ARTS

From am dram to Ikon exhibitions, from international dance fesativals to an aerosol drenched Digbeth… the arts are all over the city. And we love that.

Covering theatre, dance, literature, food, fine art to modern art and everything in between, read our ARTS pages here.

Here, there, everywhere: La Chimera is a beguiling, dreamy masterpiece

Here, there, everywhere: La Chimera is a beguiling, dreamy masterpiece

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of Ad Vitam Distribution Somewhere, maybe not here but not totally elsewhere, and maybe not in the present though not necessarily in ...
“Surprising, subversive, and refreshingly wholesome”, Alasdair Beckett-King kicks off his Nevermore UK tour at The Old Rep in Birmingham

“Surprising, subversive, and refreshingly wholesome”, Alasdair Beckett-King kicks off his Nevermore UK tour at The Old Rep in Birmingham

Words by Emily Doyle / Pics by Edward Moore On Wednesday 27 March, Alasdair Beckett-King kicked off his twenty-seven date UK tour at The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham. Beckett-King is a self-styled renaissance man ...
Inglourious Basterds: Lying Lips’ adaptation of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore is play of freewheeling intensity

Inglourious Basterds: Lying Lips’ adaptation of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore is play of freewheeling intensity

Words by Jimmy Dougan /  Production images supplied by Lying Lips Theatre Company – pic of The  Crescent Theatre from Google Maps Sometimes you have to look at the past to look at the present ...
First MAC Theatre Commission Award goes to Erdington playwright for project looking at life on Lyndhurst Estate

First MAC Theatre Commission Award goes to Erdington playwright for project looking at life on Lyndhurst Estate

Words & supporting images by Ed King / Profile pic by Kris Askey The first ever MAC Theatre Commission Award has been given to Erdington playwright and author CJ Lloyd Webley, to develop a project ...
The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme returns to Midlands Arts Centre – running until 28 March

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme returns to Midlands Arts Centre – running until 28 March

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd @jimmydougan) / Production pics courtesy of the Japan Foundation The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme (JFTFP) returns to the Midlands Arts Centre (MAC), running until 28 March, ...
Free photo walks around Rookery Park and Erdington High Street – ahead of Green Spaces exhibition at Ikon Gallery

Free photo walks around Rookery Park and Erdington High Street – ahead of Green Spaces exhibition at Ikon Gallery

Words by Ed King Across March, a series of free to access photo walks and workshops will be held in Erdington – with Birmingham born photographer Jaskirt Dhaliwal-Boora inviting local residents to explore how green ...
Living in the clouds: Perfect Days is just a monotonous Tokyo story

Living in the clouds: Perfect Days is just a monotonous Tokyo story

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of MUBI The idea that depicting monotony needn’t be monotonous is hardly a new idea. Take Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman which with ...
Simon Beaufoy’s The Full Monty – running at The Alexandra Theatre until 3 February

Simon Beaufoy’s The Full Monty – running at The Alexandra Theatre until 3 February

Words by Ed King / Production pics by Ellie Kurtt Written for the stage by Simon Beaufoy, the UK screenwriter who penned the Oscar nominated 1997 film (that made over £160m from a production budget ...
The comfort of dissonance: The Zone of Interest is a sickening depiction of horror reduced to the everyday

The comfort of dissonance: The Zone of Interest is a sickening depiction of horror reduced to the everyday

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of A24 The relationship between aesthetics and ethics is a slippery one at best. But there are no ethics without emotions, and ...
2:22 A Ghost Story at The Alexandra Theatre – running until 20 January

2:22 A Ghost Story at The Alexandra Theatre – running until 20 January

Words by Ed King / Production pics by Johan Persson “If Ghosts don’t exist, then why do people see them…?” It’s a fair question, the eternal question, and for Danny Robins it has become an ...
Jack and the Beanstalk at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall – running until 31 December

Jack and the Beanstalk at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall – running until 31 December

Words & pic of cast by Amelia Daly The pantomime, a cherished English tradition often underestimated in its artistry, set the stage for a magical evening as we settled into our seats at Sutton Town ...
Cinema to stir the soul: Maestro is a reverential, and flawed, portrait of genius

Cinema to stir the soul: Maestro is a reverential, and flawed, portrait of genius

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of Netflix Mulling over Maestro, Bradley Cooper’s sophomore directorial effort for Netflix, the Yiddish word chutzpah sprang to mind. As one of ...
The Bodyguard @ Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham – running until 30 December

The Bodyguard @ Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham – running until 30 December

Words by Amelia Daly / Production pics by Paul Cotas The Bodyguard musical starts with a bang, both literally and figuratively. Just as everyone took their seats at the gala night, we heard gunshots, setting ...
The Eternal Daughter review: a remarkable collaboration between Tilda Swinton and Joanna Hogg

The Eternal Daughter review: a remarkable collaboration between Tilda Swinton and Joanna Hogg

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of A24 Films A quietly devastating new work from one of the clearest voices in contemporary cinema, Joanna Hogg’s The Eternal Daughter ...
Scorsese’s Osage reckoning: Killers of the Flower Moon is one of the most significant films in the medium’s history

Scorsese’s Osage reckoning: Killers of the Flower Moon is one of the most significant films in the medium’s history

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of Apple TV This extraordinary new film from Martin Scorsese is a monumental study of the atrocities inflicted on the Osage Nation ...
BFI London Film Festival at MAC: The Holdovers is lovely throwback to a bygone era of filmmaking

BFI London Film Festival at MAC: The Holdovers is lovely throwback to a bygone era of filmmaking

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of Universal Pictures UK “Life is like a henhouse ladder,” opines Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti), “shitty and short.” It’s one of many ...
BFI London Film Festival at MAC: The End We Start From is disappointingly monotonous image of motherhood amidst catastrophe

BFI London Film Festival at MAC: The End We Start From is disappointingly monotonous image of motherhood amidst catastrophe

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of BFI London Film Festival Jodie Comer has a face of steely determination in this in this sensitively acted film from Mahalia ...
BFI London Film Festival at MAC: How to Have Sex is explosive exploration of consent and sexual expectation

BFI London Film Festival at MAC: How to Have Sex is explosive exploration of consent and sexual expectation

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of MUBI The word incendiary feels too slight in describing the forceful power of Molly Manning Walker’s ludicrously good debut feature, How ...
BFI London Film Festival at MAC: Eileen is transfixing plunge into darkness but a disappointing adaptation of a great novel

BFI London Film Festival at MAC: Eileen is transfixing plunge into darkness but a disappointing adaptation of a great novel

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of Fifth Season It feels like a bit of a miracle that Eileen even got made in the first place. It’s adapted ...
BFI London Film Festival at MAC: All of Us Strangers is beguiling, enchanting love story – and one of the best films of the year

BFI London Film Festival at MAC: All of Us Strangers is beguiling, enchanting love story – and one of the best films of the year

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of Searchlight Pictures This new film from director Andrew Haigh, adapting Taichi Yamada’s 1987 novel Strangers, is a beguiling romance which blends ...
BFI London Film Festival at MAC: Housekeeping for Beginners is a tedious dirge to queer kinship

BFI London Film Festival at MAC: Housekeeping for Beginners is a tedious dirge to queer kinship

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of Focus Features Perhaps it was because a few minutes in we were evacuated by a fire alarm, and then upon restarting ...
BFI London Film Festival at MAC: The Mission is knotty but toothless look at the death of radicalised evangelical John Allen Chau

BFI London Film Festival at MAC: The Mission is knotty but toothless look at the death of radicalised evangelical John Allen Chau

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of National Geographic Documentary Films Where is the line between faith and madness? Martyrdom and delusion? Friend or invader? They’re questions at ...
BFI London Film Festival at MAC: Robot Dreams is surprisingly harrowing tale of a friendship killed by distance

BFI London Film Festival at MAC: Robot Dreams is surprisingly harrowing tale of a friendship killed by distance

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of Elle Driver A cause of celebration for lovers of the animated cinema, there is a lovely, bittersweet new thing for us ...
BFI London Film Festival at MAC: Despite any portent or promise, May December is just camp disappointment

BFI London Film Festival at MAC: Despite any portent or promise, May December is just camp disappointment

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of A24 There’s something a tad Bergman-esque about the premise of May December – a melodramatic and tedious comedy-drama from director Todd ...
BFI London Film Festival at MAC: Earth Mama is powerful portrait of single motherhood

BFI London Film Festival at MAC: Earth Mama is powerful portrait of single motherhood

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of A24 The gut-wrenching power of classic Italian neorealism lives on in Savanah Leaf’s Earth Mama, a quietly devastating portrait of a ...
BFI London Film Festival at MAC: The Royal Hotel is unbearably tense cry to burn it all down

BFI London Film Festival at MAC: The Royal Hotel is unbearably tense cry to burn it all down

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of Neon With her sophomore narrative feature The Royal Hotel director Kitty Green establishes herself as a connoisseur of contemporary female dread, ...
BFI London Film Festival at MAC: Saltburn is a nasty, if muddled, tale of sexual obsession

BFI London Film Festival at MAC: Saltburn is a nasty, if muddled, tale of sexual obsession

Words by Jimmy Dougan (follow him on Letterboxd here) / Press images courtesy of MGM and Amazon Studios There isn’t a labyrinth at the heart of Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn, though there is a perfectly kept ...
Tom Hicks launches Black Country Type - in conversation with Dean Kelland at Ikon Gallery

Tom Hicks launches Black Country Type – in conversation with Dean Kelland at Ikon Gallery

Words by Megan Treacy / Pics by Connor Pope This evening, the abstract paintings of artist Mali Morris share Ikon’s First Floor gallery space with many copies of Black Country Type, the new book and ...
Birmingham Anime Film Festival launches at The Mockingbird Cinema and Midlands Arts Centre – running from 29 September to 5 October

Birmingham Anime Film Festival launches at The Mockingbird Cinema and Midlands Arts Centre – running from 29 September to 5 October

Words by Billy Beale and Ed King Birmingham sees the launch of its first Anime film festival this week, with screenings at The Mockingbird Cinema and Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) running from 29 September to ...
Not the Last – Women & Theatre’s exploration of Birmingham benefactor Louisa Ryland, at MAC until Sunday 17 September

Not the Last – Women & Theatre’s exploration of Birmingham benefactor Louisa Ryland, at MAC until Sunday 17 September

Words by Ed King / Promotional pictures by Kate Green What is a legacy? How are we remembered? What do we leave behind that tells others of us? Is it our children, is it our ...
‘Talk To Me’ – New Aussie Possession Horror Is A Brutal, Sharp, Crunchy Shock

‘Talk To Me’ – New Aussie Possession Horror Is A Brutal, Sharp, Crunchy Shock

Writer Jimmy Dougan (click here to follow at Letterboxd)/ Press images courtesy of Altitude Films Look, here’s the deal: Talk to Me is one of the year’s best films. It’s a remarkable feat of genre ...
Ocean At The End Of The Lane At The Alexandra Theatre From 23 – 27 May

Ocean At The End Of The Lane At The Alexandra Theatre From 23 – 27 May

Words by Jessica Goodman / Production pics by Brinkhoff-Moegenburg ★★★★  “If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…” Not for the faint of heart, the National Theatre brings its ...
Heathers The Musical At The Alexandra Theatre 16 – 20 May

Heathers The Musical At The Alexandra Theatre 16 – 20 May

Words by Ed King / Production pics by Pamela Raith Photography ★★★★ Dust off your croquet sets and primary colour prom dresses, Heathers the Musical opens this week at The Alexandra Theatre. Directed by Andy ...
The Way Old Friends Do At Birmingham Rep – Running Until 4 March

The Way Old Friends Do At Birmingham Rep – Running Until 4 March

Writer Ed King / production shots by Darren Bell With a Swedish flag, gold platform boot, and a microphone on the front cover of the souvenir brochure, you’d be forgiven for thinking The Way Old ...
Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image Saves The World - At Birmingham Rep Until 11 March

Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image Saves The World – At Birmingham Rep Until 11 March

Writer Ed King / Production Photographer Mark Senior “The world’s biggest movie star,” Tom Cruise is back in Birmingham saving Great Britain six nights a week, with an A-list ensemble of do-gooders including Ru Paul, ...
Georgia Oakley’s Blue Jean Explores LGBTQ+ Life In Thatcher’s Britain

Georgia Oakley’s Blue Jean Explores LGBTQ+ Life In Thatcher’s Britain

Writer Jimmy Dougan *Blue Jean is being screened at Mockingbird Cinema until 16 February, and at MAC from 24 February to 2 March* I can’t help but feel like queer people are being put through ...
‘The Hip Hop Of Art’: Triple One Five’s Takeover Of Artefact Stirchley Brings Collage Back To Its Political Roots

‘The Hip Hop Of Art’: Triple One Five’s Takeover Of Artefact Stirchley Brings Collage Back To Its Political Roots

Writer Victoria Lane / Photographer Connor Pope In the early years of the 20th Century, collage gained prominence as an artistic medium as a way of reflecting the rise of biassed political narratives in the ...
Iñárritu’s Anticipated ‘Bardo, False Chronicle Of A Handful Of Truths’ Previews At MAC Ahead Of Netflix Release

Iñárritu’s Anticipated ‘Bardo, False Chronicle Of A Handful Of Truths’ Previews At MAC Ahead Of Netflix Release

Words by Jimmy Dougan  A few weeks ago, I finished reading Roberto Bolaño’s extraordinary 1998 novel The Savage Detectives. I’m still in mourning – if only I could’ve found a way to prolong it, to ...
Emberly Presents: Scumbags, Maggots and Cheap Lousy… at The Loft 04/12/22

Emberly Presents: Scumbags, Maggots and Cheap Lousy… at The Loft 04/12/22

Writer Mark Roberts / Photographer Connor Pope December is finally upon us. I’ve been trying to ignore the Christmas market because I’m a bit of a scrooge, but if there’s anyone who can get me ...
Horror in the Modernist Block Explores Dystopian Brutalist Landscapes At Ikon Gallery - Running Until 01/05/23

Horror in the Modernist Block Explores Dystopian Brutalist Landscapes At Ikon Gallery – Running Until 01/05/23

Writer Sadie Barnett / Photographer Connor Pope The atmosphere is one of excitement as photographer Connor and I arrive at the Horror in the Modernist Block press tour. This marks a new season for the ...
Shado’s REIMAGINATION Packs Out Centrala On Digbeth First Friday 6/11/2022

Shado’s REIMAGINATION Packs Out Centrala On Digbeth First Friday 6/11/2022

Writer Jasmine Khan / Photographer Connor Pope As I stroll into Centrala at 8pm on a Digbeth First Friday, I’m not sure what to expect. REIMAGINATION is packed, more packed than any gig I’ve been ...
Your Aunty’s Art Sale At Dig Brew On 5 October 2022

Your Aunty’s Art Sale At Dig Brew On 5 October 2022

Writer Jasmine Khan / Photographer Maddie Cottam-Allan Whenever you’re at Dig Brew you have to eat the pizza, and Your Aunty’s Art Sale is no exception. I’m waiting on my Shrunken Head when Connor from ...
Discovering Kantha Kathak-K With Amina Khayyam At Birmingham Hippodrome 20/09/2022

Discovering Kantha Kathak-K With Amina Khayyam At Birmingham Hippodrome 20/09/2022

Writer Jasmine Khan / Photographer Simon Richardson Before her dance company's performance of Kantha Kathak-K at the Hippodrome on the evening of 20 September, Amina Khayyam took the time to answer a few questions about ...
Hannah Al-Shemmeri & Rowena J Davis At The John Bowen Gallery In Balsall Heath

Hannah Al-Shemmeri & Rowena J Davis At The John Bowen Gallery In Balsall Heath

Writer Jasmine Khan / Photographer James Thompson It’s still warm at 6pm in what I will persist is late summer, as we arrive at The John Bowen Gallery in Balsall Heath. Who is John Bowen? ...
Print Matters Kicks Off Supersonic With Raised Fists 01/07/2022

Print Matters Kicks Off Supersonic With Raised Fists 01/07/2022

Words Reece Greenfield / Photos Mo Bukhari On Friday 1 July, as part of Digbeth First Friday, I attended an exhibition celebrating radical left-wing print art which was set to kickstart the week leading up ...
Imogen Morris New Exhibition In Flux At Digbeth Art Space

Imogen Morris New Exhibition In Flux At Digbeth Art Space

Writer Emily Doyle / Photographer Jessica Whitty In mid-June, Digbeth Art Space proudly unveiled In Flux, a solo exhibition from local artist Imogen Morris. Months in the making, the works push the boundaries of portraiture ...
Digbeth Photography Walk With Jack Lewdjaw

Digbeth Photography Walk With Jack Lewdjaw

Writer & Photographer Beth Exley  I’m helping to run a photography walk around Digbeth with Bristol-based visual artist Jack Lewdjaw, as part of the public programming for The Age of Dreamers is Over exhibition at ...
Visualising Audio With SoundMuse Artist Nick Chamberlain

Visualising Audio With SoundMuse Artist Nick Chamberlain

Writer Emily Doyle / Photographer Jessica Whitty  “It’s a weird thing, isn't it,” says Chamberlain when I ask him how he arrived here from his classical guitar background. “If you’re an artist using charcoal or ...
Ewa Partum Exhibition: My Problem Is A Problem Of A Woman - At Centrala

Ewa Partum Exhibition: My Problem Is A Problem Of A Woman – At Centrala

Writer Beth Exley / Photographer Connor Pope Centrala is a small gallery space and café located in Minerva works right on the edge of the Grand Union Canal in Digbeth. It is the only UK ...
Flatpack Festival 2022 Takes Over Birmingham City Centre May 17-22

Flatpack Festival 2022 Takes Over Birmingham City Centre May 17-22

Writers Beth Exley, Emily Doyle & Rachel Westwood/Photographers Katja Ogrin, Emily Doyle & Hassan Ul-Haq Flatpack Festival is an annual multi-day event that aims to celebrate film in all its form, as well as the ...
Robbie Jeffcott Talks Psychedelic Jesuses And Ian Hisblop

Robbie Jeffcott Talks Psychedelic Jesuses And Ian Hisblop

Writer Reece Greenfield / Photographer Daisy Richardson Recently, I caught up with Birmingham born and bread artist (and my drinking buddy) Robbie Jeffcott. In the evening sunshine in his Kings Heath back-garden we quaffed offy-bought ...
“There Was Something About Gays… And Judy Garland” – Riot Act at Birmingham Rep 12.05.22

“There Was Something About Gays… And Judy Garland” – Riot Act at Birmingham Rep 12.05.22

Writer Ed King / Photographer Holly Revell Riot Act, Alexis Gregory’s solo show, landed at Birmingham Rep as part of a ten date Pride Tour across the UK – produced by Emmerson and Ward, funded ...
Trixie Mattel At Symphony Hall On 5 May

Trixie Mattel At Symphony Hall On 5 May

Writer Alex Shough / Photographer Marion Savary When my partner’s friend realised they’d double-booked themselves and couldn’t make the Trixie Mattel show they’d bought tickets for in 2020, I was all like “oh no, I’m ...
Sámi Artist Britta Marakatt-Labba Exhibits: Under the Vast Sky - At Ikon Gallery

Sámi Artist Britta Marakatt-Labba Exhibits: Under the Vast Sky – At Ikon Gallery

Writer Harry Croxford / Photographer Erin Connolly The Ikon Gallery in Brindley Place conducts the first UK exhibition of Sámi artist, Britta Marakatt-Labba: Under the Vast Sky. From iconic embroidered pieces to more recent experiments ...
Ikon Showcases Carlo Crivelli’s Shadows on the Sky

Ikon Showcases Carlo Crivelli’s Shadows on the Sky

Writer Beth Exley / Photographer Jessica Whitty Walking into the first-floor gallery at Ikon, one of the last things you expect to see are huge, gilded frames containing masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance, but that’s ...
Casey Bailey’s GrimeBoy Runs At Birmingham Rep 22-30 April

Casey Bailey’s GrimeBoy Runs At Birmingham Rep 22-30 April

Writer Ed King / Photographer Graeme Braidwood The idea of a Birmingham REP production about grime music raises a few questions and eyebrows. How is the well-established theatre, home of traditional and touring shows, going ...
Birmingham Critical Film Forum ‘Earthly Bodies’ Screens’ At Eastside Projects

Birmingham Critical Film Forum ‘Earthly Bodies’ Screens’ At Eastside Projects

Writer Beth Exley / Photographer Dinosaur Kilby - Eastside Projects I feel a little awkward arriving at Eastside Projects for the ‘Earthly Bodies’ Birmingham Critical Film Forum screening. I’m pretty early and haven’t been to ...
Empower Poetry Eliminates Elitism With Soul-Revealing Spoken Word And Free Cupcakes

Empower Poetry Eliminates Elitism With Soul-Revealing Spoken Word And Free Cupcakes

Writer Jasmine Khan / Photographer Enhance Creatives Empower Poetry delivered a truly unique experience last Wednesday at Zumhof Biergarten, on Lower Trinity Street. One which provided a safe space for all attendees, and samosa for ...
Coming to England “world premiere” at Birmingham Rep

Coming to England “world premiere” at Birmingham Rep

Writer Ed King / Photographer Geraint Lewis “My smile is my armour…” Outside is rain soaked and grey, but inside the Birmingham Rep are colourful balloons, calypso music, and the lure of rum cocktails on ...
A Life Lived Through Photographs: Getting to Know Home with Maryam Wahid

A Life Lived Through Photographs: Getting to Know Home with Maryam Wahid

Writer Noah Underwood / Photographer Tegen Kimbley Walking into award-winning photographer Maryam Wahid’s first major photographic exhibition at the Midlands Arts Centre, Zaibunnisa, I am struck by an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Homegrown in Birmingham ...
Snapshots of Mumbai – by Ed King, featuring pictures from Paul Ward

Snapshots of Mumbai – by Ed King, featuring pictures from Paul Ward

Pics by Paul Ward – all photography in this article has taken from Snapshots of Mumbai On Saturday 15th August, Birmingham born writer Ed King releases Snapshots of Mumbai – marking 75 years of India’s ...
BREVIEW: BE FESTIVAL @ Birmingham REP 02-06.07.19

BREVIEW: BE FESTIVAL @ Birmingham REP 02-06.07.19

Saturday 6th July – BE FESTIVAL (final night) Words by Ed King / Production photography courtesy of BE FESTIVAL and Alex Brenner “Everything you are about to see has already happened, for real.” I’m getting ...