proud to present the final result of Mendi’s artistic vision, creating the world’s first East-West percussion orchestra in United Rhythms, joined by Birmingham’s esteemed Conservatoire Percussion Ensemble in three original compositions drawing on African, South American, American and Arabic styles composed within a Western classical context.

Joining him will be Handpan player Samantha Archer, and in an even greater blending of cultures, each composition is coordinated with a display of choreographed martial arts from Seventh Dan Samurai expert Fay Goodman.

United Rhythms is a truly unique creation, an entertaining and uplifting rhythmical spectacle infused with joy and spirituality, uniting people through a universal language. For any fans of World Music, Tabla, or sheer originality, this is not to be missed.

Click here to book your tickets!

Supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council, Sampad, Birmingham City University and Professional Incredibles

Afrovibes Global Choir – Let Your Voice Be Heard!

To mark the opening of Afrovibes 2014 the words of Nelson Mandela have been set to music in a specially commissioned traditional English choral piece, to be sung by a virtual choir. Combining recordings of voices from across the world, the finished performance, entitled No Easy Road to Freedom, will be very much a tribute to the South African freedom struggle, accompanied by a video which will launch at Afrovibes 2014 in October.

This promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime event – and we want you to be a part of it.

To take part, we’re inviting you to upload a recording of your voice, adding your spirit and passion to this unique musical event and joining us as Afrovibes marks the 20th Anniversary of democracy in South Africa.

Click here to download all you need to join in this exciting project – and please tell your friends, we hope as many people as possible will want to be a part of this!

The deadline for your finished recording to be submitted is 11pm on Fri 12 Sep, to give the technical team time to create the final mix.

No Easy Road to Freedom has been created for Afrovibes by MD Tim Cumper and the team at South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell, Berkshire, as their special contribution to this year’s festival. People from all over the country, and the world, are being invited to share their voices in this global commission.

To view a virtual choir performance, please click here. We hope you’ll enjoy taking part in ours.

Check out all the events that are taking place at The Drum as part of Afrovibes 2014

Put a Smile on your face… Artsmile, Sat 6th & Sun 7 Sep, Harborne High Street, Birmingham

Come out and join the community for a whole weekend of amazing artistic events at Edgbaston Arts Forum’s Artsmile 2014 on Sat 6 & Sun 7 Sep between 10am and 4pm, as Harborne High Street becomes an arts festival!

Twice as large and four times longer than last year, over twenty cafes, wine bars, restaurants, shops and pubs becoming mini-art clubs and throw open their doors to create a global artistic village. From spinning pottery and crafting jewellery to creating cakes, writing poetry and making music, there’s something to do for everyone, and it’s all free!

Here’s what’s happening:

Sat 6 Sep

• 10am – ARTSMILE opens to the public with activities on offer in every venue
• 2pm – Official Opening by Gisela Stuart, MP for Edgbaston at ARTSMILE Office, located in The School Yard
• 4pm – ARTSMILE closes… But not for long!

Sun 7 Sep

10am – ARTSMILE re-opens to the public (time to finish off those last few stops!)

Sunday Only Art Exhibition

On the wide pavement opposite The School Yard, marquees will be filled with sensational art exhibitions from local people, and across the world! As part of a two year international programme of collaboration between Edgbaston Arts Contact Group and international artists , painters, potters and sculptors from Karis Neighbourhood Centre, The Haven Centre and The Elizabeth Gunn Centre at Focus Birmingham will be displaying their work, along with pieces from artist Jarmily Tyrnové and Eruditio Publica of the Czech Republic and Mentalia Puerto from Spain.

4pm ARTSMILE closes – Thanks for a wonderful weekend!

Everyone’s invited and there’s always something fun going on. You don’t have to be artistic to join in – It’s all about creating your own experience, seeing what you can do or make with the help of local artists. There’s also delicious food and drink on offer all day, so whether you’re a seasoned pro, or just want to dip into a fun new hobby, come on down and turn the last weekend of summer into a festival of fun for all the family!

For all the details, visit the Artsmile facebook page, and click here for a full brochure of the weekend.

We hope to see you soon…

The Drum Team