Colors: Red Color

Aldersley Leisure Village will play host to the Grand Slam of Darts in November – and a new artist’s impression shows what the venue is expected to look like for this major sporting event.

It means the best of the best will continue to compete in the City of Wolverhampton, while its usual home – Wolverhampton’s Civic Halls - undergoes refurbishment.

To help people get to Aldersley, City of Wolverhampton Council is providing return coach travel from the city centre for just £2 when bought in advance.

The 32-player tournament features players from both the PDC and BDO systems competing across nine days from Saturday, November 10 to Sunday 18.

Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, said: “The Grand Slam of Darts puts the city on the map, is watched by millions of people across the globe and attracts thousands of visitors to the city.

“It is great news that we have been able to keep this key event in the city and this artist’s impression shows what fans attending the Grand Slam of Darts at Aldersley Leisure Village can look forward to.”

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn said: "The bwin Grand Slam of Darts is synonymous with being held in Wolverhampton, and though the Wolves Civic is currently closed it's great that we can keep the tournament within the city.

"We've received great support from fans in the West Midlands and the City of Wolverhampton Council over the past decade, and I'm sure that the Aldersley Leisure Village will prove a popular new home for the event this year."

Tickets for the 2018 bwin Grand Slam of Darts are on General Sale from Wolves Civic Box Office, by calling 0870 320 7000, or in person from the box office located at Wolverhampton Art Gallery in Lichfield Street.

Disabled Access Tickets are available by calling 01902 55 0969.

The Sky Sports-televised event initially sees the 32 players split into eight groups of four for the round-robin phase over the opening four days from Saturday, November 10.

The top two players from each group then progress to the knockout phase from the second round onwards, before the tournament concludes with the semi-finals and final on Sunday, November 18.

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen will headline the field of stars competing in the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts, alongside PDC World Champion Rob Cross and BDO Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant.

2018 UK Open champion Gary Anderson, colourful Peter Wright, and reigning World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, will also compete in the City of Wolverhampton.

Tickets are limited to six per person per session for Table Tickets. Under-14s are required to be accompanied by an adult. Tiered Seat Tickets will not go on sale until Table Tickets have sold out.

Utah band The Aces released their debut album When My Heart Felt Volcanic to acclaim across the world in April and have been on the road ever since. Today the band announce their first UK and European headline tour that begins on 5th November 2018 and takes in London Dingwalls on 20th November 2018. This will follow the support tour with 5 Seconds Of Summer in the U.S.

The band commented: “Doing something obvious for the song felt very vanilla to us, so when Alisa was writing the treatment we decided to go in a much more literal direction to define what The Last One means. The song is about being addicted to someone that’s taking over your life and it’s killing you, but instead of a person we wanted to use a poignant symbol that embodies addiction.”

The Aces will be joining Five Seconds Of Summer on their U.S tour which starts 27th August in Toronto, and takes The Aces down the east coast, through the Midwest ending on the west coast in Los Angeles on 12th October.

The Aces UK Tour Dates:

November: Wednesday 14th – Birmingham @ Hare & Hounds Thursday 15th – Glasgow @ King Tuts Saturday 17th – Dublin @ The Soundhouse Sunday 18th – Manchester @ Soup Kitchen Monday 19th – Bristol @ Louisiana Tuesday 20th – LONDON @ Dingwalls

International musicians will be delighting audiences at Sandwell Arts Café in West Bromwich as part of the Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell Jazz Festival.

Free concerts will take place at 12 noon on both Friday 20 July (Arkansas Dave) and Friday 27 July (Les Zauto Stompers de Paris), at the Arts Café at Sandwell College’s Central Sixth campus in New Street.

The festival, which runs from 20 to 29 July, gives a chance for people to come and to experience a wide variety of jazz and blues music.

Arkansas Dave from the United States was brought up on blues and rock and roll and took to the roads as part of Guitar Shorty’s band before making his breakthrough album in 2016. His music is original with blues, gospel and rock and roll coming together to make jazz songs for the 21st century.

Les Zauto Stompers de Paris were formed in 2004, with some of the most experienced players in the field. They perform jazz classics and 1920s and ‘30s music including songs by the likes of Walter Donaldson and Hoagy Carmichael. This quartet of musicians from Paris are amazing entertainers which strive to give you a performance you are unlikely to forget.

Councillor Steve Trow, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for culture and core council services, said: “We look forward to giving Arkansas Dave and Les Zauto Stompers de Paris a warm welcome at the Arts Café.

“The jazz festival is a great opportunity for people from Sandwell and the rest of the Black Country to get involved in an international music festival and enjoy fantastic music from the UK and around the world right on their doorstep.”

The 22nd Annual St. Kitts Music Festival, which took place from 27 June – 1 July, was a phenomenal success after drawing record attendees and the festival hashtag featuring on the 'trending' page of Twitter.

Festival-goers were treated to a stellar line-up of both local and international artists across the five days, including the Grammy-nominated Nailah Blackman, Grammy Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame artist Patti LaBelle, KES the band, Lauryn Hill and Fetty Wap.

“The festival drew a record numbers of attendees from all over the world, including the UK, and the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive,” said CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Board, Racquel Brown.

“As well as the great feedback, the festival hashtag #SKMF2018 was trending on Twitter – something that we've never achieved before. The buzz around the island during the festival was electric and we hope to continue building momentum ahead of our 25th year anniversary of the St. Kitts Music Festival in 2021.”

There was truly something for everyone with music from a variety of genres, including R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Gospel and Contemporary.

Even after the acts ended each night, festival goers continued on into the night enjoying local performances, dining and drinking at local establishments, and attending after-parties.

“We've had year-on-year success with the St. Kitts Music Festival, and it's great for both attendees enjoying the festival and local St. Kittians for increased business. It's a fantastic event for the island and one of the largest events on our calendar each year.”

In 2016, the legendary guitarist and composer Gordon Giltrap underwent two lots of major surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. He recovered remarkably well from both surgeries and has since been able to return to his life as a working musician.

Gordon decided as a way of saying thank you to the surgeons and nursing team at the hospital, he would create an album from a previous release with additional new tracks to raise money for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity.

The end result is a remarkable work entitled Heartsongs featuring major artists from the rock world who played on the opening track and the closing track. Names familiar to many like, Brian May of Queen, Midge Ure, Steve Howe from Yes, Neil Murray from Black Sabbath, Simon Phillips from Toto, and last but not least that national treasure Rick Wakeman.

Whilst putting the album together Gordon's son Jamie tragically passed away. This album is dedicated to his memory.

Justine Davy, Head of Fundraising for QEHB Charity said: “QEHB Charity is hugely grateful for the amazing work of Gordon. It is so special that he has used his musical talents to raise money for a cause that is close to his heart.”

The Charity is selling Gordon’s album in the Charity shop in the main atrium at QEHB, as well as online at, go online now to purchase a copy!

Birmingham City University’s Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and social development organisations Sistema England and Sistema Europe are welcoming 200 musicians from across Europe to the UK this summer for a celebration of social action through music.

The Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra (SEYO) 2018 Summer Residency will take place at the new Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, with public performances at Southbank Centre’s newly renovated Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and Birmingham’s majestic Symphony Hall.

Now in its fifth incarnation, the SEYO Summer Residency – comprising 200 youngers aged 10 to 21 years old, and 50 teachers from 22 Sistema programmes in 17 countries – will celebrate the power of music to unite nations, cultures and young people during challenging times for the UK and Europe.

The SEYO 2018 Summer Residency is the first residential summer course to be held in Birmingham City University’s new £57 million Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and 30 students, teachers and staff from the music college will also be on hand to help make the event a success.

The event will take place between Saturday 18 and Tuesday 28 August and will also see the involvement 400 children from local ‘music for social action’ projects including In Harmony Telford, The Nucleo Project (London) and the Sistema England Young Leaders.

SEYO18 has a special focus on teacher development, and as part of a shared commitment to teaching excellence, Sistema England and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire are creating a teacher training Fellowship for outstanding Conservatoire students that will also run concurrent to the Residency.

Performances at London’s iconic Queen Elizabeth Hall and Birmingham’s majestic Symphony Hall will capture the unique spirit of the global Sistema movement, as well as the legacy of composer, conductor, educator and humanitarian Leonard Bernstein, as part of the worldwide celebrations marking what would be his 100th birthday. The Residency will also champion contemporary composers, with star violinist Nicola Benedetti joining for a closing performance at Symphony Hall in Birmingham, when she will perform the riveting final movement of Wynton Marsalis’ Violin Concerto, written for the artist.

Exciting collaborations with Birmingham City University staff and students from its Faculty of the Arts, Design and Media will also champion young creative talent in Birmingham, with students leading on virtual reality film creation, T-shirt design and photography curation, as well as PR and social media campaigns.  This feeds into the overall theme of SEYO 2018 – ‘Youth Ownership’.

Julian Lloyd Webber, Principal of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Founder of Sistema England said: “Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is thrilled to welcome young musicians and teachers from Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra 2018 to Birmingham to make music together in our new state-of-the-art Conservatoire building.

“This magnificent and extraordinary international cultural collaboration proves once again that music has no barriers of language or politics, and we are proud to join forces with Symphony Hall in August to give a platform to this unique orchestra that will represent the vital Sistema movement in Europe.”

The SEYO Summer Residency is an annual event organised by Sistema Europe, the network of European programmes inspired by the Venezuelan ‘El Sistema’, founded 44 years ago in Venezuela by José Antonio Abreu. Previous editions have taken place in Salzburg (2013), Istanbul (2014), Milan (2015) and most recently Athens (2017).

Gillian Moore CBE, Director of Music at Southbank Centre, London, said: “At Southbank Centre, we share Sistema Europe’s belief that making music changes lives, and we are delighted to be welcoming young musicians from all round Europe and the UK to celebrate, perform together and learn from each other.

“The music they will play is by composers who share this belief too with their generous and inclusive approach to music, composers such as Errollyn Wallen, Gustav Holst and, in his centenary year, Leonard Bernstein. I know that this gathering will make a real difference and I'm so very pleased that it will happen here.”

The Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra will be conducted by Sascha Goetzel (Austria), Jessica Cottis (UK/Australia), Jesus Uzcategui (Venezuela), Etienne Abelin (Switzerland), SEYO co-founder, Samuel Matus (Guatemala/Turkey), Music Director at Turkey’s Music for Peace Foundation and Juan Carlos Maggiorani (Venezuela/Portugal), Artistic Director of Portugal’s Orchestra Geraçao.

Simi Ambass, Sistema England Young Leader and Youth Producer said: “Through SEYO we want to flip the script, showing everyone that what makes us amazing and unique is our ability to give people unforgettable musical experiences through our personal struggles, not despite them.

“Sistema programmes in Europe may face different social situations but we have a strong bond in knowing that we’re with young people who are aiming for something more than what society expects of us. The inspiration we get from our fellow musicians in other countries fires us up with more motivation to push beyond what we believe to be our personal limits.”

A University of Wolverhampton academic has written a book about the phenomenon of the hit musical, Les Misérables.

Dr Sarah Whitfield, Musical Theatre lecturer in the School of Performing Arts at the Walsall Campus, wanted to write the book because the musical was a favourite of her father. Before she started to write it, her father was diagnosed with late stage cancer and passed away.

Sarah interviewed around 350 ‘Les Mis’ fans for the book, asking why they felt so deeply about the musical.  She said: “When I was a teenager my dad would frequently embarrass me with his love of ‘Les Mis’ and when he was diagnosed with cancer, I set out to find out why this musical phenomenon meant so much to him and to millions of people across the globe.

“The book explores how the musical reaches its audiences beyond the footlights, and how the musical provides comfort and inspiration to thousands of people amidst difficult, personal experiences.

“We lost my Dad much too soon. Writing the book helped me understand more about who he was, and his love for ‘Les Mis’ taught me so much about him and how to say goodbye. So many people have a deep connection with this musical and I’m so grateful so many people shared their stories with me.”

The book is part of Routledge’s Fourth Wall book series - short, accessible accounts of some of modern theatre’s best-loved works. They allow their authors the opportunity to explore their chosen subject in a way that is absorbing enough to be of use both to lovers of theatre and those who may be studying a play more deeply. Each book in the series looks at a specific piece, variously exploring its themes, contexts and characteristics an insightful yet very accessible writing style.

The book, Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables (The Fourth Wall), is published on 23rd July 2018 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Dr Sarah Whitfield is a musical theatre lecturer and researcher at the University of Wolverhampton. She writes about theatre history, musical theatre, and how musicals connect to people and fan communities. She has five year old twin girls, and is based in the West Midlands.

The Black Eyed Peas are back in effect and announcing they will be embarking on a tour throughout Europe as a unit for the first time in 8 years starting on October 27th in London and capping off on November 18th in Dusseldorf, Germany. Tickets go on sale on 13 July at 9am at

Today the group has also premiered an explosive new single and provocative video titled "Get It" to celebrate the news and bring light to urgent social issues. The video encourages awareness and action on Police Brutality and Immigration reform. "Get It" comes on the heels of two previously released politically charged singles and visuals for "Street Livin'" and The "RING THE ALARM pt.1, pt.2, pt.3." Don't miss the Peas live on tour this Fall and stay tuned for more new music from, Taboo, and coming soon.

One of the most exciting, dynamic, and most commercially successful groups of all time, The Black Eyed Peas are notorious for their anthemic pop hits transcending generations, tracks such as ‘Where Is The Love?’, ‘I Gotta Feeling’, ‘My Humps’ and ‘Meet Me Halfway’ have played the soundtrack to the lives of millions of fans across the globe.

The ‘Don’t Phunk with My Heart’ hit makers consisting of rappers, Taboo and ITV’s The Voice regular and lead vocalist will return to the spotlight for with their Masters of the Sun tour.

With 7 chart-topping studio albums, 25 million YouTube views and over 10 million monthly Spotify listeners, the GRAMMY award-winning hip-hop group and pop sirens will perform their catalogue of eclectic hits. For over two decades, the band that blessed us with the iconic tracks that filled radio waves and broke records, The Black Eyed Peas are back. 2018 marks the 20 th anniversary of the formation of the original line up of the group, proving still that their music continues to stand the test of time as the world eagerly wait for more new music.

Tour dates

27 Oct 2018                  London                         Eventim Apollo 29 Oct 2018                  Birmingham                  O2 Academy Birmingham 01 Nov 2018                 Manchester                   O2 Apollo Manchester 02 Nov 2018                 Glasgow                       The SSE Hydro 03 Nov 2018                 Milton Keynes               Arena MK

Ahead of the school summer holidays Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG) is releasing more free tickets for Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure. Dippy on Tour is brought to you by the Natural History Museum in partnership with the Garfield Weston
The popular exhibition, which showcases the 292-piece skeleton cast from the Natural
History Museum, has already had over 75,000 visitors in Birmingham.
Today thousands of extra free tickets have been released which can be booked online
Booking tickets is recommended to guarantee entry, but walk up spaces will also
be available. Visitors without pre-booked tickets are advised they may need to wait
during busier times.
Gurminder Kenth, Museum Manager at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery said: “The people of Birmingham have truly taken Dippy to their hearts and it has been amazing to see so many visitors enjoying the exhibition.
“This is an once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Dippy in Birmingham and we want to make sure as many people as possible get the chance to visit. That’s why we are releasing extra free tickets for the rest of the run and we can’t wait to welcome more even more dino fans over the summer.”
The region has been welcoming Dippy to Birmingham. Giant Diplodocus footprints
were placed on walkways near the museum for the exhibition launch by regional
sponsors Paradise Birmingham.
A trail of topiary dinosaurs has also been placed around the city centre by Retail Bid
Birmingham. Visitors can pick up a map at BMAG and continue their prehistoric
journey around the city to track down all 10 topiary dinosaurs, learning
fun facts as they go. Cadbury World has also celebrated Dippy’s stay in Birmingham by creating a chocolate Diplodocus weighing in at almost 30kg – the equivalent of 667 bars of standard Cadbury Dairy Milk. The creation, which hatched out of a giant chocolate egg,
took two chocolatiers two days to bring to life and can now be seen at BMAG.
As well as seeing the famous dino, visitors to the exhibition can learn about how Dippy might have been the end of the line for herbivorous dinosaurs but the meat-eating dinosaurs continued to evolve– birds are dinosaurs. Bringing Birmingham’s colourful bird collection back to BMAG for the first time in nearly 20 years, the exhibition showcases
the amazing diversity of modern birds and how they evolve d to become one of the
world’s most successful groups of animals.
Throughout the summer there will also be fun Dippy related activities at the museum to
enjoy. There’s the Dippy family room with the chance to dress up and play, the Dino Dig
where children can have a go at being a palaeontologist, curator’s tour, crafts and trails.
And there is even a Dino Children’s Menu in the Edwardian Tearooms to keep little ones fuelled. The fun isn’t just for kids, with activities and events for adults including dinosaur and tote bag printing and a range of thought-provoking talks.
There’s even a chance to have a cocktail with Dippy at an afterhours event on 26th July.

Town Hall Symphony Hall has announced the initial line-up for the Symphony Hall: Inside Out festival.

Building on the success of last year’s festival, Symphony Hall: Inside Out will now run over two days; from 5pm on Friday 20th July until 10pm on Saturday 21st July.

The free two day festival will see Symphony Hall turn itself ‘inside out’, producing unexpected sounds in unexpected spaces. With performances and activities taking place across all corners of the venue, visitors will be able to experience Symphony Hall in a completely different way.

The festivities begin at 5pmwith a special edition of Friday Night Jazz in the Symphony Hall Café Bar courtesy of Tom Hill’s Jazz Funk Machine.

Kicking off the festival’s Loading Dock stage in style is costume clad trio, GorillaBot , with their unique funk-rock sound. Fronting the band is Ben Bot, an all-singing, all-dancing (literally), guitar-wielding robot. Dressed in a high viz vest and what appears to be chef’s trousers, Ben Bot is straight out of a Frank Zappa inspired fantasy. Slapping the bass is El Bajo, a Mexican wrestler bringing bass riffs thicker than a Kit Kat chunky. And lastly, we have J’Rilla, raining down beats like its monsoon season.

Birmingham’s original street food event Digbeth Dining Club will be serving a whole host of culinary delights from Symphony Hall's Bay C car park, on Friday evening and from lunchtime on Saturday! The multi-award winning Digbeth Dining Club (DDC) has changed the face of Birmingham's alternative food scene since it started in 2012. A regular fixture at festivals and large-scale events, DDC will ensure festival-goers don’t go hungry!

After an incredibly popular secret orchestra pit drum and bass session at last year’s festival, Birmingham based DJ and producer HEADGEAR will make a welcome return with funk and soul beats throughout the weekend.

Digbeth Arts Market will be joining us with five of their talented local artists from 10am on Saturday, as they create stunning art across the Box Office windows and foyer glass panels. Keep an eye out on levels 4 and 5 where you’ll find artists creating a jaw-dropping 3 metre long street art spectacular on the Symphony Hall glass panels!

Ever wondered what it feels like to conduct an orchestra? Well now festival-goers can. Birmingham-based community orchestra, The People’s Orchestra, will be holding interactive sessions on Saturday giving children a chance to try their hand at conducting a live orchestra playing tunes from their favourite films!

Staying true to form, we’re turning our VIP lounge ‘inside out’ to create a silent disco complete with a DJ for just one day only. No fancy furniture, no restricted access, no need to dress up. Everyone is welcome to grab a set of headphones, and bop along!

Other highlights on Saturday include Dressing Room Discoveries; enter the backstage world of our Symphony Hall dressing rooms with our immersive themed rooms; there’s the aristocracy room, futuristic room and forest room – which one will you choose?; acoustic performances throughout the day from local musicians, a kids’ cinema showing a selection of family-friendly films and special performances for our younger audiences in the Loading Dock.

Fresh from representing Birmingham at the Commonwealth Closing Ceremony, rapper Lady Sanity will be hosting a takeover in the Orchestra Pit – one not to miss!

On Saturday evening the Symphony Hall Loading Dock will play host to an eclectic group of bands; Muntchako will be bringing their universal rhythms mixed with electronic beats, guitars, samples and synthesisers; also joining us are Leeds-based 7-piece Têtes de Pois who will be mixing jazz, Afrobeat, hip-hop, and neo-soul – relaxed grooves and silvery horns setting you up perfectly for a Saturday night.

Toks Dada, Programme Co-ordinator at Town Hall, Symphony Hall said;

“Music should be available to as many people as possible and what better place to experience that than at Symphony Hall. You’ll get to see areas of the building that you don’t normally get to see and hear a whole mix of music including classical and jazz, through to hip-hop, neo-soul and afrobeat.  And best of all it’s free to attend!”

TV’s Catherine Tyldesley and Tom Lister were just two of the famous faces welcomed back to Birmingham City University’s Royal Birmingham Conservatoire as part of the institution’s annual Prize-Giving ceremony.

The two soaps stars, both Royal Birmingham Conservatoire graduates, were awarded Honorary Fellowships from the music and acting college, while alumnus Corey Campbell was given an Honorary Membership.

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire has a long and established tradition of awarding Honorary Fellowships and Memberships at the end of each academic year. Honorary Fellowships are given to those who act as an inspiration for the University’s students, as examples of people who have forged an outstanding career in music, acting and the related arts.

Alongside alumni Catherine and Tom, Honorary Fellowships were also awarded to singer Christine Cairns, jazz composer and musician Nikki Iles, double bassist and luthier Thomas Martin and Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang.

Graduating from Birmingham School of Acting in 2006 – the School merged with Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2017 – actor Catherine Tyldesley is best known for her multiple-award-nominated portrayal of Eva Price on ‘Coronation Street’, a part she has played since 2011.

Catherine Tyldesley said:

“My training at Birmingham School of Acting was priceless. I use the techniques I learned there every day as a working actor. The tuition was second to none and I remain ever grateful for the time and belief the tutors invested in me. A life changing experience.

I’m truly honoured to be receiving this fellowship. Something I’ll hold dear always “

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire students compete for a varied range of prizes over the course of the academic year and the annual Prize-Giving ceremony also provides the opportunity for them to be formally presented with these awards.

Following a reception in The Organ Hall at the new £57 million college, the ceremony took place in The Bradshaw Hall in front of a gathered audience and overseen by its Principal, Professor Julian Lloyd Webber and Professor Stephen Simms, Vice Principal – Acting.

Appearing in between performances of current West End smash ‘42nd Street’ was actor Tom Lister, who played Carl King on ITV’s ‘Emmerdale’ for nine years from 2004. Since graduating from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2001, Tom has appeared in various screen and stage productions, while also raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity by carrying out extreme sporting challenges.

Tom Lister said:

“I am so proud to say that I trained at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, or Birmingham School of Speech and Drama as it was once known when I studied there. I arrived through the doors on day one literally knowing nothing and not professing to have any plans other than to learn. Over the course of three years I soaked up all the skills and experience the tutors had to offer and I am fortunate enough to say that I was able to go out into the industry and put all those lessons to work.

“There is a lot in this industry that confounds me as to why some people are successful and some equally talented people are not. But one of the most valuable lessons I have learnt from studying in Birmingham and working for the last 15 years, is that hard work, skill and perseverance – with a little sprinkling of good fortune – will get you a long way. Oh, and be nice; it costs nothing and makes you a lot easier to work with.”

An Honorary Membership is awarded to graduates of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire who have achieved notable success in the music, theatre, screen or broadcast profession in the early years after graduation. Composer and co-founder of the Young Composers Project, Kirsty Devaney, and founder of theatre company Strictly Arts, Birmingham-born Corey Campbell, were both recipients this year.

Corey Campbell said:

“My career journey and achievements to date are testament to Birmingham School of Acting and the late David Vann in particular. I am one of the students who started on the part time courses and travelled through until graduating from the BA Acting course. The passion and vision instilled in me has never left me till this day.

“I continue to aspire to achieve further successes as Artistic Director of Strictly Arts, and I am proud to continue this exciting journey with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire as Honorary Member.”

Part of Birmingham City University, the new state-of-the-art Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is a unique contemporary building, incorporating five public performance spaces including a new 500 seat concert hall for orchestral training and performance, a purpose-built organ studio and private rehearsal and practice rooms.

Opening last year as the first purpose built conservatoire in the UK since 1987, the institution is the only one of its kind in the country designed for the demands of the digital age.

Designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and constructed by Galliford Try using 400,000 bricks, the new Conservatoire is located alongside Millennium Point, adjacent to Jennens Road in the Eastside region of Birmingham. The development has been made possible in partnership with Millennium Point and Birmingham City Council.

The music and drama academy now sits just metres away from Birmingham City University’s wealth of media and recording facilities, including four TV studios and Europe’s largest static green screen.

Today, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre released rehearsal images for Amanda Whittington’s LADIES’ DAY. The hit comedy, produced entirely by the Grand Theatre is being rehearsed in the city and opens on 13 July running for just over two weeks until 28 July.

The play stars Cheryl Fergison as Jan, Deena Payne as Pearl, Emma Rigby as Shelly, Roisin O’Neill as Linda and Sean McKenzie in multiple roles. The production also stars Tony Christie, who’s music has featured in the production since it first premiered in 2005. Now, exclusively for the Wolverhampton production, the legendary singer will appear in person in the production.

LADIES’ DAY follows four fish factory workers on a day out at the races, will their fortunes change when they head to Ladies’ Day at Wolverhampton Racecourse? Not only is the champagne spilled but a lot of secrets too!

The Arcadian, one of Birmingham’s leading leisure and nightspots, is looking forward to a sizzling summer of events as it prepares to welcome three city festivals.

The destination, which boasts 24 restaurants, clubs and bars, is kicking off a summer of fun with the annual Latin American Festival this Sunday (July 1).

The 23rd festival will see international artists and bands performing, plus dance shows showcasing the very best rumba, Brazilian samba and Argentine tango, as well as carnival dance shows. Visitors can also perfect their moves by taking part in dance and Zumba workshops. The event, which takes place between 11am and 7pm is  free and there will be plenty of food and handicrafts on sale.

This is followed by the Summer in Southside on July 14 and 15, which will see the Arcadian hosting a number of activities with organiser The Birmingham Hippodrome. The two-day festival will see the area transformed into a playground with traditional funfair rides and retro games. As well as theatrical events, including The Fabularium, which is a storytelling, puppetry and outdoor theatre group, there will be craft workshops, family activities and independent food stalls.

And from July 20-29, the Arcadian is looking forward to welcoming eight artists as part of the Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell Jazz Festival. On Saturday, July 21, it hosts three bands: Chase Jazzmen at 4pm, while Strictly Jitterbug will be performing at the Ibis Birmingham New Street Station Hotel, Ladywell Walk, at 5pm. Blue Silk will be playing at Olivia’s Townhouse at 6pm.

On Friday, July 27, the Ibis plays host to French band Les Zauto Stompers de Paris, and on the penultimate day of the festival on July 28, Ukulele Rocks will be at the Ibis at 2pm, C-Jam will play at The Arcadian at 4pm, and David Moore Blues Band will be at Olivia’s Townhouse at 8pm.

Jo Kinsella, centre manager of the Arcadian, which is owned and managed by commercial property and investment company LCP, said: “We’re very excited to playing our part in hosting some amazing artists this summer as part of a packed schedule of activities in the city centre.

“We can guarantee a carnival atmosphere for all the family and we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone, whether they are here to dine, drink or stay.”

For festival goers, looking the part is important. Not only will there be endless outfits to plan, but thinking about your hairstyle is also essential. From up-dos to a tousled bed head look, finding something that will withstand unpredictable weather conditions, partying at all hours and no access to a shower can be tricky.

To really stand out from the crowd this summer, why not go for a bold statement and colour your hair in an on-trend, bright colour? This season a range of fresh new shades are available at UK hair salon chain Supercuts and from pink to purple, turquoises to vibrant blue, there’s something for every party animal.

The team at Supercuts shared some top tips on how to get the fab festival chic look this season.

  1. Keep it pampered – even though you may not have access to washing facilities, it’s important to keep your hair looked after. Packing a can of dry shampoo in your festival bag will really pay off. A top tip is to wait for around 2 minutes after you have sprayed the product before you comb it through. This allows enough time for the shampoo to completely absorb any oils that are weighing it down.
  2. Get glittery – glitter hair is very much in at the moment. You can really get creative with your colours and even try a different look for every day of the event. For an eye catching glittery parting, separate the hair where desired, add some hair gel down the parting and sprinkle on your favourite loose glitter. To remove, simply use a baby wipe and then shower the excess off when you’re home.
  3. Stay sun smart – if the weather stays bright, it’s important to protect your hair. Moisturising products along with protein-based products such as sprays and leave in conditioners, will keep you protected. Products like this can also help to keep your hair hydrated.
  4. Accessorise – by the third or fourth day, your hair can start to look tired. Choose a statement accessory to brighten up your look and deter from and tangles and excess oil. Big flower hair bands are always a popular choice but feathers are also proving very popular this year.
  5. Colour craze – when going for a bold colour, it’s important you get this done professionally and with the right care. To help counteract the effects of colouring, a new treatment known as bonding is now available. It is the latest innovative product to hit the hairdressing market and allows the best protection for your hair, helping to mend the structure of the hair.
Stephen Guest, Supercuts’ Technical Educator and Colour Expert, commented: “The bonding treatment is the latest innovative product to hit the market, it allows the best protection for your hair and helps mend the structure of the hair, no matter what the colour service. It gives the hair a healthier smoother and shinier finish that easier to manage throughout festival season.”

Following on from the success of their involvement in the Commonwealth Handover Ceremony; appearing in a scene set to Mr Blue Sky by Jeff Lynne’s ELO, in keeping with the Commonwealth theme The People's Orchestra will be collaborating with Orchestre Philharmonia Mundi de Montreal.

For the first time ever in their history, The People’s Orchestra have invited an overseas orchestra over to perform with them at their next concert “Summer Showcase”. Living their motto, “for the pleasure of making music together,” the Canadian orchestra is filled with musicians of all ages who share their passion for music. Established since 1984 and run by its members; like The People's Orchestra, they provide members with opportunities to perform and rehearse symphonic and orchestral music in grand ensemble with other musicians. Their main goal is to please family, friends and audiences.

25 players from their orchestra will be coming over to perform. The concert will take the artistry of musicians from both orchestras to create an explosion of musical enrichment for the public.

"We're very excited to be welcoming an overseas orchestra to perform with us - this concert will be a first of-its-kind and completely unmissable." - Sarah Marshall, Founder of The People’s Orchestra

"Come and join us! The concert, “Summer Showcase”, takes place on Saturday 4 August 2018 from 7:30PM at West Bromwich Town Hall (Lodge Road, West Midlands. B70 8DY)."

For event information and where to buy tickets, please visit

Brits love nothing more than curling up on the sofa, with popular shows such as Stranger Things, The Crown, Blue Planet and Peaky Blinders providing nail-biting entertainment for the nation. It also seems that Brits have strong ideas on who they want to be curling up and watching these popular shows with.

ScS, the UK leading sofa and carpet specialist, conducted research asking Brits to name the well-known public figures and celebrities that they would most like to binge watch a tv show or movie with.

When it comes to relaxing on the sofa, it turns out that Brits would prefer to watch TV with homegrown talent, with only two of the nation’s favourite sofa celebrities being from across the pond.

ScS asked people across the UK to choose which celebrities or famous media personalities they would most like to relax on the sofa with to watch a popular show or film, the top 10 was revealed to be:

1.     Holly Willoughby

2.     Philip Schofield

3.     David Beckham

4.     Queen Elizabeth II

5.     Jeremy Clarkson

6.     Amanda Holden

7.     Meghan Markle

8.     Donald Trump

9.     Piers Morgan

10.  Scarlett Moffat

As well as some TV favourites such as Scarlett Moffat and Amanda Holden making the list, ScS also found that controversial media characters and sworn enemies Jeremy Clarkson and Piers Morgan both made an appearance. Surprisingly, Donald Trump, the 45th US president also joined the likes of This Morning favourites, Holly and Phil.

Vicki Burns, Communications Executive at ScS, said: “We know the sofa is everyone’s favourite seat in the house, after a long day there is nothing we love more than to sit back and relax with the ones we love to watch a family-favourite show, box set or enjoy the latest must-see film. We wanted to ask the nation which celebrities or well-known public figures they would most like to relax on the sofa with and we certainly had some surprising results.

“It’s no surprise much-loved TV icons such as Holly and Phil made the top ten and even our monarch, Queen Elizabeth, who is celebrating 65 years since her Coronation. However, it was most interesting to see such dividing characters liked Donald Trump, Piers Morgan and Jeremy Clarkson also making the list, suggesting a bit of sofa debate may also have its place.”