THE GALLERY: Dragpunk presents Drag Me to Hell! @ The Nightingale Club 12.10.18

THE GALLERY: Lilith – Drag Me to Hell! @ The Nightingale Club 12.10.18 / Sarah Maiden

 

 

 

Words by Anna Cash Davidson / Pics by Sarah Maiden

On Friday 12th October, Dragpunk hosted their Drag Me to Hell! show at The Nightingale Club, the oldest and most popular LGBTQ venue in Birmingham, running since 1969.

Dragpunk are a collective that ‘aim to promote LGBTQ art, awareness and confidence’ in Birmingham, bringing together drag (‘a creative art for anyone regardless of their gender, sexual identity and orientation’) and punk (‘an expressive, individual freedom that is anti-establishment and anti-mainstream society’). THE GALLERY: Cosmic Crum – Drag Me to Hell! @ The Nightingale Club 12.10.18 / Sarah MaidenThe show is hosted by Lilith and features the whole Dragpunk collective – Tacky Alex, Paul Aleksandr, Amber Cadaverous – with appearances from Cosmic Crum, Tanja McKenzie, Eva Serration, and special guest Ruby Wednesday.

The venue has limited seating capacity, so I take a standing position – managing to find a spot not obstructed from view by drag queens in 6-inch heels. The stage is decorated in full Halloween pantomime galore, littered with fake candles and furnished with red drapes, skulls and a crystal ball.THE GALLERY: Tacky Alex – Drag Me to Hell! @ The Nightingale Club 12.10.18 / Sarah Maiden As we wait for the 9:30 pm start time, eerie music plays in the background that takes me back to theme parks of my childhood, and this theatricality is only increased by the smoke machine that alerts us that the performance has begun.

Our host for the evening is Lilith, who stuns in a Gothic bride get-up, complete with a black veil, delivering us humorous one-liners throughout the evening, with her interjections providing a break from the intensity of some of the performances.THE GALLERY: Paul Aleksandr – Drag Me to Hell! @ The Nightingale Club 12.10.18 / Sarah Maiden The narrative of the performance follows Lilith summoning dead spirits with her crystal ball and there is everything you want from a Halloween drag show, with Frankenstein’s bride, Salem witch trials, Ouija boards and light dose of devil-worship.

Cosmic Crum bursts through the crowd and all I can see are the horns on his head until he reaches the stage, and the two men he has on a leash become visible. Crum pours blood on them and they lick it off each other, whilst ‘Seven Nation Army’ plays in the background.THE GALLERY: Tanja McKenzie – Drag Me to Hell! @ The Nightingale Club 12.10.18 / Sarah Maiden Tacky Alex brings some clownish joy to the stage, lip-syncing Tiny Tim’s ‘Living in the Sunlight’, whilst Paul Aleksandr gives us a dramatic rendition of Eurythmics ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)’. “Wasn’t that intense?” quips Lilith during the interlude.

THE GALLERY: Eva Serration – Drag Me to Hell! @ The Nightingale Club 12.10.18 / Sarah MaidenPopular music plays a key part throughout the show tonight, with Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ and Kiss’ ‘I Was Made for Lovin’ You’ also featuring. Less popular numbers include a devil-worship song (with the lyrics ‘praise the devil’) in Tanja Mckenzie’s performance, with the Satanic as a clear running theme. Towards the end, Lilith uses a Ouija board to help her summon our final spirits for the evening.

THE GALLERY: Ruby Wednesday – Drag Me to Hell! @ The Nightingale Club 12.10.18 / Sarah MaidenStand-out performances include Eva Serration’s depiction of Frankenstein’s creature and bride told as a feminist revenge story, lip syncing to a speech from recent TV series Penny Dreadful“Never again will I kneel to any man. Now they shall kneel to me. As you do, monster,” we hear, before she rips off his head and her own white shapeless dress, revealing a red corset and fishnets as a sign of her new freedom.

The final performance of the evening is Ruby Wednesday, whose refreshing take on drag is particularly striking in a pinstripe suit, eyeliner, heels. and wigless – blurring the lines even further between gender. Ruby Wednesday ends the night with sparks flying, literally, sending us off with an angle grinder in an impressive display, in keeping with the drama of the evening.

Overall, it is an enjoyable night, bringing together people of all ages, genders and sexualities in an entertaining show, leaving us never quite knowing what to expect next. I think it’s time to start planning my Halloween costume…

 

 

 

Dragpunk presents Drag Me to Hell! @ The Nightingale Club 12.10.18 / Sarah Maiden

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For more on the Dragpunk Collective, visit www.facebook.com/dragpunkcollective

For more from The Nightingale Club, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.nightingaleclub.co.uk

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NOT NORMAL – NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

To sign up to NOT NORMAL – NOT OK, click here. To know more about the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK sticker campaign, click here.

BPREVIEW: Dragpunk presents Drag Me to Hell! @ The Nightingale Club 12.10.18

BPREVIEW: Dragpunk presents Drag Me to Hell! @ The Nightingale Club 12.10.18Words by Ed King

On Friday 12th October, the Dragpunk collective are back for another show – returning to The Nightingale with Drag Me to Hell!

Appearing at Drag Me to Hell! will be the whole Dragpunk collective Amber Cadaverous, Paul Aleksandr, Tacky Alex, with Lilith as the evening’s hostess – joined by Cosmic Crum, Tanja McKenzie, and Eva Serration.

There will also be a special guest appearance from Ruby Wednesday, who is flying The Familyyy Fierce nest for a night to sit glacier cherry style on the evening’s proceedings in Birmingham.

Doors open at The Nightingale Club from 8:30pm, with Drag Me to Hell! starting from 9:30pm prompt – running until the 16+ curfew ends at 11pm. Tickets are priced at a super reasonable £3 (adv) and £5 (otd), with entry to the official after party included if you’re old enough to go. Or brave enough, this is a ‘Halloween Theatre Show’ after all…

For direct links to online ticket sales for Drag Me to Hell! visit Eventbrite by clicking here. Or for more information on the show, visit the Facebook Event page by clicking here.

Dragpunk Presents’ first show back in April, Candyland, was a showcase of the collective’s great, good and covered in condiments – ‘showcasing local and national UK drag of all genders, sexualities and abilities that you’ll adore!’ Check out Emily Doyle’s illustrated Birmingham Review of Candyland by clicking here.

But there’s more to Dragpunk that shock, horror, and baking ingredients abuse – the local ‘collective of creative queer-minded people’ are strong advocates for artistry and inclusivity, promoting shows that create ‘a safe space for self-expression’ for every friendly face that attends.

Dragpunk’s latest offering, Drag Me to Hell! is also a shimmy/shake into more theatrical territory, with the set piece showcase conveyor belt making way for a narrative led production.

We want to give a solid Halloween show,” explains Dragpunk’s Paul Aleksandr, “full of atmosphere with some very cool and well thought out performances, from horror to some creepy tongue-in-cheek comedy. It’s the start of something different for drag Birmingham drag shows.”

Sounds like a night out to me, one the show’s promo rhetoric says ‘will take you back to the times of Victorian darkness, bringing drag performances and theatre together, where spirits, demons, and some good ol’ camp horror will bring the night alive! Quite literally!’

Ah, you’ve got to love Halloween for the marriage of performance and art, and Dragpunk have never been afraid of a bit of needle and thread. If you’ve ever seen Aleksandr’s ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ costume…

Dragpunk Presents: Drag Me to Hell! at The Nightingale Club on Friday 12th October. For direct links to online ticket sales for Drag Me to Hell!, visit Eventbrite by clicking here. Or for more information on the show, visit the Facebook Event page by clicking here.

For more on the Dragpunk Collective, visit www.facebook.com/dragpunkcollective

For more from The Nightingale Club, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.nightingaleclub.co.uk

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NOT NORMAL – NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

To sign up to NOT NORMAL – NOT OK, click here. To know more about the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK sticker campaign, click here.

BREVIEW: Dragpunk Presents Candyland @ The Nightingale Club 06.04.18

Words & illustrations by Emily Doyle

On Friday 6th April, queer art collective Dragpunk took over the middle floor of The Nightingale Club. This was the venue for their brand new performance night, Dragpunk Presents. For the uninitiated, we caught up with host Amber Cadaverous – who began by explaining the origins of the group’s name.

Amber Cadaverous / Illustration by Emily DoyleThe ‘drag’ in Dragpunk recognises that, “drag artistry is the expressive and creative art for anyone regardless of their gender, sexual identity and orientation,” tells Cadaverous, “it knows no gender but subverts and mocks all gender and art norms.” The collective’s values of “expressive, individual freedom that is anti-establishment and anti-mainstream society,” are where the ‘punk’ comes in.

Whether your interest is makeup, performance art, drag art, queer politics, or you’re simply in need of a safe space for fun, self-expression, and excitement, we want to provide this,” continues Cadaverous. “We plan and run all events as safe space for those across the LGBTQ+ community and allies. We only encourage fun and freedom – dress how you want and be who you want. We welcome all of those who just want to feel the love of a community.

Birmingham is our home, and Birmingham is brimming with art and creativity that needs an outlet and a voice.Lilith / Illustration by Emily Doyle

The theme for tonight is Candyland. Paul Aleksandr runs the door. Head to toe in neon pink, complete with bedazzled facial hair, he offers cakes and sweets to guests as they arrive. Hands are stamped and drinks are bought.

Around midnight, Cadaverous totters on stage. She wears platform heels, a paint splattered prom dress, and an enormous purple wig topped with an even bigger pink bow. Her face is painted with a Glasgow smile and heavily lined eyes, but her excitement about the evening shines through. She welcomes and introduces fellow Dragpunk, Lilith.

Lilith looks like she’s stepped straight out of your MySpace top friends from 2004. She’s dressing up a cinched and contoured club kid look with buckets of kimo-kawaii accessories. A dynamic routine to Blood on the Dance Floor’s ‘Candyland’ sets the tone (and the pace) for the night. Strobe lights illuminate her backcombed wig.

Eva Lution / Illustration by Emily DoyleEva Lution follows, serving a look described by Cadaverous as “glamour granny”. Her glamour is certainly timeless, as she performs the evening’s most articulate lip sync to ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’. Lution’s floor length gown ripples across the stage. It looks effortless, but the costume designer and fashion student later confirms that it was sewn by her own fair hands. When the music switches to Def Leppard, Lution shrugs the gown to the floor. She reveals fishnets and thigh high boots. This girl is no granny.

Ginny Lemon brings a change of pace to the stage next. Some may remember Lemon from an appearance on ITV’s X Factor in 2017, or perhaps from her regular turn as a host at The Village Inn on Hurst Street. Either way, her face is not one you’ll forget in a hurry. Looking like the bastard daughter of Marge Simpson and Velma from Scooby Doo, Lemon emerges from the DJ booth gesticulating along to Tori Amos’ ‘Sugar’ followed by ‘Candy Shop’ by Madonna. These go down like a delicious citrusy treat with the crowd, but her original composition (an a cappella ode to biscuits) is even better.Ginny Lemon / Illustration by Emily Doyle

After a short interval, the room fills again for Mama Mamba. The 2017 winner of Church of Yshee has set the bar high. She perches on the side of the stage, legs bound into a mermaid tail. The room goes quiet. ‘Part of Your World’ from The Little Mermaid fades in.

Mamba flirts with the crowd, winking and pouting throughout the lipsync while she’s photographed. She checks her flawless makeup in a shell-shaped mirror and combs a fork through her turquoise hair. Slowly, she pulls herself up onto her fins and shimmies out of the tail, flaunting the best bum on Birmingham’s drag scene. Mamba struts across the stage in a iridescent miniskirt, and when the song reaches its falsetto climax she gleefully removes her seashell bra to reveal matching nipple tassels. It’s what Walt Disney would have wanted.

Mama Mamba / Illustration by Emily DoyleA new face on the local scene, Stormy Carl’s creator describes her as “a messy woman zoomed in on.” She wears a pink satin slip which clashes against her emerald curls. If you look down, pink stripy socks peep out the top of her platform sandals. Carl has taken the evening’s theme and run with it, crafting a playful mix for her routine that features Aqua, Austin Powers, and a smattering of Spongebob Squarepants dialogue.

She drizzles caramel over herself and throws her sticky dress to the ground, untangling it from her feet as the room takes in her pink paisley bikini. Her athletic, chaotic routine leaves the crowd wondering where she’s been hiding.

Stormy Carl / Illustration by Emily Doyle

We caught up with Stormy Carl after the show for a few words. As one of Dragpunk’s female performers, she had a few words on the role of women within the scene:

Drag at its core, to me anyways, is just about playing dress up,” explains Carl. “Historically it was a way to entertain and escape from society. You can be ANYONE in drag: yourself, an egg, a celebrity, or just whatever you perceive as beautiful. I like to take the idea of ‘woman’ that society has constructed and just times it by 100.

Nora Virus opens the third and final set of the evening. A key player in Birmingham’s club kid community, Virus is a part of the Opulence collective and founder of another new drag event coming to Birmingham, Mother’s Meeting. Wearing a cropped, tie dye t-shirt and candy floss pink wig, she delights in completely desecrating ‘Pure Imagination’ from 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Nora Virus / Illustration by Emily Doyle

Beckoning fellow artist Liam Layland from the crowd, Virus invites him to reach inside the large, plush doughnut strapped around her waist and try his luck. What follows can’t be repeated here, but it ends with them skipping off stage together to the tune of ‘I’ve Got a Golden Ticket’.

Self-described ‘burlesquer and activist’, Petite, is a bundle of cardigan and big frothy petticoats. She dances to Jackie Wilson’s fitting ‘Reet Petite’, grinning at the crowd. This saccharine tone quickly dissolves when ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ starts playing for the second time this evening.

Petite takes this more literally than Eva Lution did and strips down to lingerie before liberally pouring a whole a bag of Tate & Lyle over her body. When the song’s over, the performers all scrabble to clear the floor of sugar, whipped cream, and cupcake crumbs in time for the final act.Petite / Illustration by Emily Doyle

The fourth and final member of the Dragpunk collective, Tacky Alex, is here to close the night. Joined on stage by Stormy Carl and Mama Mamba for a choreographed routine to Katy Perry’s ‘California Girls’, Alex begins pulling audience members up to join them. After the show, Amber Cadaverous picked this out as the highlight of her night.

Tacky Alex / Illustration by Emily DoyleIt felt so silly and fun but had a real community vibe and spirit; everyone was laughing and smiling. It just felt so right!

It seems a fitting ending to a night celebrating the playful and inclusive nature of drag as an art form; everyone left feeling pleased to see the Dragpunk team pull it off.

”There is always something really magic about seeing all your plans come to life,” Cadaverous agrees. “Our ‘Presents’ night is going to be regular throughout the year, each time with a new theme and a production showcasing local and national UK drag of all genders, sexualities and abilities… expect us to release the next theme and line up shortly! As well as our performance night we also run a queer alternative party called I’m Not Okay and our next one of those will be at Birmingham Pride in Nightingales on the Future Stage.

We are also working on some events that will run during the day and outside of club spaces so our fans and friends under 18 will be able to enjoy queer performance art and community based events. Plans include film viewings, drag makeup workshops, drag queen life drawing, open mic performance segments and more!”

For more on the Dragpunk Collective, visit www.facebook.com/dragpunkcollective

For more from The Nightingale Club, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.nightingaleclub.co.uk

BPREVIEW: Dragpunk Presents: Candyland @ The Nightingale Club 06.04.18

BPREVIEW: Dragpunk presents: Candyland @ The Nightingale Club 06.04.18

Words by Emily Doyle

Local queer collective, Dragpunk, are launching a brand new performance based night – Dragpunk Presents. The inaugural event is on Friday 6th April at The Nightingale Club, with tickets priced at £4 (adv) and £6 (otd).

For direct event information, including online ticket sales, click on the following links to visit the Eventbrite ticket website or the Dragpunk Presents: Candyland Facebook Event Page.

For Dragpunk Presents’ first show, the theme is Candyland: A Celebration of Drag – with the team behind it promising ‘a happy land of modern, diverse, inclusive and utterly creative drag and performance!’. Following on from the roaring success of Dragpunk Collective’s alt queer night, I’m Not Okay, this new event will be ‘showcasing local and national UK drag of all genders, sexualities and abilities that you’ll adore!’. Looks like it’s going to be a big one too.

BPREVIEW: Dragpunk presents: Candyland @ The Nightingale Club 06.04.18Hosting Candyland is Amber Cadaverous, the DJ and performance artist known for her arresting and sometimes unsettling looks. When she’s not busy studying at Birmingham School of Art, Cadaverous is hard at work as one quarter of the Dragpunk Collective. Another bonafide drag punk, Paul Aleksandr will also be in attendance – fresh from a delightful turn at The Glee Club supporting BenDeLaCrème. Expect fishnets, body paint and butchered cuddly toys.

Also performing is Yshee Black, icon of the Birmingham scene and host of regular drag contest Church of Yshee at The Village Inn. If you were at the congregation last November you may recognise a few other faces at Candyland, including burlesque dancer Petite, club kid Nora Virus, and Church of Yshee winner Mama Mamba.

Tacky Alex will also be taking the stage at Candyland. Alex’s pastel perfect looks have been a hit at queer nights Glittershit and Second Self, with a chance to catch them at The Nightingale before she is back on stage supporting Trinity Taylor and Vander Von Odd in May.

Self-described ‘emo trash’, Lilith, will also be at Candyland – putting Siouxsie Sioux to shame with her eyes, alongside Glittershit regular, Pork Pie, who will be keeping it all a bit avant-garde.

You can also expect otherworldly looks from Stormy Carl, stunning costumery from Eva Lution, alternative glamour from Ginny Lemon, and something truly indescribable from Auntie Jamie

Candyland: A Celebration of Drag comes to The Nightingale Club on Friday 6th April, as presented by the Dragpunk Collective. For direct event information, including online ticket sales, click on the following links to visit the Eventbrite ticket website or the Dragpunk Presents: Candyland Facebook Event Page.

For more on the Dragpunk Collective, visit www.facebook.com/dragpunkcollective 

For more from The Nightingale Club, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.nightingaleclub.co.uk

ED’S PICK: April ‘18

Words by Ed King

Easter Sunday, 1st April… There’s probably a joke in there somewhere. But with a basket of listings and entertainment based excel spreadsheets to plough through who has the time to be witty? Or hunt for Easter eggs, for that matter. Being an adult sucks.

However (…are you ready for this segue) it does allow me to enjoy all the delights of the Flatpack Film Festival without worrying about ID – actually, I’m not sure there’s too much on the programme with an age restriction but Dots & Loops are part of the festival and they brought us Lesley the Pony Has and A+ Day!, so…

Back for festival number 12, those glorious creatives at Flatpack have put on a nine day smorgasbord of celluloid, digital, and other audio/visual treats – running from 13th to 22nd April, in a variety of venue across the city. Too much to cram into this round up; look out for our more in-depth cherry pick in the days to come, or click here for more direct information on the full programme.

Elsewhere in the non-greenfield, Ebola flirting, footwear wrecking land of multi-stage events, we have the Birmingham Literature Festival – hop scotching from various corners of the REP to the Birmingham and Midland Institute from 27th to 29th April. Now old enough to drink beer in America, this year’s Birmingham Literature Festival has a focus on women in literature and publishing, alongside a weekend long programme of ‘inspiring conversations, writing and debate’. Again too much to adequately surmise, but click here for more direct info.

Following on with a female focus, Birmingham Jazz launches its Legends Festival on 27th April – running as a series of satellite events across the city until 20th May. This year’s linchpin is ‘Celebrating Women in Jazz’, with local artists such as Trish Clowes joining a myriad of talent from across the globe. Too much to fit into… you know the drill, click here.

Theatre comes in all shapes and sizes this month, including a couple of choice cuts on Hurst Street – with Wicked beginning its Birmingham run at the Hippodrome (4th-29th Apr) and The Twisted Tale of Hansel and Gretel at the Patrick Centre (4th– 8th Apr).

Across the duel carriageways and road works we have Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock coming to the Birmingham REP (10th – 14th) followed by the political see-saw of 1970’s Britain in This House (17th – 21st) – reminding us fear mongering comes from both sides of the aisle and a dash of vitriol isn’t a particular new idea. How times have changed… or not.

Music takes its usual fat belly slice of our monthly listings, with a few ‘big gigs’ of notE coming to the NEC portfolio – as the Genting Arena sees both Arcade Fire (15th Apr) and Dua Lipa (17th Apr), whilst Arena Birmingham welcomes the Manic Street Preachers (27th Apr) back to the city.

Playing across the non-arena rooms of our musical city, the Hare & Hounds has another eclectic mix – with Kushikatsu Records presenting Shonen Knife (15th Apr) followed Snowpoet (19th Apr) courtesy of Jazzlines. Whilst The Glee Club sees the very welcome return of Nerina Pallot (9th Apr) stopping off in Birmingham on the second date if her UK tour. Fingers crossed there’s a piano on stage.

The Sunflower Lounge sees Killer Wave and Outlander host their ‘Help the Homeless’ pay-as-you-feel charity fundraiser (8th Apr) – with all money raised going to Shelter and Tabor House. Then we have Lucy May Walker playing her first headline show in Birmingham (18th Apr) – both events well worth a stop, look and listen. And £5 of your hard earned cash, of course.

Our mobile branded venues see a bevy of acts this month too, with the O2 Academy presenting George Ezra (4th Apr), The Vaccines (7th Apr), Trivium (17th Apr), The Streets (19th Apr), Coasts (21st Apr) and Akala (24th Apr). Whilst the O2 Institute leads out with Walk the Moon (7th Apr), Little Comets (14th Apr), Aquilo (16th Apr), Of Mice and Men (25th Apr) and Sharon Needles: Battle Axe Tour (26th Apr).

A special mention also has to go to the Hummingbird-Menagerie-Indie-salad days-nostalgia trip coming to the O2 Academy with Love From Stourbridge – featuring The Wonder Stuff and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin (14th Apr). Someone pass me my German army shirt, skateboard and a can of Red Stripe, we’re going early 90’s feral…

And if you’re committed to your anti-corporate support of live music, never fear as mac welcomes Juice Aleem & Surge Orchestra (21st Apr) whilst Mama Roux’s serves two sides of the musical rainbow with The Herbaliser (19th Apr) and Mallory Knox (24th Apr)… probably not a good idea to get those dates mixed up in your diary.

Elsewhere in the city, comedy offers a relatively strong respite from those kids and their music – with The Glee Club presenting Tony Law (13th Apr), Alun Cochrane (15th Apr) and Craig Campbell (22nd Apr).

Or if you just want to stand and stare, you could waste a happy hour or two at Lewes Herriot: The Glass Arcana exhibition at Artefact in Stirchley (13th – 14th Apr). Or watching the flyers unfold with an exhibition from the seminal 90’s ambient electro club Oscillate, at Centrala (16th – 28th Apr) – bearing in mind there is an end of exhibition party with HIA and POLE (28th Apr) so you might want to do more than actually just stand and stare. Or not. Depends how you dance to Sun Electric, I suppose. Necking enough amphetamines to kill a small horse always worked for me, but vegetarian options are available.

But to end on the most glamorous of high notes (pun absolutely intended) Paul Alexsandr and Dragpunk present Candyland at The Nightingale (6th Apr) – a choc full celebration of ‘local and national UK drag of all genders, sexualities and abilities that you’ll adore.’ Then at the other end of the April rainbow, Opulence are launching Mother’s Meeting at Bar Jester (28th Apr) – a band spanking new ‘performance night dedicated to showing off a variety of drag and queer talent across Birmingham and the U.K.’, with special guest Charity Kase joined by a pageant of the Opulence crew on stage and Elliot Barnicle on the decks.

Birmingham can be proud for many reasons, but the cross over embrace of its drag community is one to really get those flags waving. We love covering it, and it seems the punters of Birmingham love supporting it. So, Vive la/le drag community of our fair/fairer city, alongside all who sail on these most wonderful of waters. Save some energy though, Birmingham Pride is a mere calendar page turn away.

And wait, I’ve just thought of one. A Jewish carpenter and a 6ft rabbit walk into Cadbury World…

For more on any of the events listed here, click on the highlighted hyperlinks. Ed King is Editor-in-Chief of Review Publishing, which issues both the Birmingham Review and Birmingham Preview. To follow Ed King on Twitter, click here.