Colors: Red Color

Birmingham Hippodrome has raised a record-breaking £32,000 with Gift Aid as part of The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2022, a match funding campaign that doubled all online donations between Tuesday 29 November and Tuesday 6 December.

An ambitious target of £30,000 was set to help enrich the lives of 5,000 disadvantaged young people through theatre. The target was beaten with over 24 hours to go and an additional £2,300 was raised; this will enable the venue to provide even more young people with a year of creativity in 2023.

German progressive metal band The Ocean are heading to Southampton next February. Playing at The 1865 on 2nd February 2023, the six-piece are revered as one of the most devastating live bands in modern heavy music. 

Founded by guitarist and composer Robin Staps at the dawn of the millennium, The Ocean immediately stood themselves apart. Coalescing around a shared vision of limitless sonic exploration and heaviness delivered straight from the gut, the German ensemble swiftly gained a formidable reputation as standard bearers for the nebulous but unstoppable post-metal movement. 

Hosted by the City of Wolverhampton Council, Wolverhampton Literature Festival returns from 3 to 5 February 2023 for its seventh year. The festival aims to champion the creative voices of Wolverhampton and the West Midlands and provide a platform to showcase their talents. 

This year’s line-up includes Irvine Welsh, speaking about his new crime thriller and also reflecting on 2023 as the 30th anniversary year of his million-selling debut novel, Trainspotting, Robin Ince, Richard Herring, Suhaiymah Manzoor Khan, Jazzie B, Emma Kennedy, Wolverhampton’s Poet Laureate Kuli Kohli, Miki Berenyi, Brian Bilston and the Digital Sisterhood - to name only a few.

Making a very welcome visit to Birmingham as one of only two UK tour venues, award-winning theatre company Tall Stories will bring their production of The Gruffalo to Birmingham Town Hall, a B:Music venue, from Tuesday 27 December to Sunday 15 January.

Tall Stories is internationally acclaimed for its exciting blend of storytelling theatre, original music and lots of laughs.

Babatunde Aléshé is one of the fastest rising stars in British Comedy. After recently warming the hearts of the nation with his incredible stint in the jungle as part of this year’s I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, he has announced a host of extra dates, due to phenomenal demand, for his upcoming Babatunde Aléshé: Babahood UK headline tour, kicking off in January. A powerhouse performer, his stand up presents a hilariously fresh perspective, oozing charisma whilst showcasing impeccable stagecraft and comic timing.

Birmingham Rep have released a series of first-look images from their brand-new production of Jack and the Magic Beanstalk. The production is generously supported by the Sir Barry Jackson Trust.

Created at The Rep for children aged 3-6 and their families, Jack and the Magic Beanstalk is a theatrical fairytale for young audiences. Jack loves his Mum, and his Mum loves Jack.

Live Nation Entertainment and the Royal Albert Hall have announced a brand-new Country and Americana festival, Highways, arriving Saturday 20 May 2023. Showcasing Country and Americana’s biggest stars, the iconic London venue will shine even brighter with acclaimed acts such as Kip Moore, Morgan Wade, Jackson Dean and Stephen Wilson Jr. already confirmed for Saturday 20 May 2023.

House icons Masters At Work dropped something special with 2001’s ‘Work’, an unforgettable mix of boisterous soca rhythms, full-force house energy and a swaggering, sassy topline courtesy of Denise Belfon. Over twenty years later and ‘Work’ is primed to be discovered by a new audience with a fresh version of the track from Kevin McKay, the producer/DJ behind ‘Gimme Gimme’ and a reimagined take on Missy Elliott’s ‘Work It’ which hit #1 at Beatport in 2021. 

November was a great month for Ireland’s versatile R&B / hip-hop hope Monjola. He played two shows each in London and Dublin with Biig Piig before playing to full houses across Europe as guest to Kid Cudi - and earning plenty of praise at social media and on the Kid Cudi sub-Reddit for his performances. After those adventures, Monjola now looks closer to home for the inspiration for his new single ‘Mama Always Says’.

Trinidad & Tobago-born musical duo Kinetic has released its first contribution to the 2023 Soca soundtrack entitled ‘Driftin’.

The US-based sons of Trini soil, Keston ‘De Chancellor’ Harris & Kwasi ‘KHemSun’ Jones have released the new Groovy Soca track which evokes emotions of love, euphoria and mental freedom.

Jesy Nelson is said to be getting close to rapper Zion Foster after the pair spent time together on a romantic trip to Jamaica.

The former Little Mix member, 31, is thought to be keeping her romance with Zion low key by keeping each other out of their social media posts while they were holidaying in the Caribbean.

Birmingham based independent production company, Threewise Entertainment, and BOA Stage & Screen Production Academy have announced a groundbreaking film and TV industry talent partnership ahead of a new motion-caption feature film set to shoot in the UK in 2023. The partnership will see final year students at BOA Stage & Screen Production Academy, based in Ladywood, Birmingham, given the opportunity to secure their first industry production credits working alongside a raft of industry professionals from the TV, film and games sector.

American composer, musician and scholar George Lewis, a global figure in improvised and experimental music, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Birmingham City University [BCU] for his outstanding achievements in the field.  

The Columbia University academic, also an acclaimed electronic performer and installation artist, received the institution’s top honour prior to the premiere of a new commission for Birmingham Contemporary Music Group [BCMG], performed at the city’s Bradshaw Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire [RBC]. 

40 years after the hugely popular satirical sketch show Spitting Image was first filmed in Birmingham, the iconic puppets return to the city for the World Premiere of Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image Saves the World at Birmingham Rep.

With a creative team that includes original Spitting Image co-creator, Roger Law, alongside a comedy tour de force writing team of Al Murray, Matt Forde and Sean Foley, Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image Saves the World promises to be the unmissable, laugh-out-loud show to kick-start 2023.