David Robinson was joined by Arts Correspondent Rebecca Rodda for a preview and tour of the wonderful RBSA Gallery, a shining and hidden gem in the jewellery quarter of Birmingham. Worth a trip next time you are in the city, it is a delightfully welcoming place, with some fascinating and contemporary pieces to view…or indeed purchase. We were there to have a look around the current Photography Prize Exhibition that runs until the 9th of April. Three floors of some exhilarating and varied images, give yourself a good hour to take them all in, and see if you can spot the worthy winners.
We were also there to interview Sanna, the Gallery Director and to get more of a flavour of what we can look forward to seeing at the gallery in the coming months.
Further details can be found on their website https://rbsa.org.uk
The RBSA Photography Prize Exhibition is hosted biennially to celebrate photographic art. Now in its fifth year since launching in 2015, the Photography Prize invites entries from all artists creating work using photographic processes.
Featuring 100 works from over 70 artists, this exhibition showcases the best of contemporary photography with the inclusion of both established and emerging photographers. A wide range of styles, techniques and practices are on display, such as modern DSLR, medium format film, 35mm film, collage, cyanotypes and more.
First Prize: £1,000 sponsored by GMC Trust
Second Prize: £500 sponsored by Frame Creatives
Third Prize: £250 sponsored by GMC Trust
RBSA Solo Show Prize – 2024 exhibition slot on the ground floor of the RBSA Gallery
Up to 6 Highly Commended certificates
David talks to Birmingham Royal Ballet soloist Brandon Lawrence, currently starring in Swan Lake
David catches up with Karena Jagpal. She is part of the The Best Exoctic Marigold Hotel company. The production is running at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, week commencing the 20th February.
David chats to Oliver Brooks part of the Strictly Ballroom company, coming to The Grand Theatre Wolverhampton this coming week
David catches up with Rebekah ... star of Saturday Night Fever at The Alexandra Theatre Birmingham this week
David talks to Chris Jack from Noughts and Crosses which is at The Alexandra Theatre this week
David catches up with Zac Hollinshead from the Bilston Operatic Company and talks about Peter Pan
David caught up recently with Alex Cardell from The Osmonds
Interview with Ian McIntosh from The Commitments UK Tour
Star interview with dancer Aakash Odedra
David talks to Sarah Earnshaw as Betty in Some Mothers Do 'Av 'Em.
David talks to Curve Artistic Director Nikolai Foster
David talks to Hayley Ria Christian ahead of her one night at The Alexandra...Gladys Knight...Midnight Train to Georgia
David talks to Jo Smith secretary of BMOS musical society ahead of their upcoming production of Guys and Dolls at The Alexandra Theatre Birmingham 28th June to 2nd July.
Monthly Star Interviews with some of our leading creatives in our region.
Star interview for May 2022
Chris Sudworth Director of Artistic Programme at Birmingham Hippodrome
We are in the impressive and always welcoming surroundings of the circle bar at the Birmingham Hippodrome in Hurst Street in the city centre. An excited and expectant audience are filing through the doors in readiness for a matinee of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Chris Sudworth takes time to talk to David Robinson about his role and the thrilling new season that awaits the Hippodrome patrons.
Chris: We are keen in this the year of the Commonwealth Games, to keep the theatre at the very heart of the community, expanding our horizons and encouraging the wonderful local talent we have in our brilliant region. We are keen to see new writers, and actors and dancers and musicians blossom. We have superb children’s writers, poets and creatives representing the many diverse neighbourhoods across our city.
David: Is there a feeling that perhaps The West Midlands has some creative catching up to do?
Chris:We have had a lot of local talent, for decades we don’t think they have had the opportunities and indeed the recognition. Now is the time to showcase the region and to galvanise all that creative skill.
David: Would you be able to give us some examples of some local showcase productions we can all look forward to?
Chris: We are really looking forward to a new uplifting concert musical with book by Roy Williams called “To the Streets!” It is inspired by the Bristol bus boycotts and will take place in the communities across our region. We are in 1963, submerged in the swinging 60’s and emerging from the Big Freeze. Temperatures are thawing but tensions in Bristol are running high as the Omnibus Bus Company refuse to hire black or Asian drivers and conductors. Lorraine a recently arrived teenager from Jamaica arrives, she quickly finds her voice and as a result becomes a catalyst for change. It will have an explosive feel good score, and excitingly will be performed outside at various locations across our city.
David: There seems to be a real desire for collaboration within the community?
Chris: Yes, and a feeling of celebration, we want the Hippodrome to be a place where the artists can thrive, where we can support growth and gives access to our spaces. The production of The Color Purple is an exciting and collaborative joint production with the Leicester Curve, it tells the story of heroine Celie as she journeys through joy, despair, anguish and hope in her own personal awakening as she discovers her own unique voice in the world. It has been critically acclaimed, and we and Curve are so proud of the final show.
David: Does this mark the beginning of some more self-produced projects.
Chris: We are a major receiving house, and that is a very important part of our calendar, but yes as we strive to be more open and collaborative I hope that means more co-productions are possible. The upcoming Commonwealth Games will allow us not only to open our doors to many new visitors but also to take, music and dance and drama into the city, again it is about expanding our horizons.
David: And reflecting our region?
Chris: Yes, in as many creative ways that we can. We can’t wait for Rambert Dance to be with us later in the year with Peaky Blinders, a brand-new dance event looking into the backstory of Tommy Shelby. It opens in the trenches of Flanders and takes us to the industrial streets of our very own city.
David: What about any other forthcoming highlights?
Chris: We will always attract the biggest and the best shows, we have a reputation for selling tickets in numbers unmatched outside of London. So, we have Les Misérables, and We will Rock You, The Cher Show and Sister Act and several other large-scale productions heading our way, as well as the pantomime of course. We also have a sparkling ballet and music season to savour and look forward to.
David: After the two years of lockdown, it must be a wonderfully uplifting feeling to view a full and varied schedule.
Chris: It is so good to share live experiences again with so many of our loyal supporters. To connect with them again and to be reminded what that connection truly means to audience and performers alike. We do have such a loyal and supportive following and we are grateful for each one of them.
David: Many thanks Chris and we join you in the excitement of sharing once again the thrill of live theatre.
Details of all the above productions and the full 2022 Hippodrome schedule can be found on their website https://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/whats-on/
David caught up recently with actor Linda Purl, to talk about the comedy thriller Catch me if you Can, currently on national tour.
David sat down and chatted with Darren Day, currently starring in the national tour of Footloose
In the first of some in depth chats with influential folk involved in delivering the arts across our region, David talks to Simon Creed, the Artistic Director and Theatre Manager of the wonderful Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham .