Gangs in Focus – Dem Boyz, Thu 4 & Fri 5 Dec @ The Drum

November 28th, 2014

Like many cities across the country, gang-related crime is a very real and current concern in Birmingham. Between fractured family lives, few opportunities and feeling rejected by society, many young people become caught up in gangs, finding support and a feeling of purpose. But at what cost?

This sensitive issue is just one of the topics explored in Dem Boyz, a hard-hitting new production showing at The Drum on Thu 4 & Fri 5 Dec.

Created and performed by Year 2 BA(Hons) Applied Performance (Community and Education) students from Birmingham School of Acting, and directed by Course Leader Hannah Phillips, Dem Boyz uses a fusion of Spoken Word, Music, Dance and Physical Theatre to engage audiences in a serious discussion of gang association amongst disaffected young adults growing up in the inner city.

“Cultivated and combined, the old me re-defined

I’m part of a gang, a real bloodline,

Hold up the family sign.” – Production Quote

Incorporating issues of youth violence, drug addiction, sexual exploitation, mental health and loss, the production aims to raise awareness with both young audiences and the wider community, working together to safeguard and empower young people. The show has already been enthusiastically supported across Birmingham, with a dozen local schools and colleges booking tickets for their students.

Powerfully honest and beautifully produced, The Drum are proud to support this amazing new production, and hope you’ll join us in doing the same. To book tickets, call The Drum’s Box Office on 0121 333 2444 or visit www.the-drum.org.uk

Click Here to learn more about Birmingham School of Acting

Edgbaston Arts Champions Commissions @ The Drum

November 27th, 2014

The Drum always look to inspire more artists and organisations to work with us to engage the local community, providing opportunities to enjoy arts and cultural events as both audience members and artists themselves.

As the Arts Champions of Edgbaston district (Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton) The Drum and Edgbaston Arts Forum are offering artists, voluntary and community organisations the opportunity to submit proposals to work with us to programme events for our Spring Season 2015. Between January and March 2015, they’ll have the opportunity to lead workshops, share work in progress, and deliver full-scale artistic projects with The Drum’s full support.

The Drum are interested in proposals that reflect their programme of intercultural arts activity and provide opportunities for all areas of Birmingham’s diverse community through Music, Theatre, Spoken Word, Dance, Film and Visual Arts. All ideas and art forms are welcome, and should reflect the Arts Champions scheme priorities:

• To reach existing and/or new groups in the District to develop participation and increase engagement
• Respond and add value to the research undertaken by Local Arts Forum into community arts engagement
• Provide opportunities for artist development and volunteering
• Provide opportunities for local people to influence the programme
• Address Edgbaston district priorities of improving community life, building social capital, improving wellbeing and community engagement
• Offer professional development for young and emerging artists aged 19 – 25 years of age from the District.

If you have an idea for a project you want to share with the community, get in touch. To submit your expression of interest please contact Ian Sergeant, Arts Development Outreach Manager, on 0121 333 2418 or email i.sergeant@the-drum.org.uk 

Norms of Conduct, Sat 6 Dec @ The Drum

November 26th, 2014

The Drum are proud to invite you to a unique event created and performed by our friends at Rutherford Dance Company Youth (RDC Youth). The mysteries of human nature and behaviour are brought to life through three unique pieces of experimental contemporary dance in Norms of Conduct on Sat 6 Dec at 7:30pm.

Norms of Conduct is a fascinating combination of three individual productions crafted by esteemed choreographers Adam Rutherford, Rosie Kay and Carlos Pons Guerra, performed by a cast of vibrant young dancers from RDC Youth, three separate subjects combining for one insightful exploration of human character.

Dance of Possession draws on elements of tribalism and trance to create a mystic and magical experience. Part of Artistic Director Rosie Kay’s wider investigation as to how anthropological sources can inspire today’s art, movements are set to historic recordings from Colombia, Cameroon and Central Africa.

Costa Del Sol is set under the blazing sun of dawn in Marbella. A group of young tourists perform their rites of summer, disrupting a picturesque flamenco postcard with a sacrificial rumpus of explosive and kitschy dance by choreographer Carlos Pons Guerra.

Artistic Director Adam Rutherford’s What Sexuality Is Love? explores the notion of oppression across the world through a breakdown in laws that protect everyday human rights. The show will also feature an exclusive bespoke curtain raiser by Initiate Youth Dance Company, and a special performance of RDC Youth’s 2014 – 2015 signature piece Forge.

Under the artistic direction of Adam Rutherford, RDC Youth provides professional training opportunities to talented young dancers, working with experienced choreographers to produce new original work performed across Birmingham and beyond. Members can work towards Arts Awards certification and choreograph their own new work with the company, with members moving on to positions at prestigious dance conservatoires across the UK including Trinity Laban, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, and The Place.

We hope you’ll join us for this fascinating display of contemporary dance. To book tickets, call The Drum’s Box Office on 0121 333 2444 or visit www.the-drum.org.uk, and Click Here to learn more about RDC Dance.

Meet the Family! Uncle Bens Block Party

November 20th, 2014

There’s just 4 weeks to go until Uncle Bens Block Party comes to The Drum, and we cannot wait! As Christmas is a special time, we’d like everything to go perfect, but that is not the case! After getting some unexpected news from his doctor and some very strange dreams, he’s decided it’s time to make amends and change his ways for the better! Uncle Ben has booked the local sound system, bought his party hats and crackers, and stocked up on mince pies, samosas, fried dumplings and a few bottles of Rum! Everything’s going perfect… until his family cause some trouble! So let’s meet a few of them…

The main man is Uncle Ben! He is a single father who’s raised his kids alone, whilst struggling to maintain his home, he is working hard to pay off his mortgage and raise his family up the right way. He’s very close to his friends and family, especially his daughter Collet, who he’s always there for.

Next, we meet Collet, who is Uncle Ben’s daughter and married to Robert. She has always struggled with her mother’s death, but is very close to her father. They don’t agree at times, but they always have love and respect for each other.

Robert is Collet’s husband, and was bundled into a quick marriage when Collet decided she didn’t want to reach a certain age and still be single, but the marriage is on the verge of ending, and tensions are running high between them both.

Next week, we will meet another 3 characters from Uncle Bens Block Party, so be sure to keep a look out!

Make sure you join us and get into the Christmas spirit! We still are offering our early bird ticket, which is only £10.50 and a Family Ticket for just £37.50, available until 5pm on Sun 30 Nov! All you need to do is call The Drum’s Box Office on 0121 333 2444, or visit www.the-drum.org.uk

Affinity III – Gospel Link 360 return to The Drum!

November 13th, 2014

Prepare to experience Gospel Music like never before. After two previous sell-out shows, Gospel Link 360 return to The Drum with Affinity Part III on Sat 15 Nov, with tickets only £7.50. 

Affinity III is the latest product of GL360’s ongoing mission to unearth new creative talent from across the West Midlands, drawing together singers, dancers, rappers, musicians, artists and DJs to create a second-to-none Live Band Showcase of the very best in modern Gospel Music.

Led by the passion and experience of the visionary C.E.O Roger Moore, GL360’s productions have gone from strength to strength since 2012’s Affinity, which drew records crowds. Things got even bigger with Affinity 2 in 2013, before stripping back to the more raw and acoustic Manifest earlier this year.

“It’s in my heart to be a musical revolution that defies logic in the Musical world,” says Roger Moore. “In the past we have featured top talent from the West Midlands, and we are now broadening our horizons with over fifteen artists on the night singing all their own material.”

Combined alongside GL360’s mentoring and development programme for young creative talent in the arts, Affinity III promises to be even bigger and better than ever, with an all-star line-up of top quality creative talent including David B, Entitled, MOBO Award-nominated Faith Child, Jade Richards, MafDotYou, Martha J, Natty Joshia, Ni Sheng, Possible P, Treblez and many more.

Affinity Part III is the perfect event for those that love the full spectrum of creativity, with GL360 boasting a huge assortment of musicians and performers, covering everything from Rap to Classical Vocals and piano to turntables. Make sure you don’t miss this amazing night of inspirational music.

To Book your tickets for only £7.50, call The Drum’s Box Office on 0121 333 2444 or visit www.the-drum.org.uk

For more information visit www.glrecords.co.uk, like GL Media on facebook, and follow on Twitter @gl360 and #Affinity3

Stop Press! Our Festive Pantomime is nearly here!

November 10th, 2014

It’s getting closer to Christmas, and we’re looking forward to our amazing pantomime! Uncle Ben is back, and he’s bringing all his friends and family for one very special weekend, so if you missed the last shows, don’t worry, just relax and read along!

This will be the third time that Uncle Ben and his family have come to The Drum. We first meet them back in 2012 when Uncle Ben first arrived, with a disastrous dinner party full of short tempers and family secrets. The play also addressed the social topic of absent fathers and how important family unity is. Things weren’t much better when Uncle Ben: The Wedding returned in 2013, with tensions running high, as Uncle Ben argued with his son in law Robert, as well as finding out he may not have long to live.

So this year we have even more drama! With lots of tears, fights and secrets coming out! After the shocking news of his illness and an enlightening dream Uncle Ben is on a mission to be a better person. He invites his neighbours around for a party from all different nations. After a phone call from the doctor confirming that he is free of cancer and the problem in his stomach was actually trapped gas!

There’s more to this pantomime story, so to find out more keep a look out next week!

Make sure you don’t miss out, by booking your early bird tickets for just £10.50 or your family ticket for just £37.50! Call The Drum’s Box Office on 0121 333 2444, or visit www.the-drum.org.uk . In the words of Uncle Ben – “Mek mi tell yuh sutten… buy yuh tickets!”

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Rehearsals have begun for Uncle Ben’s Block Party @ The Drum

November 3rd, 2014

After a busy summer of fantastic events, we’re warming up for winter here at The Drum and getting in the Christmas spirit preparing for this year’s panto. Our old friend Uncle Ben is back, and he’s bringing all his friends for one very special weekend of festive fun at Uncle Ben’s Block Party from Thu 18 to Sun 21 Dec, with a special Matinee performance on Fri 19 Dec at 2pm.

Brought to you by our long-time friend Rem Conway of GRAFT Entertainment, this brilliant new production has just started rehearsals. With a fantastic cast, and a few very special guests to be announced, this patois-panto is guaranteed fun for the whole family.


For this special occasion, we’ve got a very special Early Bird Ticket Offer. Book before 5pm on Sun 30 Nov, and get tickets for only £10.50, and a Family Ticket for four people for only £37.50! Bring the kids, bring the grandparents, and kick off Christmas in style!

This will be the third time the hilarious Uncle Ben family have come to The Drum. We first met them back in 2012’s Uncle Ben, with a disastrous dinner party full of short tempers and family secrets. Things weren’t much better by 2013’s Uncle Ben: The Wedding, with tensions running high as in-laws argued.

Things have calmed down a bit since then. Uncle Ben’s been sick all year, but is determined to turn things around by inviting his very diverse neighbours over for a good old fashioned block party – and of course, you’re all invited!

He’s booked the local sound system to supply the music, brought party hats, crackers, mistletoe and twinkling lights – all that’s needed to complete the merriment is his witty jokes and a few bottles of rum! He’s got the best intentions… but will he succeed or fail miserably? You’ll have to join us to find out!

Make sure you don’t miss out. To book your tickets, call The Drum’s Box Office on 0121 333 2444, or visit www.the-drum.org.uk . In the words of Uncle Ben – “Mek mi tell yuh sutten… buy yuh tickets!”

Please note that the Family Ticket entitles either two adults and two children or one adult and three children to attend.

West Indies to West Midlands – New Photography Exhibition from Inès Elsa Dalal

October 31st, 2014

As Black History Month 2014 comes to a close, we’d like to thank everyone who attended our special events and joined us in remembering the brave soldiers who gave their lives for Britain in the First and Second World Wars. Black Blood Runs Red was a huge success in celebrating the contributions of soldiers of the Commonwealth often forgotten, we’re very proud to have been a part of it, and plan to programme many more such events in the coming years.

Gone, but not forgotten, as the saying goes, and a new exhibition launching this month at The Drum will continue to shed light on the contributions of servicemen from the former Commonwealth. West Indies to West Midlands is the most recent work of documentary photographer Inès Elsa Dalal, who specialises in conducting social commentary projects involving heritage, community, sanctuary and social rituals.

Presented in association with the Why Are West Indians project (WAWI), this exhibition is the beginning of a new archive of previously untold narratives linking over 400 years of contribution to the British military with mass migration from the West Indies to Britain. Inès initiated this archive twelve months ago, and will continue to work with underrepresented communities in relation to unreported war contribution during the commemoration of the First World War (2014-2018).

The exhibition launches on Tue 11 Nov at 6pm, and will be free to attend and open to the public until Thu 8 Jan 2015.   For more information, call The Drum’s Box Office on 0121 333 2444, or visit www.the-drum.org.uk. To learn more about the Why Are West Indians project, visit www.whyarewestindians.co.uk

Follow WAWI on twitter @WAWIproject with #WestIndiesToWestMidlands, and follow Ines @InesElsaDalal

for-Wards Community Music Project, Sun 26 Oct @ The Drum

October 24th, 2014

At The Drum we are always looking for new ways to get our audiences involved in the arts and express themselves. We are therefore proud to present for-Wards, a hyper-local music project funded as part of Sound and Music’s touring programme, giving communities the opportunity to contribute to the creation of new music.

The project is produced and led by composer Bobbie-Jane Gardner who, with a team of composers and professional musicians, will lead a series of workshops focussed on discovering sounds that represent local neighbourhoods. These sounds and other input from the workshops will be used to write original music, which will then be performed in the communities where they were inspired.

Composers will collaborate with those who take part in the workshops to create ‘sonic maps’ of their neighbourhoods that will form the basis of these new compositions, to be performed in each community in March next year.

 During each workshop participants will:

– Use maps to locate places and sounds of interest in their neighbourhood

– Go on a walking tour to record the places and sounds of interest using audio recorders and mobile phones

– Work with a professional sound artist, composer and film maker

This pilot project will work with residents living in Balsall Heath, Newtown and Small Heath. Each workshop will last for two hours – starting at 12 noon and finishing at 2pm, and are free. Places are limited to 15 participants for each workshop.

Workshop dates:

Newtown residents: Sun 26 Oct, 12 -2pm, The Drum Arts Centre

Small Heath residents: Sat 1 Nov, 12-2pm, Small Heath Library

Balsall Heath residents: Sat 8 Nov, 12-2pm, mac arts centre


For more information, contact Andrene Miller on 0753 238 4474 or info@for-wards.co.uk, or visit www.soundandmusic.org