WHAT'S ON

Only three days until Uncle Bens Festive Block Party!

Uncle Ben, his family and friends are all coming to The Drum, for an amazing and hilarious Block Party starting on Thu 18 Dec! We would love to see you there and enjoy the festive season with us and celebrating in style, with lots of laughs and lots of fun!

We have some special VIP on the guest list, such as Peter Spence, as well as,  DJ Country Man who’s bringing his own sound system and playing  some big tunes! All that’s needed now for the party to be completed is you! With an amazing line-up of actors from Birmingham and the West Midlands, this festive show cannot to be missed! So what are you waiting for!

Tickets are just £12.50 and you can get your family tickets for just £40, by going to www.the-drum.org.uk or calling our box office team on 0121 333 2444.

(Please note that the Family ticket entitles either two adults and two children or one adult and three children to attend)

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

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

Norms of Conduct, Sat 6 Dec @ The Drum

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.

Affinity III – Gospel Link 360 return to The Drum!

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

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

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.

rehersal-web-story-image

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.

It’s Time for Afrovibes! Tue 21 – Sat 25 Oct @ The Drum

After months of preparation and practice, Afrovibes 2014 has finally arrive in Birmingham! It opened last night at mac Birmingham to and will be on from Mon 20 to Sat 25 Oct.

The Drum will come alive with a sensational selection of South African Theatre, Dance, Music,Spoken Word and Visual Arts from internationally acclaimed actors, directors, performers and musicians. We hope you’ll join us in making this year’s festival even greater than the last, including our fantastic Afrovibes Closing Party on Sat 25 Oct at 10pm following Rhetorical.

Afrovibes Closing Party
Sat 25 Oct, 10pm

The Drum, Frontiers Café Bar
£3 OTD – Free admission with ticket stubs from any Afrovibes events

Join us at the Afrovibes Closing Party as we bid farewell to our South African guests and celebrate the end of the Festival. The Drum’s Frontiers Township Café will become the ultimate African music hot spot as DJ Fenta Zulu and MC Appollon from the legendary Club Afrique are joined by Newstyle Radio’s DJ Wali and DJ Fresh. Expect an amazing night of dance and music as we rock the Township Café with great classics and the latest hits from Soukous, Makosa, Afrobeat, Reggae, Hip-Hop and many more.

Also taking the stage for live performances will be a cappella trio The Soil presenting their stunning mix of township Jazz, Hip-Hop, Afro-Pop and Afro-Soul plus special musical vibes from the cast of Mamela, all hosted by Lit Fuse poets Amerah Saleh, Sipho Eric Dube and Nafeesa Hamid. Tickets for the Closing Party are £3, but take any ticket stub from The Drum’s Afrovibes shows, or any show at mac or Birmingham REP, and you’ll to get free admission! Even better, the same ticket will also get you £1 off any Afrovibes shows at mac or Birmingham REP – and vice versa!

Here’s what you can look forward to across the week, so make sure you keep these dates in your diary!

Freedom or Death: Photographic Exhibition – Dr Vanley Burke
On until Fri 7 Nov

An unprecedented photographic exhibition charting the final days of South Africa’s apartheid era, captured by documentary photographer Dr Vanley Burke.

Mandela 27
Until Sat 25 Oct
The Drum Café

Step into a recreation of Nelson Mandela’s Robben Island prison cell and learn the history of his and South Africa’s fight for freedom.

Punk in Africa
Tue 21 Oct, 7pm

Three chords, three countries, one revolution… the story of South Africa’s multiracial punk movement.

An Evening with Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze MBE and Tracie Morris
Wed 22 Oct, 7:30pm

An evening of conversation and performance from Jamaican poet and dub artist Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze MBE and the acclaimed US poet and voice artist Tracie Morris.

Biko’s Quest
Thu 23 Oct, 7:30pm

The legacy of inspirational anti-apartheid campaigner Steve Biko, brought to life through amazing contemporary dance.

Mamela
Fri 24 Oct, 7:30pm

Hear the voices, hopes and dreams of the remarkable young women of South Africa’s ‘born-free’ generation in a fusion of European and African theatre. Book your tickets, and get a special concessionary price on tickets for Township Comets.

Township Comets
Fri 24 Oct, 9pm

Enjoy a joyful mix of South African Township Jazz inspired by South African saxophonist Dudu Pukwana. Concession prices apply for anyone who has been to see Mamela

Rhetorical
Sat 25 Oct, 7:30pm

Thabo Mbeki succeeded Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa in 1999, and the highs, and lows, of his political struggles are explored through the eyes of those he influenced.

Township Café
Every day during the festival

Relax in our specially created Township Café and enjoy unique art, drama, music and spoken word events happening throughout the day during the festival.

Afrovibes at mac birmingham

The Soil
Mon 20 Oct, 8pm

Soweto’s award-winning, platinum-selling beatbox a cappella group combine an eclectic mix of township jazz, Hip-Hop and Afro-pop.

Skierlik
Tue 21 Oct, 8pm

In January 2008, in Skierlik, west of Pretoria, seventeen year-old Johan Nel went on a racially motivated shooting spree killing four people and wounding eight. Skierlik explores tragic effects on those left behind.

Rainbow Scars
Wed 22 & Thu 23 Oct, 8pm

Written by Mike Van Graan, Rainbow Scars follows Lindiwe, a black teenager adopted by white parents, confronting her racial identity in the new Rainbow Nation.

Double Bill: Mana and Dark Cell
Fri 24 Oct, 8pm
Double Bill: Uncles & Angels and Dark Cell
Sat 25 Oct, 8pm

In Mana, South African choreographer Vincent Mantsoe evokes the spirit of African dance and Shaman traditions. The award-winning Dark Cell draws inspiration from prisoners of Robben Island, using a prison cell as metaphor for mental imprisonment. Uncles & Angels uses breath-taking interactive dance and video to explore South Africa’s traditional Reed Dance.

Afrovibes at Birmingham REP

Unagumbe
Fri 24 Oct, 7pm
Tickets: £5 (£3)

Making its UK premiere, this compelling short film reworks Noyes’ Fludde by Benjamin Britten, relocating the story of Noah’s Ark to present-day South Africa, and re-imagining Noah as a woman who must hold her family together.

Visit Afrovibes UK to view the full nationwide season of events. Find out more on facebook at Afrovibes as well as Twitter @AfrovibesUK with #afrovibes too.

Arts On Your Doorstep – Flat Out

Here at The Drum we’re always looking for ways to make the arts more interesting, more accessible, and more involving for the local community. Whether neighbourhood festivals or creative workshops, we want you to get involved and have a fantastic time with the arts.

That’s why we’ve taken the ultimate step, and given local residents the chance to create and choreograph their own unique performance, working with Birmingham Royal Ballet and the University of Birmingham, as part of Family Arts Festival 2014. We are proud to present Flat Out, a unique fusion of Dance, Music and Film created by the local community, for the local community.

For the last several weeks, dance experts from Birmingham Royal Ballet have been working with the residents and families of Inkerman House, the high-rise flats just opposite The Drum, to create a performance inspired by the experiences, stories, aspirations and perspectives of the families who live there. The highs and lows, love and hate, tears and laughter of a typical family life have been interpreted into dance, creating a truly unique art form with universal elements any family will recognise.

To house this innovative performance, a specially commissioned recreation of a typical family flat will be built in The Drum by Willmott Dixon.

The project aims to give local families a more direct hand in creating arts events which speak directly to their experiences and interests – not just creating Community Arts, but understanding the Art of Community, bringing neighbours together to appreciating and celebrate what unites us, yet makes us unique. Whether Dance and Music or Crafts and Cooking, everyone has a way of expressing themselves and Flat Out celebrates this in an open, entertaining environment.

The production will be performed at 12pm3pm and 7pm throughout the day on Sat 25 Oct, with space at each performance for up to 70 audience members. Everyone is welcome, and admission is free.

Gazebo Theatre presents The Hallowed Turf, Thu 16 Oct @ The Drum

The First World War will forever be remembered as a time of great suffering and loss, a tragic mistake from which mankind has learnt too few lessons. Although the death and disaster of those dark days must be remembered, too often forgotten are the bonds of friendship and camaraderie forged on the battlefields, and how such adversity can overcome the greatest divisions.

The Hallowed Turf is one such story, a tale of soldiers, heroes, and football, created by ground-breaking production company Gazebo Theatre and based on the true life story of footballing star Walter Tull, one of the first Afro-Caribbean players in the top division of professional English football. Serving in the Footballer’s Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment during the First World War, Tull saw extensive combat, including the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Although social conventions of the time prevented any non-white soldiers from achieving rank, Tull’s bravery, selfless defence of his fellow soldiers, and “gallantry and coolness” in battle gained him the respect of his superior officers, and be became the very first British soldier of Afro-Caribbean heritage to be awarded the rank of Second Lieutenant.

Through his actions as both a professional sportsman and a soldier, Tull showed the ignorance of societal rules which tried to deny people equality based on race, his skill and bravery bridging all barriers of discrimination. The Hallowed Turf takes place during these dark days on the front line, as Tull befriends a young recruit who dreams of returning home and becoming a professional footballer.

This incredible story is a cornerstone performance of both this year’s Black History Month celebrations and First World War commemorations. Funny, moving and honest, it is ideal for all audiences, and a fantastic educational experience.

We hope you’ll join us for this very special event. Click here to book your tickets, or call The Drum’s Box Office on 0121 333 2444.

Listen below to hear an interview with Oraine Johnson, who plays Walter Tull, on BBC WM’s ChatBack show

For more information on Gazebo Theatre, visit their website, and click here to learn more about this year’s Black History Month celebrations.

 

Return to the spotlight for Aysha Loren, supporting Sanchez at The New Bingley Hall, Fri 17 Oct

It’s never easy when a fantastic artist chooses to step away from the microphone, especially when they have such talent as Aysha Loren. The sensational singer-songwriter from West London has been a presence in the music industry since the early 90s, lending her vocals to numerous big time artists, and got one of her first breaks supporting the massive Destiny’s Child during their first UK tour.

Despite huge success and a rising reputation, Aysha chose to take a break from the demands of the music industry to start a family, but could never quite walk away, continuing to write and building up an impressive catalogue of material just waiting to be shared with the world. After being asked to perform at a Whitney Houston tribute concert, her spark was rekindled, and she set about making a name for herself again…

Now it’s finally time for Aysha to be back in the spotlight where she belongs. As a tantalising taster of things to come, her single Keep It Like This leaked earlier this year, instantly launching her back onto the music scene as one of the most requested radio singles for nearly a month running, and was soon followed by her first new EP Back To You in July. She’s been busy every since racking up an impressive array of achievements, reaching the finals of the National UK Open Mic Competition and sharing the stage alongside the likes of John Holt, Frankie Paul, Janet Kay and Luciano.

Now she takes the stage to support heartthrob Sanchez and special headliner Etana The Strong One on Fri 17 Oct at The New Bingley Hall for one amazing night of Reggae you won’t want to miss.

As a Big Drum Birthday Thank You to our great customers, we’re amending prices to £30 in advance and £35 on the door – and, a Super Special 100 tickets will be on sale for only £25 per ticket! (This offer is only applicable to tickets sold from The Drum’s Box Office or online at http://www.the-drum.org.uk/single-event/?id=SRS.) Please note these will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Hurry, they won’t last long!

This event will be taking place at: The New Bingley Hall 1 Hockley Circus Hockley Birmingham B18 5PP

Tickets are also available from any of the outlets below.

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

Online
Ticket Sellers –http://www.theticketsellers.co.uk
Ticket Web – http://www.ticketweb.co.uk

Outlets

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

Wolverhampton
Markies Barbers: 0796 027 8059

Leicester
Rockaboom: 0116 2538 293

Nottingham
Ultimate Barbers: 0115 970 3033

For a taste of Aysha’s amazing music, click here