Colors: Red Color

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy®-winning singer and songwriter Ozzy Osbourne has been forced to postpone the entire UK and European leg of his “NO MORE TOURS 2” tour on doctors’ orders.

This follows the announcement that Osbourne was postponing the first four dates of the tour because of the flu. After seeing his physician again, Osbourne has been diagnosed with a severe upper-respiratory infection which the doctor feels could develop into pneumonia given the physicality of the live performances and an extensive travel schedule throughout Europe in harsh winter conditions.

Statement from Ozzy “I’m completely devastated for having to postpone the European leg of my tour. It just seems that since October everything I touch has turned to shit. First the staph infection in my thumb and now coming down with the flu and bronchitis. I want to apologize to all of my fans who have been so loyal over the years, my band, my crew and to Judas Priest for letting you all down. However, I promise the tour with Judas Priest will be completed. It’s being rescheduled right now to start in September. Again, I apologize to everyone. God Bless. Love you all, Ozzy.”

A new date for the postponed Resorts World Arena show will be confirmed in due course.

Following the GRAMMY’s, where Sting and Shaggy were awarded Best Reggae Album for their collaborative UK Top Ten hit record 44/876, the pair have announced their return to the UK with ‘The 44/876 Tour.’  A series of intimate and exclusive shows will begin at London’s Camden Roundhouse this May 19th with additional dates in Newcastle, Birmingham and Manchester.

2018 saw the duo bring ‘The 44/876 Tour’ to North America, South America and Eastern Europe. Hailed “one of the most anticipated concerts of the year” and “a reggae rock dance party that never lets up,” the show sees the pair collaborating on each other’s most celebrated hits such as ‘Every Breath You Take,’ ‘Englishman In New York,’ ‘Message In A Bottle,’ ‘It Wasn’t Me,’ ‘Mr. Boombastic’ and ‘Angel,’ as well as new hits from 44/876, which was awarded the 2019 GRAMMY for Best Reggae Album.

In Spring of 2018, Sting amd Shaggy made UK headlines with a memorable performance of ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ at Queen Elizabeth’s 92nd birthday celebration at the Royal Albert Hall. The track also featured on their collaborative Top Ten album release, dubbed ‘fantastically catchy.’ The pair also performed the track live on BBC’s The One Show, and in the latest series of ‘Mrs. Browns Boys.’

2018 also saw the release of ‘Skank Up (Oh Lawd),’ a further collaboration from Sting & Shaggy that featured dancehall music sensation Ding Dong. The pair’s latest music video, ‘Gotta Get Back My Baby’ is available to watch here. 2019 will also soon see the release of the pair’s next single, ‘Just One Lifetime.’

Sting and Shaggy will be joined on The 44/876 Tour by Sting’s longtime collaborators Dominic Miller (guitar), Josh Freese (drums) and Rufus Miller (guitar), as well as Shaggy’s band members Melissa Musique (backing vocals), Gene Noble (backing vocals) and Kevon Webster (keyboards).

Enjoy a very special evening with Don Powell, the charismatic drummer of Black Country rock legends Slade!

Ably assisted by rock giant’s Poet Laureate Paul Cookson and singer/songwriter Les Glover, you can expect conversation, poetry, music, and a trip down memory lane with some exclusive insights into the music and life with arguably the best 'live' band of all time.

Born in Bilston, Powell, who started drumming on a borrowed Olympic kit as a youngster, wsa a member of the band who dominated the UK charts during the early 1970s, outperforming chart rivals such as WizzardSweetT. RexSuzi QuatroMudSmokieGary GlitterRoxy Music and David Bowie – with more singles in the UK than any other group of the 1970s. In 1973 alone, ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ sold over one million copies globally, obtaining gold disc status.

He later released his biography ‘Look Wot I Dun - My Life in Slade’ - Oh, and watch out for a world exclusive.. or two!

Join Don at The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton on Friday 18 October 2019.

 

Blue Planet II – Live In Concert – the highly anticipated arena tour from the BAFTA Award winning television series – launches on February 12 and includes concerts in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium, before arriving at Resorts World Arena, Birmingham on March 16.

The concert will take highlight sequences from across the series, each introduced by host Anita Rani live on stage, supported by the emotive orchestral accompaniment of the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra who will be performing Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and David Fleming’s immersive score, conducted by Matthew Freeman.

Blue Planet II – Live In Concert will transport you, via the gigantic 4K Ultra HD LED screen and through the power of music, deep underwater for two hours of drama, entertainment, stunning visuals and majestic orchestrations.

Watch surfing dolphins, powerful killer whales and the beautiful clownfish in breathtaking musical sequences. The tentacles of jellyfish and octopus fill the screen while the ‘boiling sea’ Spinner Baitball sequence features a who’s who of amazing ocean predators in a wild feeding frenzy.

The dramatic music brings the oceans to life as the audience are immersed in an emotional journey of glorious beauty, nail-biting tension, tranquil relaxation and profound questioning of how human action is affecting our marine families.

Conductor Matthew Freeman says: “Seeing the footage in these huge arenas on an enormous LED screen, with all that colour and those underwater worlds so closely photographed, accompanied by a 64-piece orchestra and a 16-voice choir through a huge, state-of-the-art PA system, it really is a phenomenal and powerful experience. We have extraordinary visuals, heightened with music that takes the viewer to another level. It’s really quite emotional.”

In addition to conducting the likes of Mozart, Rossini and Sibelius with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Albert Hall, Matthew is also the Musical Supervisor of the Olivier Award-nominated musical The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas, which has toured the world and had repeated West End success. He’s also worked as musical director for Dame Shirley Bassey and produced and arranged huge orchestral productions of work by ABBA, Queen and George Michael amongst many others.

The world’s most beloved tenor,Andrea Bocelli, is delighted to announce that the queen of British Soul Beverley Knight will join him on his highly anticipated upcoming headline tour this autumn, which includes a date at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena.

2019 sees Beverley celebrate an incredible 25 years as a major performing and recording artist, which includes selling over a million albums in the UK alone. Knight is also a successful West End star, having performed in The Bodyguard, Memphis and Cats.

Andrea Bocelli rounded 2018 off in style with sell-out shows in London and Dublin, as well as achieving his first number one in the UK album charts. The release of his highly anticipated 16-track album ‘Si’ gave Bocelli his first UK number one album, which was also the first classical number one in The Official Album Charts.

 

‘Si’ is Bocelli’s first all-new material album in 14 years – billed as “a celebration of love, family, faith and hope”. ‘Si’ features tracks co-written with Ed Sheeran and Tiziano Ferro as well as duets with Dua Lipa, fellow contemporary classical star Josh Groban and soprano Aida Garifullina. The album also sees Bocelli’s 20-year old son Matteo collaborate with him on the track ‘Fall On Me’ which appears on the soundtrack to the upcoming Disney movie, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

Reportedly the biggest selling solo classical artist of all time with over 80 million worldwide album sales, Bocelli has performed for four US Presidents, two Popes and many Royal families across the world, as well as at high-profile ceremonies for the Olympic Games and the World Cup. The Maestro has countless music awards to his name over the past 25 years in music and even boasts a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which he received in 2010 for his contribution to live theatre.

Bocelli is acclaimed worldwide as one of the most accomplished representatives of Italy’s finest vocal tradition, his rich and unique voice being one of the most distinctive of all time. The tenor actively supports numerous philanthropic causes furthering medical and scientific research, tackling poverty, as well as promoting compulsory primary education worldwide.

His 2019 date in Birmingham will showcase songs from Bocelli’s latest album as well as a wide repertoire from across his previous 15 studio albums, and is set to be one of the most hotly anticipated live performances of 2019.

Singer/songwriter Tom Walker wowed students and lecturers alike as he roared into South & City College Birmingham’s Digbeth campus to mark the college’s new partnership with record label Relentless, with the BRIT nominee appearing as one of the most charismatic, approachable and engaging music stars you are likely to see.

Up for ‘Best Breakthrough Act’ Glasgow-born, Mancunian, Tom – whose label include the like of So Solid Crew, Professor Green Nadia Rose and KT Tunstall - was well on tact with a short snippet of some of his great hits, including; ‘Just You & I,’ ‘Walk Alone,’ ‘Leave A Light On’ and ‘Just You And I’ which went down a treat with a packed college auditorium.

“I hope our partnership might even unearth the next Tom Walker right here at South & City College,” said a delighted College Principal, Mike Hopkins.

Stopping off on his way to appear and perform on BBC’s Live Lounge, Walker, who cites influences ranging from Ray Charles to Muddy Waters and even-up-and-coming London artist Ray BLK, signed to Relentless Records not long after securing management interest from Covert Talent Management.

A triple-bill of classic movies starring Laurel and Hardy, the greatest double-act of all time, is to be screened at Stourbridge Town Hall on Sunday 7 April 2019.

The Very Best of Laurel and Hardy features three films by Stan and Ollie, whose comedy adventures continue to delight audiences the world over, 80 years after they were produced.

Presented by Birmingham Comedy Festival the screening includes The Music Box, which won the 1932 Academy Award for Best Comedy Short and sees the two famously struggling to deliver a piano, and 1928's silent masterpiece, The Finishing Touch.

Concluding the bill is 1933's Sons of The Desert which finds 'The Boys' hatching a cunning plan to deceive their wives so they can attend a lodge convention in Chicago.

The films will be introduced by John Ullah, Grand Sheik of The Laughing Gravy Tent (the Birmingham branch of the international Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Society), and author of 'This Is More Than I Can Stand,' the biography of Birmingham-born Laurel and Hardy co-star Charlie Hall.

John said: “Come and enjoy Laurel and Hardy in three of their best loved films – spanning their work from silent, to talkies to feature film.  With some classic slapstick, iconic moments, and plenty of laughs.”

Alex Jackson, booker for Dudley Borough Halls, said: "We’re delighted to be working with the excellent Birmingham Comedy Festival again following the sell-out success of last year’s Lost Hancocks show in Stourbridge."

The bowler hat-wearing Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were two of cinema's greatest stars. First paired in the late 1920s, they made over 100 screen appearances together before retiring in the 1950s. Still popular today, the story of the duo's farewell tour is recounted in the new film, the BAFTA-nominated Stan and Ollie, starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly.

Caribbean-styled carnival culture has now grown to state of popularity where it is embraced by millions across the globe and transcends all ages, races, geographical backgrounds and sexual orientations. Nadelle Lewis has been making major strides to ensure that Carnival remains inclusive and accessible to women of various body shapes and sizes via her body-positive #everyBODYplayahmas movement.

Over the past few years, Nadelle who wears many hats including plus-sized model, event coordinator, project manager, entrepreneur and advocate has been strategically utilizing this movement to champion the cause of Inclusion, Body Acceptance & Full-Figured Representation in the international Carnival industry.

The Toronto-based beauty has graced numerous international catwalks, broken ground as pioneer plus-sized model at Canadian Carnival band launches and is a steadfast lover and participant in Carnival parades and festivities throughout the Caribbean and North-America.

Her current mission with this body-positive movement is to encourage more full-figured representation in all Carnival-related media, marketing materials and band launch runways, to challenge public perception and insensitivity regarding curvier masqueraders and to promote a confident self-image and support for women of all sizes in their desire to participate in the liberating experience of playing mas.

The momentum of #everyBODYplayahmas has been rippling across the region, diaspora and Carnival-loving world, as Nadelle continues to spread her message of diversity in Caribbean carnivals via her web and social media platforms.

She shared, “It is disheartening when people, especially women, feel that they have to look like those that are showcased in popular marketing materials in order to participate and play mas.”

#everyBODYplayahmas has so far received positive feedback from the public and support from the carnival industry for its realistic depiction of masqueraders. It has gained many followers who frequently use the hashtag online, as the community is viewed as an inclusive safe-space for women to unite, share their stories, embrace their beauty and accept their flaws without public shaming or self-criticism.

As corporate entities like Dove, Sports Illustrated, and Mattel (makers of Barbie) have embraced a message of inclusion with the branding of their products, the dynamic and determined Nadelle considers #everyBODYplayahmas to be an integral asset to Carnival mas bands in their incorporation of more diverse product branding strategies and their changing the way women view their bodies.

In addition to mas bands & designers, for 2019 #everyBODYplayahmas will be partnering and collaborating with several similar-minded Carnival-based businesses such as Carnival Concierges, Carnival tights, footwear, Monday wear & accessories creators and distributors.

Look out for Nadelle and the #everyBODYplayahmas ambassadors at several international festival events which include Carnivals in T&T, Jamaica, Bermuda, the US, Canada, Europe and the famous Ubersoca Cruise. Nadelle and team are always open to connecting and networking with persons around the globe who are interested in joining the movement.

WV Active will be holding its first Fitness Fest event of the year at WV Active Bilston–Bert Williams this weekend.

People are invited to join in with free fitness activities including Les Mills classes, new track releases and exciting giveaways on Saturday (12 January, 2019).

The free classes on offer include Body Pump, Body Attack, Body Balance and Les Mills Tone.

The New Year party-themed event runs from 9am-2pm and those attending are asked to wear black and white sports attire. Free tickets are available now and can be collected from the reception desks at WV Active Bilston–Bert Williams, WV Active Aldersley and WV Active Central.

Councillor Steve Evans, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: “Gyms are always popular at this time of year, and WV Active’s Fitness Fest gives our existing members and non-members the chance to see what our leisure centres have to offer and try out our classes for free.

“I would encourage people to make the most of the activities on offer at this fantastic event.”

The Fitness Fest is open to existing WV Active members as well as those who aren’t already members of the City of Wolverhampton Council-run leisure centres.

He can fly! Thanks to Birmingham’s ‘Bear Grylls Adventure,’ Peter Pan was given the opportunity to soar high in the sky without the use of pixie dust.

Cast members from Birmingham Hippodrome’s spectacular pantomime, ‘Peter Pan’ took to the iFly wind tunnel which simulates the experience of freefalling at 12,000 feet before plunging out the rear of a landed helicopter down an exhilarating zipline.

Union J band member, Jaymi Hensley, who plays Peter Pan in the production, was joined by Cassie Compton (Wendy), Kellie Gnauck (Tinkerbell) and Walsall’s own Imogen Brooke (Tiger Lily).

‘The Bear Gryll’s Adventure’ features a number of headline activities that replicate some of Bear’s incredible adventures including indoor skydiving, climbing walls with routes replicating famous mountain terrains including El Capitan and Fontainebleau, the highest high ropes course in Europe, and diving with sharks. Visit beargryllsadventure.com/ticketsfor further information and to buy tickets.

‘Peter Pan’ runs at Birmingham Hippodrome until Sunday January 27

As part of the third Wolverhampton Literature Festival from Friday, February 1 to Sunday, February 3 there will be theatre and performances taking place across the city’s venues.

Audiences can join in the theatre Podcast with Richard Herring at Bilston Town Hall, or the Arena Theatre’s Wolves Lit Fest Open Mic Hubs are providing safe places for people to perform regardless of previous experience.

There is also a range of performances that look at war, Indian heritage and how women are perceived in industry.

Bantock House will play host to ‘Ian Douglas: Travelling Tales’ and ‘Crispin Ridge: A Message from the Sea by Charles Dickens’, while Wolf Fringe Room presents ‘Alex McSherry: The Tanner’s Tale’, as well as ‘Carol Caffrey: Music for Dogs’, at the Lych Gate Tavern.

‘Dr Dolittle’ is running at the Grand Theatre and Central Youth Theatre will be presenting ‘The Rebel Against Injustice’ at City Archives, Molineux Hotel Building.

The festival will also see the launch of a new and exciting heritage project, ‘Nritya: Collecting the Story of Indian Dance in the Black Country 1960-2000’, created by Jai Jashn Dance, who in December received a National Lottery grant of £30,500.

Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Nritya explores the heritage of Indian dance (classical and traditional) in the Midlands. Over the next year, Wolverhampton Art Gallery will be collecting and documenting the largely unwritten and unrecorded story of Indian dance, focusing especially on the Black Country between 1960-2000 for an exhibition and a festival weekend of Indian dance at the Art Gallery and Arena Theatre in early summer 2020.

Anyone interested in helping with interviews and making contact with individuals who have memories to share for the archive should please contact Jai Jashn Dance on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, said: “Theatre and live performance are a vital part of storytelling, and we are delighted to have a range of workshops to enhance and develop these key skills, as well as performances that will enable people to enjoy this year’s literature festival.

“I am also delighted that Jai Jashn Dance has been awarded funding and has chosen the festival to launch Nritya, which all are welcome to.”

Renowned herpetologist Professor Mark O’Shea made a special guest appearance on Channel 4 show Sunday Brunch this weekend

The University of Wolverhampton Professor of Herpetology talked about his career and his latest tome The Book of Snakes – a Life-size Guide to Six Hundred Species around the World.

The popular collectors' book offers insight into the almost one-in-six of all snake species known, for both enthusiasts and scholars, utilising Professor O'Shea's expertise from a career spanning more than 50 years, undertaking fieldwork in almost 50 countries.

His interview on the popular cookery and chat show recounted his many experiences. He has worked on numerous tropical expeditions, including snakebite research projects, including co-leading a team recording new species in Timor-Leste, Asia’s newest country. His most recent expedition was to catch and milk highly venomous snakes in Myanmar (Burma) for a snakebite and anti-venom production project.

Professor O'Shea said: "I was delighted to be asked to appear in the ‘expert slot’ on Sunday Brunch and the team made me very welcome. It also meant I did not have to cook! The Book of Snakes has sold really well and I enjoyed having the opportunity to discuss it in more detail."

Professor O’Shea has authored six books on herpetology and a plethora of scientific articles. He is also Consultant Curator of Reptiles at West Midland Safari Park.

The reptile expert was also recently honoured by having a snake named after him. The Asian pipesnake Cylindrophis osheai, pronounced oh-shay-eye, can be referred to colloquially as O’Shea’s pipesnake and was found in Boano Island, near Seram in Indonesia.

Continuing to add to the already star-studded line-up, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism announced that Buju Banton will be performing at the 23rd Annual St. Kitts Music Festival, which will take place on June 26-30, 2019. He joins previously announced popular artists Smokey Robinson, French Montana, Popcaan, and Davido. “It is very exciting to have Buju Banton join the roster for the 2019 St. Kitts Music Festival,” said Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant. “Having such a renowned dancehall artist only enhances the mix of top international acts, local performers and regional talent across a broad range of musical styles that helps the event appeal to a diverse audience.” Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “Our annual Music Festival has become a verified driver for travel to St. Kitts specifically to attend the event, boosting arrivals from key source markets during our off-peak season. The addition of Buju Banton to the roster this year will only increase the Festival's already strong appeal.” For many years, the name Buju Banton (a.k.a. Gargamel) has become synonymous with modern reggae. Having metamorphosed from a brash teenage phenomenon into a self-assured deejay and singer, Buju's fusion of traditional roots rock, contemporary R&B and dancehall DJ'ing have earned him a prophet-like status in his Jamaican homeland. Having hit the charts there suddenly in 1992 with a string of hits including "Bogle," "Love Me Browning" and "Love Black Woman," Banton soon thereafter released one of the more controversial songs in his musical catalogue, "Boom Boom Bye Bye." His 2010 album, Before the Dawn, won Best Reggae Album of the year at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards. Now entering its 23rd year, the St. Kitts Music Festival attracts both locals and visitors alike. It features a wide range of musical styles on the popular market, including R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Gospel and Contemporary music. Past artists have included such prominent acts as John Legend, The Goo Goo Dolls, Lionel Richie, Jason Derulo, Trey Songz, Patti LaBelle, Michael Bolton, R. City, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Wyclef Jean, Ne-Yo, Air Supply, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Shaggy, Kelly Rowland, Tarrus Riley, Jah Cure, Tessanne Chin, Toni Braxton, Sean Paul, Boyz II Men, King Konris, Stephen Marley, Maxi Priest, Beres Hammond, and Biggie Irie.

Michelin star restaurant Purnells had an unexpected furry visitor this week when the star of Town Hall Symphony Hall’s Christmas show, The Tiger Who Came to Tea came to visit.

Along with the rest of the cast, the Tiger sat down for a spot of tea and petit fours with Celebrity Chef Glynn Purnell, ahead of the show’s run starting at Town Hall next week.

Speaking after the visit, Glynn Purnell said; It was fantastic to be able to welcome The Tiger Who Came to Tea company to Purnell’s for tea! I wrote my first children’s book The Magical Adventures of Whoops the Wonder Dog this year, and it would be incredible to imagine it being as well loved and held in the same high regard as the classic that is The Tiger Who Came to Tea. It was extra special to be able to invite the cast to the restaurant in what is the 50th anniversary of the book, and the 10th anniversary of the play. I can’t wait to take my family to Town Hall Birmingham over the festive period to see my tea party guests on stage!

The Tiger Who Came to Tea runs from Wednesday 26th December – Sunday 13th January.

To mark the opening of Peter Pan, Birmingham Hippodrome and Qdos Entertainment have released the first images of this year’s all-star headline cast on stage in costume.

Peter Pan stars Jimmy Osmond as Captain Hook, Meera Syal as the Magical Mermaid, Matt Slack as Smee and Jaymi Hensley as Peter Pan.

Packed to the crows-nest with laugh-out-loud comedy and spectacular special effects, costumes and sets, Birmingham’s high-flying pantomime adventure is set to be another awfully big adventure.

Peter Pan runs from Wed 19 Dec 2018 - Sun 27 Jan 2019

Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The REP) is celebrating a hat-trick of West End successes as three of its productions are playing in London this month.  And they all happen to be Christmas shows.

Nativity! The Musical originally premiered at The REP in October 2017 and opens at the Eventim Apollo on 19 December. Patrick Barlow’s The Messiah opened in Birmingham this October and is now running at The Other Palace; and the theatre’s long-running production of The Snowman is currently celebrating its 21st consecutive season at The Peacock.

All three shows were produced, built and premiered by The REP and success of them is part of the theatre’s focus to extend the life and profile of the work made in Birmingham.

Stuart Rogers, Executive Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre explains:

“The REP now priorities securing a future life beyond Birmingham for as many of its productions as possible, often through coproducing with commercial producers, other regional theatres or touring companies.

“We have one of the best-equipped production facilities and a group of highly-skilled carpenters/metalworkers, scenic artists, costume makers, lighting and sound technicians all housed in the building and can therefore offer a high-quality one-stop shop in which to create the new shows of the highest quality.

“We’re delighted to have three productions running simultaneously in London throughout December. We hope that both The Messiah and Nativity! The Musical go on to have as long and successful Christmas lives as The Snowman has enjoyed”

This remarkable run of Christmas shows isn’t just limited to those that have made it into the West End.  In Birmingham, The REP’s 2018 Christmas show, The Wizard of Oz, directed by Liam Steel, has enjoyed critical success and is currently playing to packed houses until 13 January 2019.

In January, the theatre’s long-running production of The Snowman returns home to Birmingham marking the show’s 25th anniversary.  Since its opening in 1993, this much-loved show has played to 1.9million people around the world and made a significant contribution to the theatre’s income.

Other recent Birmingham Repertory Theatre co-productions that have gone on to have future lives beyond Birmingham include Chris Hannan’s play, What Shadows starring Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powell, Emma Rice’s Brief Encounter which enjoyed a West End run earlier this year and a European tour of Calixto Bieito’s The String Quartet’s Guide To Sex and Anxiety. Plans are currently underway to tour the theatre’s productions of Penguins and The Lovely Bones to the States in 2019 / 20.