Socks and Chocs Comedy Night

When: Monday 17 November, doors at 19:00
Where: Mono Bar, The Arcadian, Hurst Street, B5 4TD
Tickets: £10

Ordinarily we wouldn’t advertise anything taking place outside of Digbeth. However, every once in a while, an exception comes up, and we just can’t say no.

This is one of those exceptions. I’m sure by now that all our readers are aware of our very own Busking Bobby; PC Ian Northcott is based at Digbeth Police Station, and works tirelessly in his spare time to support the city’s homeless. Having forged a strong relationship with SIFA Fireside in Allcock Street, Ian was recently recognised at the Pride of Birmingham awards – and rightly so!

To support Ian’s Socks and Chocs campaign, a charity comedy night has been arranged to take place in November over in neighbouring Southside, featuring:

  • Kane Brown
  • Paul Savage
  • Geoff Norcott
  • Leo Kearse
  • Maureen Younger

ALL the proceeds from this event will be directly used to support the Socks and Chocs campaign; the comedians are performing for free, donating their time to this worthy cause. Please see the flyer below for more information; call 07542 111532 or email socksandchocs@hotmail.com to book your tickets.

If you can’t go but would like to support Ian’s sleeping bag campaign, visit the crowdfunding page to make a donation.

Björk: Biophilia Live at The Giant Screen

When: Monday 3 – Thursday 6 November, daily from 19:30
Where: The Giant Screen, Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Digbeth
Tickets: from £12 (available online here)

Biophilia Live is a concert film created by Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton, capturing the human element of Björk’s eighth studio album, Biophilia.

The film includes an opening documentary narrated by the legendary Sir David Attenborough, and will also feature Björk and her band performing every song from Biophilia, along with some reworked versions of classic songs.

Originally recorded live at London’s Alexandra Palace in September 2013, the performance has already been hailed as “a captivating record of an artist in full command of her idiosyncratic powers”. What’s more, The Giant Screen will be the only cinema in the UK to show Biophilia in a giant screen HD format!

For more information and to purchase tickets before they sell out, visit The Giant Screen website.

Dressing Up and Going Out

When: Friday 31st October
Where: A3 Project Space, Unit A3, 2 Bowyer Street, Digbeth, B10 0SA

Dressing Up and Going Out With Miss Pearl & Miss Mac is the brain child of artist Marlene Smith.

Taking just one photo from her family album as a start and talking point, Marlene will engage people in conversations about friendship, fashion and getting your hair done – culminating in a fabulous party at A3 Project Space!

Booking for this event is essential. For more information and to reserve your place, please email a3projectspace@gmail.com.

So, Not a Lovely War!

When: Saturday 8th November, performance starts at 19:30
Where: The Mockingbird Theatre, Custard Factory, Digbeth
Tickets: from £8 (available online here)

So, Not a Lovely War! is a new production from the Roundabout Theatre Company, featuring a cast of local performers as well as the biggest tin of Cadbury’s chocolate biscuits ration coupons will buy!

With popular songs and music from both wars, the show is set in the wash yard of Deritend’s back-to-backs. It is based on the diaries of Harry Smith who grew up in the area, and his wife Margaret, an auxiliary nurse who helped to rehabilitate shell-shocked men.

The men of Deritend have answered The Call and gone to fight for King and Country in two world wars. Back home in Allcock Street, they leave behind their sweethearts and families.

The production mixes light-hearted and poignant moments, while exploring the development of a support network among the female cast members in the absence of their partners.

For more information about show dates, venues and to book tickets, visit the RTC website.

Sunday Classics at The Spotted Dog

When: every first and third Sunday of the month, from 16:30
Where: The Spotted Dog, 104 Warwick Street, Digbeth, B12 0NH

If you weren’t brought up on classical music, would love to learn more, but feel intimidated by the thought of a classical concert, come to The Spotted Dog this Sunday to hear what it’s all about.

Every first and third Sunday of the month starting this week, a variety of opera singers and musicians (mainly students from Birmingham Conservatoire) will open a new world to you. The event is completely free, but the performers will accept donations.

For more information, see the flyer below.

Completely informal. Stunningly talented performers. Great beer!

NHWN Newsletter – October 2014

Dear members & supporters,

Please find the October 2014 edition of ‘Our News’ (the NHWN 6 weekly e-newsletter) below.

This edition includes:

Eastside Projects – October 2014 Exhibitions

When: Tuesday 28 October, 10:30-12:30
Where: Eastside Projects, 86 Heath Mill Lane, Digbeth, B9 4AR

This half-term, Eastside Projects presents a family workshop suitable for children aged 5-11.

Can you blow it? Can you hit it? Can you pluck it? Can you boing it? Led by musician and artist Sarah Farmer, and inspired by Susan Philipsz’ exhibition, we will turn everyday objects into musical instruments and then collaboratively create our own piece of music in response to the sounds in the gallery.

All children must be accompanied by an adult, and although places are free, booking is essential. Please email james@eastsideprojects.org to reserve your space.

For more information about events taking place at Eastside Projects, see the October event poster below:

Autumn Market at the Bond

When: Saturday 25 October, 12:00–18:00
Where: The Bond Company, 180-182 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5SE
Tickets: £1.50 on the door; kids go free

Seasonal Markets return to The Bond Co this weekend, with an autumn market celebrating the best of Birmingham’s food, drink and artists.

There will be real ale offerings, a cocktail bar, live DJs, barge-based traders moored up along the canal, and an indoor market hall of artisan food producers, local artists and designers. In addition, the courtyard will be taken over by street food vendors, including:

  • Becky’s Bhajis
  • Jabberwocky
  • Original Patty Men
  • Low’n’Slow
  • Big Daddies Diner
  • Habanero Cafe
  • Fire and Slice Pizza

This season, the market will also feature two fringe events: a cocktail masterclass delivered by The Shack Revolution, which was recently featured on Channel 4’s First Time Farmers, and an afternoon tea.

Plans for a winter market are already taking shape, but for more information about this season, visit the Facebook event page.

Digbeth Community Garden Meeting‏

When: Saturday 25th October, 10:00-12:00
Where: Digbeth Community Garden, Shaw’s Passage (or inside Birmingham Friends of the Earth depending on the weather)

The newly formed Digbeth Community Garden is having a meeting this Saturday; please see an agenda below.

Although the garden has some very some dedicated volunteers, the plan is for the space to have a wide variety of uses and users in the future.

The volunteers are looking for potential stakeholders to come and share ideas and help and advise on how they would like the garden to be used. If you are unable to come to the meeting but have some suggestions, please email them to digbethcommunitygarden@gmail.com.

The Digbeth Kid comes home!

When: Thursday 23 October, 21:00 onwards
Where: The Spotted Dog, 104 Warwick Street, Digbeth, B12 0NH

By now, I’m sure all our readers are fully aware of our community screenings of Peaky Blinders at the Spotted Dog in Digbeth. Tomorrow’s screening, however, will be a bit special… Read on to learn more!

Last week saw the introduction, and (*spoiler alert*) demise of The Digbeth Kid. We exclusively uncovered the appearance of the character way back in April from Steven Knight, so after six months of waiting we were slightly disappointed his outing was so brief.

Needless to say, the character was well received, spawning his own spoof Twitter account (@DigbethKid) within minutes of the airing of the show, and adoration from none other than Annabelle Wallis, who played Tommy’s love interest Grace:

Our sister site Digbeth is Good spoke to James Eeles, who played The Digbeth Kid, and asked him a few questions about his turn in Peaky Blinders:

Digbeth is Good: Hi James, thanks for talking to Digbeth is Good! Let’s start at the very beginning: what was your audition experience like?
James Eeles: The audition process was surprisingly simple, in the fact I only did one! I auditioned for the part at the very start of the year, and with it being one of my first professional auditions, I was pretty nervous. I was called into a small room, I met the casting director and the director (Colm McCarthy). I did my audition piece, which was the snug scene from the episode, I was asked a couple of questions about where I was from originally, and then I was on my way. I didn’t hear anything for a good month or so, and thought “well that was a cool experience, maybe I’ll get the next part”. Then bam – I got a call from my agent telling me I’d got the part! Next thing I was off to Manchester to film.

DiG: There has been talk about the sometimes ‘questionable’ Brummie accents on the show. Did you struggle with it, or did you end up helping the other actors?!
JE: As I’m from Kidderminster, just ‘down the road’, and since my mum is a Brummie, I didn’t struggle with the accent at all. There was no problem with anyone else’s accents – if there had been, being the new boy I’d have probably kept my mouth shut!

James with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders

DiG: Did you feel like the new boy on set?
JE: It was a bit surreal and also quite daunting! Things like seeing inside of the new Garrison, and the new look Shelby betting rooms. I’m used to acting in a theatre with an audience watching – not having a director, crew and a camera right in your face. At one point I was standing with Paul Anderson (Arthur) and Cillian Murphy (Tommy) cracking jokes about my wooden gun and quoting lines from The Other Guys. You may be interested to know that my death scene took only one take!

DiG: You mention Paul and Cillian – did you get any tips from your co-stars?
JE: I didn’t get any tips, but I was made to feel right at home. Being shown around the set and getting compliments on my acting from the stars of a critically acclaimed TV series is something you can’t complain about!

DiG: Did you know much about Digbeth before the show? Did you do any research on the area after getting the role?
JE: I’ve been to Digbeth a number of times for gigs, and I’ve also been to the Spotted Dog before.

DiG: Finally, do you have any gossip you can share with us?!
JE: Unfortunately no spoilers to tell – I’m now just as clueless as you! But can I say that the response to the character has been brilliant; it’s been so nice reading all the RIP tweets and seeing mentions of the Digbeth Kid in reviews!

Huge thanks to James for talking to us – he may have shouted “I’m not real!” in the show, but he’s certainly the real deal to us! But that’s not all folks: if you want to meet a real life Peaky Blinder, you better get down to the Spotted Dog tomorrow. That’s right, James will be there to watch the next instalment of the show with us in the cosy atmosphere of a Digbeth local!

Who said we never do anything for our members? This is your opportunity to rub shoulders with a star from not only Digbeth, but Birmingham’s favourite series. See you there!