Colors: Red Color

Friends of Glass, the campaign that supports glass packaging for food and drink, has enlisted the help of rapper and comedian, Ben Bailey Smith aka Doc Brown and ex Britain's Got Talent contestants, The Bottle Boys, to encourage more young people to recycle their glass bottles and jars.

The celebrities are part of a new campaign called 'Endless Chorus' - a quirky online video, which shows drinkers in a bar being surprised when a glass wine bottle begins to sing to them about its long life which has seen it recycled over and over again.

The voice behind the bottle is Doc Brown, who is accompanied by music played on bottles by The Bottle Boys. All are concealed behind the bar and hooked up via microphones to a speaker hidden inside the bottle.

Together, the Bottle Boys and Doc Brown cover a series of iconic hits from the last 10 decades, bringing to life the likes of Louis Armstrong, Petula Clark and Kool & the Gang in a mashup to highlight the different lives of the glass bottle through the ages.

The campaign was inspired by the findings of a new pan-European study by Friends of Glass in 11 EU countries including the UK. The study revealed that young consumers have many positive attitudes towards glass packaging, but they don't fully appreciate all of the environmental benefits that glass can offer.

Brook Hayes from Friends of Glass says: “We really want to engage with the younger generations and get them to recycle their glass packaging. The film is a light-hearted way to show that your glass deserves to live again and again. I think this can help to make the glass recycling message interesting and memorable for young consumers.

“Ultimately, we want them to appreciate that absolutely all glass packaging is a precious resource that can that you can recycle time and time again, and in doing so you'll help reduce CO2 emissions, save energy and cut down on landfill.”

The Hungry Ghost Festival, also known as the Zhongyuan Festival, marks the time of year when tables are turned and the deceased are believed to visit the living. During the month of the Hungry Ghost Festival, the gates of the afterlife are thrown open and ghosts are free to roam the earth in search of food, entertainment and mischief.

Though the Hungry Ghost Festival gets some acclaim as the “Chinese Halloween,” the holiday actually offers a great opportunity to teach children about caring for the destitute and less fortunate. During the Ghost Month, hungry spirits roam the earth in search of mischief and worldly pleasure. To ease their suffering, the living observe superstitions and make offerings of food, money and entertainment all month long, culminating with an outdoor ghost-feeding ceremony on the night of the Hungry Ghost Festival.

Yuu Kitchen will be curating their own version of the festival with Gold envelopes placed outside the restaurant containing a gift; ranging from free drinks (Bubble Tea, Asahi or Karma Cola), free dishes (from the restaurant), t.shirts and stickers (from Karma Cola) and one lucky envelope will contain a trip to South-east Asia. A special Bottomless Food Menu called ‘Feast for £50’ will be available. Every customer that dines between 5th and 10th September will also receive a free Sake Bubble Tea Cocktail, a fortune cookie and a gift for them to celebrate the festival at home. To honour ancestors, the restaurant will set a place just for them on the evening.

Chef Jon de Villa (of Nobu and Zeffarano) will be creating a new YUUSpecial (Yuu Kitchen runs a series of weekly limited special dishes) using the infamous Ghost Pepper.  Each week there are only 5 YUUSpecials available per day.  Previous YUUSpecials include: Wagyu Bao with spicy mustard siracha ketchup, fried shallot rings & smoked garlic mayonnaise; Lamb steak, served with a 'chimichurri shiso;’ Australian Wagyu rump tartare with quail egg, cornichon, served with wasabi and charcoal sour dough crisps and Salted Grill Carabinero shrimp with green papaya, green mango and chicharron salad.

Yuu Kitchen’s menu caters very well for Vegetarians and has an Allergens menu which can be tailored for those with dairy, gluten, nut intolerances or allergies as well as being able to cater for vegans with most dishes.

Yuu Kitchen took the number one spot on TripAdvisor as the best restaurant in London from late January to early March and is now the number one Japanese restaurant in London - firmly cementing itself in London’s Asian dining sector offering high quality, flavoursome food.

The Belgrade Theatre has announced a series of stand-up comedy nights taking to the B2 stage this autumn hosted by the acclaimed comedy clubs, Desi Central and Screaming Blue Murder.

The monthly comedy nights will feature an eclectic line up of top local comedians and some the best acts on the British Asian comedy scene, bringing laughter to Monday nights at the Belgrade Theatre.

Starting this September, Desi Central will present their hit show The Indians Are Coming as part of a five-city UK tour and hosted by the award-winning Birmingham based comedian Mickey Sharma.

Having worked in many different jobs such as waiter, shelf stacker, camera assistant and bouncer, Mickey finally discovered his comic talents in 2009 after moving to the Birmingham from India, and now works as a full time comic in the UK and internationally.

He is joined on stage by a stellar line-up including Inder Manocha, Hyde Panaser and Sukh Kaur Ojla.

Altaf Sarwar, Managing Director of Desi Central said, “Having performed sell-out shows around the UK, we’re excited to be taking on Coventry armed with some top banter and a line-up including the best British Asian comedians working on the international comedy circuit. It’s great to be teaming up with the Belgrade to offer these regular comedy nights in their B2 auditorium which is an ideal space to enjoy live stand-up and get up-close to the comedy – just beware of sitting on the front row! Mickey Sharma is an excellent host as well as a multi-award winning comedian, so audiences are guaranteed a good night out, packed with laughter.”

Desi Central will return to the B2 stage in November with another cracking line-up including, Patrick Monahan, Eshaan Akbar, Sindhu Vee and Omar Hamdi.

Screaming Blue Murder will take-over the Belgrade in October, compered by Andrew Bird and featuring special guests Christian Reilly, Sally-Anne Hayward and Stephen Bailey.

Andrew has become a top headline act up and down the UK as well as performing around the world from Dublin to Doha. He has supported Rhod Gilbert and Lee Hurst on tour, and been the warm-up artist for TV shows including Nevermind The Buzzcocks, Room 101 and Pointless. Andrew is also a writer in demand having written for series such as 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Mock The Week.

Andrew Bird said, “The first comedy night I ever went to was a Screaming Blue Murder gig. It was Northampton two days before my 18th birthday. I still remember who was on and where we were sat. I have regularly MC’d some of their gigs for about 15 years now, in that time everyone has done them from Russell Brand to Jon Richardson. But the main thing is the gigs build up a regular audience which generates this great atmosphere where the acts feel relaxed which makes them funnier and the audience are comfortable so they enjoy it more. It’s going to be really good to start a new one in Coventry.”

Screaming Blue Murder returns to B2 in December with for more side-splitting entertainment from Anthony King, Jessica Fostekew and Julian Deane, compered by Andrew Bird.

Jo Joyner (Ackley Bridge, Mount Pleasant and Marley's Ghosts), is uniting against dementia by opening up for the first time about the heart-breaking experience of watching her nanna, Dorris, battle with dementia. Dorris was diagnosed with dementia in the early nineties and sadly passed away when Jo was eighteen.

In a tribute to her ‘kind, loyal and cuddliest’ nanna, Jo will be joining the growing dementia movement by walking with her mum, husband, kids and dog at Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk in Leamington on October 7. As one of the nation’s favourite TV actors, Jo is encouraging others to come together and sign up to Memory Walk by also featuring in a new video launched by the charity. Voiced by Davina McCall, who has spoken openly about her dad’s dementia, the video also features people across the UK, including people affected by dementia, and Alzheimer’s Society funded researchers at the University of Exeter. The video includes a fun compilation of a different style walks - from Davina’s impressive moonwalk to Jo’s Egyptian moves, it doesn’t matter how you walk, just as long as you unite and walk to defeat dementia

In her own words, Jo said: “It's such a cruel, cruel condition and it affects such a wide circle of loved ones and relatives. I think for those immediately close it's the hardest to reconcile the loss and regression that happens in essentially someone who used to look after you.  My Grandad found it heart breaking, literally.  My mother was heartbroken too, and I learned a lot over those few years about the power of love and the strength you can muster for someone who gave you life.”

Speaking about the early signs of dementia, Jo said: “There were little things, forgetting names, leaving the gas cooker on. I remember people really starting to worry when she got lost in town. They'd lived in Ilford all their lives and she'd taken her usual route and bus into town and couldn't remember how to get home.”

As her Nanna's dementia progressed, Jo explains how the condition affected her nanna and why she’s taking part in Memory Walk: “Because I was young, and I think in her head she was too, we met somewhere in the middle quite nicely for a time. For that period it was easier for me to dress her, or ascertain if she had an ache or pain. She often thought I was one of her favourite sisters, so she'd dance with me a lot. As a young drama student it wasn't so hard for me to enter her world at times.”

“The bottom line is that less and less people are dying of cancer now, HIV no longer has to be the death sentence it was, so wouldn't it be wonderful to feel the same about dementia in the future.  Money means research, research means understanding and understanding and research lead to treatments, support and ultimately cures. So every penny we can make to support the services that help people currently, and that can help our wonderful scientists and specialists to understand the ocean that is our memory, is a step closer to a better future for every person who is diagnosed with dementia.  Memory Walk is just one of those ways we can help and I'm doing mine with my mum and family in memory of the most kind, loyal and cuddliest Nanna who I wish I'd had the chance to know as an adult.”

Speaking about how they coped as a family, Jo said: “As a family, we're close and supportive. We don't get embarrassed easily, which is important when you're with someone who is in the depths of dementia. You can't be worrying about what people think, you have to remain calm and focus on the important things. I remember coming into the kitchen from college one day (I was doing my A levels) and my Nanna was very busy moving various papers and magazines around the kitchen table.  I asked my mum what was going on, 'I think she thinks she's back at where she'd worked for 15 years, so I've given her some pretend filing, she's been happy for hours!'.  I've always admired my mum so much for how she thought outside of the box when caring for her mother.”

Alzheimer’s Society Chief Executive Jeremy Hughes said: “Dementia can devastate lives,  but every pound raised by Memory Walk will help Alzheimer’s Society provide information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected. Walk for your family and friends affected by dementia. Walk for future generations. Until we find a cure, we will keep walking so dementia doesn’t win.”

The first Memory Walk takes place this weekend (2-3 September), but there is still time to sign up to the 34 walks taking place across the country including Birmingham's Sutton Park. Registration for Sutton Park will close Thursday 14th September 2017 and you will not be able to register at the event. To show dementia we are no walkover, sign up for a walk near you by visiting

Some people talk the talk but don’t walk the walk, one person that puts her money where her mouth is, is comedian Eleanor Conway.  Her debut stand up show ‘Walk of Shame’, enjoyed sell out audiences and immense critical success on the free fringe last year, since then she’s been honing the show on a 30 date national tour selling out a slew of dates from Bristol to Brighton and beyond and is now extending her tour into the Autumn. Kicking off the new run of dates in Inverness on 30th August.

Ferocious clubber and party girl Eleanor Conway has always been a woman of extremes; she partied around the world as a music journalist, ran off to Asia to work for the triads, made hardcore porn and Tinder’d her way through most of London… Now sober from alcohol and substances she’s failing to find moderation and meaning. ‘Walk of Shame’ is about sex, sobriety, Sambuca and the modern addict that lies within us all.

Eleanor is a Comedy Store King Gong finalist and has been performing standup since 2014. An experienced music presenter she’s interviewed everyone from 50 Cent to Justin Bieber and spent her 20’s cavorting round the world for Ministry of Sound and Virgin Music. An experienced, MC and host, she can regularly be seen crowd surfing in a corset at some of the UK's biggest festivals including several stints hosting the William's Green Stage at Glastonbury Festival in front of thousands of revellers.

Mozart’s popular work with its famous Queen of the Night aria delivers a magical adventure through mysticism, enchantment, love and trickery – with some wonderfully humorous moments – through an extraordinary blend of comedy, philosophical seriousness and sheer magic. The Magic Flute follows the handsome, young prince Tamino as he sets out to rescue the beautiful Pamina at the request of The Queen of the Night. With only his magic flute and cheerful companion Papageno to help him, Tamino sets out, and soon finds himself on a quest searching for love, enlightenment and wisdom.

The Royal Opera’s production of The Magic Flute opens the Live Cinema Season 2017/18 on Wednesday 20 September at 7.15pm.

Set designer, John Macfarlane brings Mozart’s magical opera to life in his designs, from the panoramic night sky to the dancing animals summoned by Tamino’s flute and the incredible flying machine of the Three Boys. This timeless classic provides a perfect opportunity to enjoy a cherished opera, for newcomers and Royal Opera regulars alike.

An encore screening will take place on Sunday 24 September at 2pm.

The next production in the 2017/18 ROH Live Cinema Season is Puccini’s beloved opera La bohème on Tuesday 3 October at 7.15pm.

New research has revealed that almost three quarters of British people (73 percent) report that music is a crucial component to significant moments and memories in their lives. Out of these special moments, over a quarter (27 percent) of more than 2,000 respondents said music reminds them of a special holiday.

Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. recently commissioned listener research showed that music boosts our mood as well as helping us make memories, with more than three-quarters (76 percent) of Brits saying they have a go-to song that automatically makes them feel positive. Meanwhile, a third (32 percent) have a song that reminds them of love, however, in comparison, only two percent of people surveyed have a song that reminds them of an angry moment.

The research also revealed that certain songs, especially the oldies, are more likely to be associated with particular memories for Brits, and Bryan Adams’ ‘Summer of 69’ topped the chart as the song most likely to bring back summer memories.

UK’s top 10 songs for a trip down memory lane

  1. Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
  2. Wonderwall – Oasis
  3. Come on Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  4. Careless Whisper – George Michael
  5. Mr Brightside – The Killers
  6. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
  7. Pretty Green Eyes – Ultrabeat
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  9. Angel – Robbie Williams
  10. American Pie – Don McLean
Nearly half (46 percent) of those surveyed plan to ensure their summer BBQs have a great atmosphere by playing music, and 43 percent of people listen to music in the background when hanging out with friends.

For 83 percent of respondents, music not only reminds them of a special moment but also of someone, they care about. Yorkshire (75 percent) is the county most likely to have a sentimental song that reminds them of a friend or family member compared to the rest of the UK. In contrast, people in the East Midlands are the least likely to have a song that makes them think of someone special at just 66 percent.

The findings also show that music is a topic of conversation, with almost a quarter (24 percent) of the respondents sharing their music recommendations at least once a week. The West Midlands is the most likely to share their musical tastes, with eight percent of them even sharing their recommendations on a daily basis, four times more likely than the South East (2 percent).

The good news for all those who love sharing music is that advances in audio and wireless technology are helping to make it even easier to enjoy music with the people around us. Many Bluetooth® wireless devices such as portable speakers and headphones can now support excellent sound quality, and in some cases are designed to deliver high-resolution audio.

“Music is such an important part of people’s lives and social events, and people want freedom from wires so that they can enjoy music everywhere. Many of today’s devices are designed to provide that untethered freedom combined with HD quality sound,” said Jonny McClintock, director, product marketing for Qualcomm® aptX™ for Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. “To help get a superior listening experience, whether streaming or playing from a personal library, it’s important that people choose devices (smartphone, headphone or speaker) that are designed to deliver great quality music via their wireless connection supported by aptX and aptX HD.”

Brummies are top sharers, while Yorkshire folk are most sentimental

Britain’s top summer anthems may be well known but the research reveals that Britain is also a land of music snobs. The West Midlands is the most confident region when it comes to their musical knowledge with 24% of them sharing their musical knowledge at least once a week. This is in contrast to the South East, with only 2% of them willing to share their music taste with others.

Music is not just an opportunity to show how knowledgeable you are, a special song can bring Brits together and be a crucial component of a relationship. Yorkshire is the most sentimental region, with 75% of them having song that reminds them of a loved one. Whereas, the East Midlands is the least sentimental and least likely county to have a song with someone they care about.

Foo Fighters have delivered a second consecutive contender for rock anthem of 2017 in the form of “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” after their sensational June single ‘Run’. Described by Grohl as "the biggest thing sonically that we’ve ever done,” “The Sky Is A Neighborhood”, which impacts September 8th, is also the piece de resistance that effectively completed Foo Fighters’ forthcoming ninth album, ‘Concrete and Gold’.

“One night I was lying out looking up at stars,” Grohl recalls. “Just imagining all of these stars as places that have life on them as well, and I decided that the sky is a neighborhood, that we need to keep our shit together in order to survive in this universe full of life. But I had no music yet. I just had the title. So everyday I would walk around, kind of humming this thing in my head.”

The melody of the song came to Grohl without even touching a guitar, so it follows that “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” would come just as naturally to the band: the song was recorded in a single afternoon by Grohl and fellow Foo Fighters Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee. "And once we were finished,” Grohl says. "I thought 'OK now we have an album. This is it and we’re done’… as we were mixing, I realized that we'd actually done what we set out do: to make this gigantic Foo Fighters record but with Greg Kurstin’s sense of jazz and melody and arrangement, something that we’d never done before.”

Of course “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” deserved an equally ambitious visual representation, and together with director of photography Brandon Trost and with production by Therapy Studios, director Grohl, Foo Fighters—and family—have more than delivered: “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” is a kaleidoscopic sci-fi mini-epic as massive as the slow burning rock anthem that gave it life. Hypnotic swirls of color of extraterrestrial origin, glowing eyes, levitating children and more combine to create an otherworldly cinematic palette equal parts beautiful and creepy—the result being arguably the most striking video in the Foo Fighters’ multiple award-winning canon.

Simultaneously, Foo Fighters are launching a constellation viewer, enabling every FF fan to transform to their phone into a tool for exploring the sky in their neighborhood: click here on your phone to configure a realistic constellation map in the viewer’s 3D sphere, then let it identify the constellations in your night sky—all while tiny Foo Fighters soundtrack your explorations at the bottom of the screen.

“The Sky Is A Neighborhood” is the second song to be unveiled from Concrete and Gold, following the June 1 surprise release of the “Run.” With more than 2 million YouTube views in its first 24 hours, “Run” smashed into the top 5 of the iTunes video chart and the top of the 15 iTunes singles chart—quickly amassing the highest first-day numbers of any single in the Foo Fighters’ career.

Global superstar Jason Derulo is bigger than ever before and has announced details of his second UK arena tour which takes place next March. Seven shows form the UK leg of his world tour which will see him take the stage at Genting Arena, Birmingham on 24th March 2018.

In the UK, Jason Derulo has topped the charts with four #1 smash hit singles in the shape of ‘In My Head’, ‘Don’t Wanna Go Home’, ‘Talk Dirty’ and ‘Want To Want Me’. In addition, he has also landed another eight Top 10 hits including his 2009 debut ‘Whatcha Say’, a feature on Little Mix’s ‘Secret Love Song’, and this year’s ‘Swalla’ which features Nicki Minaj and has already passed 383 million at Spotify alone.

Over the course of his career to date, Jason Derulo went from writing songs for Lil Wayne, Pitbull, Diddy, Sean Kingston and others, to selling 50 million singles worldwide. In the process, he has accumulated over 3.9 billion views on YouTube and in excess of 2 billion plays on Spotify.

From the Cider Museum in Hereford to narrow boats in Stoke on Trent and lime kilns in Worcestershire to the Rugby Hall of Fame in Warwickshire, hundreds of sites across the West Midlands are preparing to share their culture and reveal their hidden histories for Heritage Open Days 2017.  This year over 300 sites will be taking part, with FREE admission to every event – including 14 National Trust Properties. Here are just a few!

 The Old Coventry Evening Telegraph Building, Coventry

The iconic building was Coventry Evening Telegraph's former headquarters and has been a local for almost 50 years. Now owned by Complex Development Projects, who plan to retain much of the 1950’s design, the building is being opened up for tours and a display telling the story of the Coventry Evening Telegraph.

Thur-Sun 10am-4pm (pre-bookable tours)

Clifford Castle, Hereford

A privately-owned, 11th century border castle overlooking the River Wye, this newly-restored building offers a unique opportunity to see one of the smaller castles which defended the border with Wales. Visitors can see the outer bailey and gatehouse, and - by climbing a steep path – can enter through a second gatehouse to the inner bailey, protected by five round towers. There are fabulous views from here over the River Wye and in the distance the Black Mountains

Sat & Sun 10.30am-4pm

Hanley Park, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire

An introduction to Hanley Park's fascinating 120 year story and the latest on the £6 million restoration project underway and due for completion In 2018. There are 'Fountains of Fun' for the family on Saturday when you can make a splash the Victorian way. Dress for mess and craft your own fountain using principles of gravity, pressure and plenty of water.

Guided Park Walks: Thurs 6pm, Sun 2pm

Foundations of Fun: Sat 10am-midday

Broseley Pipeworks, Telford, Shropshire

The Broseley Pipeworks is an original 19th century clay tobacco pipe factory, abandoned in 1960, and restored by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust in the early 1990s. It is open during the summer season as part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, but for the HODS event there will be an opportunity to get a closer view of how buildings like this are rescued, including original documents from the archaeology survey.

Sun 10am-4pm

With some of the biggest digital stars on the planet already confirmed to appear including Caspar Lee, Jim Chapman, Joe Sugg, Louise Pentland, Marcus Butler, KSI, PointlessBlog, Rose & Rosie and Zoella, organisers have announced that even more big names are set to join the bill including Oli White, Jake Mitchell, Jack Maynard, Josh Pieters, Mark Ferris, Lucy and Lydia, JanaVlogs, Niki and Sammy, Lookingforlewys, The Shades and Katie Pix.

And with New Hope Club offering up a cool music performance this is going to be the must-see event of the year!

Where the online world collides with the real world, guests arrive into the living, breathing space of HelloWorld and take a stroll down Main Street where the sun is rising over the town, the day begins and the town comes alive. Bands are performing, the shops and funfair are opening, and the aerobics class is in full swing. The biggest stars in Social Media are getting up close and personal with their fans. There are live music performances, games, bake-offs, parades, a fashion show, a Giant Arcade Machine, live comedy, signings and talks, even weather forecasts! Yes, HelloWorld even has its own weather!

HelloWorld’s guests can interact with their heroes like never before on the giant video Arcade Machine, a real life Big Piano and giant sports stages where guests can compete with top talent. Watched by millions of viewers online, HelloWorld will create a multi-sensory immersive live show like nothing on earth.

Suddenly the sun goes down, there’s a thunderstorm and the town is bathed in moonlight as the evening entertainment begins on the main stage - a huge 12-metre high projection mapped Emoji House!

The HelloWorld DJ provides the soundtrack as guests cheer along to games and live interviews with the stars, dance along to music acts and take part in a massive live video.  The night closes with a giant house party featuring all the big names of the social media world, making this an unforgettable shared experience.

Commenting on the show, social media entrepreneur Caspar Lee said: "I'm so excited to invite our incredible fans to a new live event, the scale of which we have never seen before in the digital space. We’ve all been working hard with an amazing team to create something truly special for them - I cannot wait to see our ideas come to life.” 

And Jim Chapman said: "I’m so excited to be part of such an exciting live project that means I can meet my audience in a way that has never been done before.”

HelloWorld’s award-winning and Grammy-nominated Creative Director, Paul Caslin, who has previously worked with Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry, Sir Paul McCartney and also on the MTV EMAs and X Factor said "HelloWorld is without doubt the most ambitious and exciting project I've ever been involved in. The aim is to create the world's first fully immersive live show featuring the biggest online and social media talent from across the globe all under one roof. Think 'Woodstock' for the iPhone generation".

A theatre company formed by three graduates from Birmingham School of Acting has been nominated for the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF) 2017 Edinburgh Award.

In 2016, the Birmingham students created Theatre63 – which now boasts a strong collective of eight alumni – and they all continue to strive to complete their original and ultimate goal of performing 63 shows.

The NSDF award recognises the créme de la créme of emerging theatre companies and has shortlisted 20 performances from this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme, including Theatre63’s latest show. All shortlisted productions must be brand new – new writing, new devised theatre, a new adaptation or an innovative reworking of a film or a play.

Theatre63 producer and performer, George Alex Pollard, said:

“Being Shortlisted for the NSDF Award is an exciting accomplishment. The Fringe Festival has allowed us to meet other companies and we are able to learn and develop our skills in a place that is so open and passionate about new work.”

Theatre63 are performing ‘Cockroached’ at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) throughout Edinburgh Festival Fringe. ​ A post-apocalyptic black comedy set in the colourful but dirty confines of a makeshift home – the storeroom of Peek’s Party Store – their one-hour show is performed by two actors who switch roles each night.

The BA Acting graduates – who originate from Devon to Derby – have collectively written, produced and perform in the play. Meanwhile, Kirsten Banks, BA Stage Management graduate from Birmingham School of Acting, manages the production’s technical aspects.

Actor Freya Sharp, Theatre63, said:

“It’s great to be part of a new, pro-active company that have created work for themselves so early on in their career. It’s wonderful to play a part that is non-gender specific, as it allows me to push my boundaries and not conform to the stereotypical female roles.”

The winning company will be announced on Tuesday 22 August, and will be awarded a run at the Pleasance Theatre in London alongside a £500 cash prize.

Daniele Sanderson, Deputy Head of Birmingham’s School of Acting, said:

“We are very proud of Theatre63 being nominated for an award at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival for their first-ever play, ‘Cockroached’.

“Our BA Acting encourages students to develop their own creativity and to be entrepreneurial in their approach to making their own work. Theatre63 perfectly expresses our hopes for our future graduates. We wish them luck!”

All members of Theatre63 graduated from Birmingham School of Acting, part of Birmingham City University, in 2016 and the company are now based in London.

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre’s production of Brassed Off marks the venues return to producing theatre in-house for the first time in almost 40 years from Wednesday 23 August – Saturday 2 September 2017.

Rehearsals began on Monday 31 July and take place at a rehearsal venue in the city and on stage at the Grand Theatre. Director Gareth Tudor Price is working with a professional cast of 6 principal actors, 4 principal actors from the local community, 6 local children, an ensemble of 18 local actors and 32 band members.

Jeffrey Holland plays ex-miner and veteran conductor of Grimley Band, Danny and the cast includes Christopher Connel (Phil), Miriam Grace Edwards (Sandra), Ash Matthews (Shane), Clara Darcy (Gloria) and Eddy Massarella (Andy). They are joined by local actors Tim Jones (Harry), Greg Yates (Jim), Susie Wilcox (Vera) and Donna Heaslip (Rita).

Sharing the young role of Craig will be Henry Hart, Samuel Allen Cooper and Alexander Hogg. Sharing the role of Melody will be Lydia Hart, Mollie Cotterill and Catherine Richmond-Maud.

Grand Theatre Press & PR Manager Scott Bird said, “rehearsals are well underway and it’s great to see the potential of the Grand Theatre being explored to the maximum. This production not only features a fine professional cast but actors and musicians from the area; I hope local audiences will feel the same sense of ownership that we do as a team who are creating this new staging of a well-loved story.”

Brassed Off is written by Paul Allen, adapted from the screenplay by Mark Herman. It’s 1994; and Danny’s lifelong ambition to lead Grimley Colliery Band to the National Brass Band Competition at the Royal Albert Hall looks like it might finally happen. But as Grimley pit faces closure, the future looks bleak as the town is thrown into conflict. Flugelhorn player Gloria arrives in town bringing with her a renewed sense of hope and a touch of romance, but no-one knows who she’s really playing for...

Brassed Off is produced by Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. It is directed by Gareth Tudor Price, formerly Artistic Director of Hull Truck Theatre. Set and costume design is by John Brooking. Lighting design for the production is by Anthony Aston.

Brassed Off was first performed at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield on 17th March 1998.

Tickets for Brassed Off between Wednesday 23 August – Saturday 2 September 2017 are now on sale and can be purchased in person at the Box Office, by calling 01902 42 92 12 or online at

The London Games Festival will return in 2018, running from 5 April to 15 April, organiser Games London has announced.

The London Games Festival is delivered by Games London, the three-year initiative from Film London, the capital's screen industries agency, and video games trade body Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment).

Games London is backed by the Mayor of London with funding worth £1.2m from the London Enterprise Action Panel, and seeks to make London the games capital of the world.

Over 50,000 people attended 40 different events across 20 different venues during the 2017 festival. The Festival has also established itself as a platform for global business in games with the Games Finance Market delivering nearly £20m potential business in April.

Since its launch in January 2016 Games London has connected 145 games businesses in the UK with 109 global investors, driving over £30m potential business back into local companies.

The 2018 festival aims to go even further with a wider programme of outdoor events and an even bigger offering for the games developer community.

With Game of Thrones returning to our screens this summer, Haven's Thornwick Bay Holiday Village in Yorkshire has the perfect outdoor event to fully immerse the whole family in the world of knights and medieval jousting.

Sitting on North Landing and the picturesque Flamborough Nature Reserve, Haven's newest park welcomes back a spectacular display of horsemanship in this breath-taking medieval jousting tournament.  The actors are trained stunt performers and have appeared in major films and TV series including Victoria, Peaky Blinders and Poldark. Most recently, two of the cast starred in the popular ITV series Victoria as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's riding doubles, played by the talented Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes.

Throughout the show these world class knights demonstrate exceptional skills including lightning fast sword play and talented horsemanship alongside competing in the ultimate jousting contest. Audience interaction is encouraged and this family show invites children and adults alike to cheer for their favourite knight as a dramatic story unfolds.

"Atkinson Action Horses are delighted to have the opportunity to combine their years of experience providing high energy adrenaline fuelled performances, with the timeless family values of Haven Holiday Parks,” says Benjamin Atkinson of Atkinson Action Horses. “Don't miss the chance to witness the fanfare and fury as Knights clash in the jousting arena on the cliff tops of Thornwick Bay."

Having appeared in jousting and horse productions all over the world, these are amongst the most experienced riders in the country. Guests are also given the chance for a meet and greet with the knights after the show where they can ask questions to the actors and see the beautiful horses up close.