Saturday, 22 October 2016

Marco Pierre White unveils new cookbook at his Birmingham Chophouse restaurant at Hotel La Tour

The Godfather of British cuisine, Marco Pierre White, will be doing an exclusive book signing in Birmingham for the launch of his latest cookbook, Essentially Marco.

Marco will be at his Chophouse restaurant at Hotel La Tour between 11am – 1.45pm on Friday 28th October and fans are being invited to pop along for the official book signing.

The book, which Marco describes as being “perfect for the home cook”, is yet to be released in the UK, meaning guests will be some of the first to get their hands on the new book.

As well as the book signing, the restaurant has also created a special package for guests to meet Marco, receive a signed-copy of his book and enjoy a delicious three-course lunch, for just £50.00 per head.

Recently launched in the UAE, Essentially Marco, takes a step back from the haute cuisine that saw him make a name for himself, and draws on generous food made for sharing around the dinner table, including some of his comfort food favourites and restaurant classics.

Sharing his unique know-how, culinary wisdom, and heaps of cooking tricks and tips, Marco serves a feast of easy-to-make dishes, stripping away the time-consuming elements of professional cooking.

Commenting on his new cookbook, Marco said: “The idea behind Essentially Marco is to show people that they don’t need to be a professional chef in order to create delicious and hearty dishes that can feed the whole family.

“A lot of the dishes I cover in my latest cookbook can be easily prepared at home, and guests at Chophouse will be able to experience some of these cooking techniques during my visit.”

Jane Riley, Operations Director at Mr. White’s English Chophouse at Hotel La Tour, said: “It’s an absolute honour to be a part of the launch of Marco’s latest cookbook, and I’m sure guests will relish the opportunity to meet Marco, and take home a signed copy of the book before it has been released in the UK.

“Diners will also have the chance to enjoy a delicious three-course meal, so it is definitely not one to be missed for food lovers and Marco Pierre White fans alike.”

The special book-signing and lunch event with Marco takes place from 11am – 1.45pm on Friday 28th October. For more information and to book your place, please call 0121 718 8000 or email

Performance for people with learning difficulties at the Belgrade this half term

HighTime in rehearsal for Cinderella

The Belgrade Theatre are collaborating with HighTime to stage a production of Cinderella this half-term, specifically designed to cater for those with learning disabilities. HighTime, the first professional opera company to be based in Coventry, creates exciting new work for people who would never normally go and see an opera. They are working with the theatre to produce the first ever ‘relaxed performance’ to come to the Belgrade.

A relaxed performance is a show where the conditions have been changed to accommodate for those who might find a traditional theatre environment uncomfortable or intimidating. Audience members are issued with information about the theatre and the show in advance so there are no surprises. Some lighting states have been altered, the house lights are left on, noise is welcome and the doors are left open for people to come and go if they need to. The conditions have been developed specifically with autistic and SEND people in mind, although all are welcome.

Artistic Director, Felicity Green was inspired to create this by a young audience member. “Last year, we performed Hansel and Gretel at the Belgrade, an audience member approached me saying they had brought her autistic son to the show to see his brother perform. They had fully expected him to be uninterested in the production, and had brought his iPad and headphones. They were surprised to find him rapt, saying that he couldn’t take his eyes of the performance. We took him backstage to meet the cast and his reaction was one of total awe. It made me think about the power of music and theatre to inspire young people. I want to give the same chance to people who might be more comfortable in a relaxed setting, to reach as many people in Coventry as possible who might not normally attend.”

She continued, “Cinderella is the most fantastic first opera. The characters are hilarious and larger than life and the music is incredibly catchy – the tunes stay in your head for days! We’ve taken the well-loved story and given it a twist – it’s set in Hollywood’s Golden Era! Cinderella is a budding star who is made to run around after her (talentless) diva sisters, and Prince Charming is the screen star of the moment. It’s very glitzy and glamorous take on a classic!”

HighTime was founded in 2014 by Artistic and Executive Directors Felicity Green and Benjamin Hamilton. They aim to fuse sublime music with ambitious theatre, to create extraordinary experiences which truly resonate in the 21st century. The company is part of the Belgrade Theatre’s Springboard Initiative which was set up to support emerging theatre companies and artists by providing training opportunities, office space at the theatre, mentoring and support with communications, fundraising and staging their production or events at the theatre.

The relaxed performance of Cinderella will take place on Friday 28 October at 2.30pm in the Belgrade Theatre’s B2 auditorium. Tickets are available now by calling the Belgrade’s Box Office team on 024 7655 3055 or visit

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The Job Show Birmingham

Over 600 jobs and apprenticeships on offer as

 The Job Show™ Birmingham returns!

The Job Show™ Birmingham returns this Thursday (17th March 2016) with over 600 job and apprenticeship opportunities on offer from dozens of exhibitors from around the region.

This free-to-enter event will take place at Aston Villa Football Club held between 10.30pm and 3pm. The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Raymond Geoffrey Hassall will be launching the event and will be meeting exhibitors and visitors alike.

Victoria Clarke, Director of The Job Showsaid; ‘We are delighted to be back in Birmingham and with so many job opportunities, especially as the show is held during ‘National Apprenticeship Week’ the opportunities are endless for young people seeking apprenticeships as well as top recruiters in the area showcasing their current recruitment drive. This event is ideal for those already employed looking to improve their career prospects, train for a new career or for young people seeking apprenticeships. We are confident The Job Show™ Birmingham will have something for everyone.’’

One of the exhibitors offering apprenticeships is Hayley Swann, Business Development Manager for Busy Bees Nursery Academy who said:  We are pleased to be attending The Job Show Birmingham on Thursday. Busy Bees Early Years Training Academy provides first class apprenticeship training in childcare and catering. We are currently recruiting for young people who are buzzing with potential and enthusiasm for pursuing a career in either one of our own nursery sites or one of the many other nursery settings we work with outside of our group.  If you are an employer looking to recruit an apprentice or a young person passionate about working with children we want to speak to you!

Exhibitors include: Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Terraquest, Catertech, National Express Bus, David Lloyd Leisure, JLT Group, Care Today Parallel Parents, Busy Bees Nursery, The Apprenticeship Centre, The Princes Trust, 3’AAA’s Training, Best Choice Training, National Careers Service offering advice and CV workshop to name a few...

Jobs on offer include:   Health, Social & Child Care:  Registered Nurses, Healthcare Assistants, Care Support Workers,  Non Clinical Support Staff, Qualified Early Years Educators, Room Managers, Nursery Assistants, Foster Care Customer Service:  Customer Advisors,  Customer Service Managers, Account Handlers  Finance, Scientific, Marketing & IT : Digital Marketing, GIS Technicians, Project Managers, Planning Officers, Software Developers, Service desk Analysts, Data Specialists, Travel, Leisure & Hospitality: Bus Drivers, Retail, Personal Trainers, Lifeguards, Sales,  Cleaners and much more  

There will also be a dedicated  Apprenticeship, Training and Back to Work Centre containing many apprenticeships for 18-24 year olds such as Customer Service Apprenticeship, Business & Administration, Performing Manufacturing, Operation Apprenticeship, Logistic Operations, Team leading, Management, Construction: Maintenance Operations, Interior Systems, Plastering, Painting & decorating, Roof Slating and Tiling, Ground Work, Carpentry. Business & Accounts:  Business Admin, Web & Social Media, Financial Services. Other: Engineering, Nursery Teachers – plus a CV workshop throughout the day led by The National Careers Service.

The Job Show Peterborough & Cambridgeshire will be the latest in a long line of successful events around the country that gather together the region’s best employers, recruitment agencies, training providers, universities, colleges, and organisations. The events take place at premier football clubs such as Arsenal FC, Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Chelsea FC, West Ham FC, Tottenham FC, Leicester City FC, Liverpool FC, Leeds FC and Man United FC.

For further information, please visit the website where you can register to attend. Alternatively, if you would like further information or you are representing a company and want to book stand space at our upcoming shows please contact Victoria on 01733 555717 or e-mail

Driver Vacancy - Health Exchange, Birmingham

Dear Colleague,

Health Exchange is looking for a Driver and Health Checker…£16000 - £18525 full time, based at Avoca Court Digbeth

The role is as follows

A driver is required for all our driving requirements using our Van and Mobile Unit. Transporting goods between office locations and to events. The role will also require undertaking risk assessments with the appropriate lead for any events the mobile is booked. Driving and setting up of the mobile unit for events, and conducting health checks and Smoking cessation service whilst the event is taking place. Before closing down and returning the mobile back to storage.
The role will  also be responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles and taking them into the garage for routine MOT and ad-hoc repairs. The job description for this will be supplied to interested applicants.

Apply to me by email

By 21st March 2016


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Come and see the largest display of outdoor artwork in Herefordshire

Artwork by students from the Robert Owen Academy

A large display of unique and impressive artwork from Herefordshire students will be officially launched in the city of Hereford on Monday 21 March at 4pm.
The artwork, which has been developed using the theme Hereford 2020, depicts the student’s own interpretation of how the city will look in four years’ time. The artwork will be displayed on the hoardings in Widemarsh Street and Merton Meadow Car Park. The hoardings are in situ to enable demolition of buildings on the footprint of the City Link Road.
The project has seen Herefordshire Council working in partnership with Hereford College of Arts and twelve county secondary schools. Balfour Beatty Living Places has sponsored the materials and installation of the artwork. The project has given an opportunity to engage with young people and develop their understating of the development of the site and the changes planned to its landscape by the year 2020. We will continue to involve local schools through the life of the project.
The City Link Road is being jointly funded through the Local Enterprise Partnerships’ Growth Fund and from the council’s capital programme. Demolition works and site clearance along the line of the road are nearing completion and the main road works contract is due to commence in June.  This scheme follows on from the retail quarter which was the first phase of the regeneration of the old Edgar Street Grid site and will enable the development of 800 new homes in the heart of the city.
The artwork will be officially opened by Maxine Williams, schools activities coordinator, HCA and Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet member economy and corporate services.

Joe Bonamassa plays 3 UK concerts ahead of NEW ALBUM 'Blues of Desperation'

Photo Credit: © Marty Moffat
Internationally renowned guitarist and singer-songwriter, Joe Bonamassa plays three UK concerts this month, leading up to the release of his new studio album Blues Of Desperation which is released on Friday 25th March.  The UK concerts include Birmingham Barclaycard Arena on Saturday 19 March, Bournemouth BIC on Sunday 20 March, and Plymouth Pavilions on Monday 21 March.
Production hold tickets have just been released. Check availability from,,, and
Bonamassa’s new album, Blues Of Desperation, is getting rave reviews. Q Magazine gave the album 4 stars - “Bedroom guitarists everywhere should brace themselves for No Good Place for the Lonely, a song whose grand-finale solo will have them sobbing with envy and admiration." 
Uncut Magazine said the new album is, “A barnstorming triumph.”  Purple Revolver said, “Bonamassa has laid down possibly the finest album of his career to date with Blues of Desperation and, arguably, one of the finest Blues-Rock albums of all time.”
For further information about the March 2016 UK Tour, click HERE
For information about the new Blues of Desperation album, click HERE

Disciples debut UK tour

The Disciples debut UK tour with dates spanning across Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Glasgow, Brighton and London.
Kicking things off at the Rainbow Warehouse in Birmingham on March 24th and finishing up at London’s XOYO on April 7th
, the tour marks just how far the UK DJ & production trio how come in recent months. With their collaboration alongside Calvin Harris for ‘How Deep Is Your’ love reaching #2 in the UK official charts, picking up 2 Brit nominations and amassing over 331 million streams worldwide - this is just an insight to what Disciples have to offer.
Having broken onto the scene back in 2014 with ‘They Don’t Know’ on global tastemaker Pete Tong’s label FFRR, the trio already have the backing of some of the biggest names in the business. Shunning away from the usual route of producer + guest vocalist to strike out on their own, every element of their tracks are written, produced and sung by the band.

Already selling out Gorilla in Manchester, tickets are sure to sell out across all other dates. With support from upcoming duo Icarus, the tour will highlight the strength and unity of the UK music scene.
See below for full tour dates:

March 24th – Birmingham, Rainbow Warehouse
March 25th – Manchester, Gorilla                    
March 26th – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms    
April 2nd – Glasgow, SWG3                                
April 6th – Brighton, Concorde 2          
April 7th – London, XOYO                                   

Lady Sings the Blues - Laughing at Life - Album preview

The new album from Lady Sings the Blues - Laughing at Life on Big Bear Records.

Recorded at the Library Theatre during the Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival 2015

Watch the preview on You Tube

The latest release from Big Bear Music
Big Bear Music
Po Box 944
B16 8UT, England
Tel: 0121 454 7020


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Two Worlds - A music video with BSL

Exploring Deaf and Hearing issues

Two Worlds is a ground breaking music video by Alex Vann and Gary O’Dowd from the West Midlands. The song was written by musician Alex who then collaborated with his partner Gary, who is a Deaf person, to produce it as a music video. The film is ground breaking because it incorporates British Sign Language.

Alex told us “I met my partner Gary in July 2006 and it became apparent very early on that if we were to communicate effectively I would have to learn British Sign Language (BSL)”.

Gary was born profoundly Deaf. Alex had some deaf awareness, because his mother was hearing impaired, but he says there is a vast difference between being heard if you raise your voice and never being heard:

“A profoundly Deaf person can not hear you, no matter how loud you scream!” says Alex. “So there is never going to be a time that Gary could learn to hear—so I would have to learn how to sign”.

“So it was after a few dates, reading text messages from each other’s phones to communicate, that I enrolled in night class at my local college, Wolverhampton College. It went well and I seemed to pick sign language up quickly and within two years I was qualified to Level 2. You can go further through the levels up to 6, but this is usually for those who want to work professionally as interpreters, which I had no interest in doing: I just wanted to communicate with my boyfriend and his friends”.    

Gary was born and bred in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Gary’s brother is also Deaf but everyone else in the family is hearing. Whilst Gary went to a school for Deaf children, his brother attended a hearing school, which meant that their experiences of education and childhood were different. Alex became interested in the experiences of Deaf people in a hearing world:

“A couple of years into the relationship we got talking one night in our local pub about Gary’s attempts to communicate with his hearing family and friends. As a song writer and musician, my songs tend to be about people, places and perspectives, so it seemed natural to write a song about Gary’s experiences”.

“From the word go I wanted the song to appeal to both hearing and Deaf audiences so we decided it would be signed by Gary at the same time as it was sung by me. The song is titled Two Worlds.”

Alex wrote the notes, chords and lyrics of the song to try to reflect Gary’s viewpoint as a Deaf person. He recorded the song at his home studio and it appears on his album Silhouettes and Pirouettes Volume 1.

After performing the song live at Artsfest in Birmingham and various other venues, Gary and Alex worked with well-known Deaf actress and Sign Song performer Caroline Parker MBE. Caroline helped them to add more expression to the signing of the lyrics and this led to them thinking about the idea of making a video with the aim of showing it at the annual Deaffest festival at the Lighthouse in Wolverhampton. Alex told us:

“Deaffest is a fantastic celebration of Deaf film and culture. Our aim was to make a film and try to get it screened at the festival. We researched Deaf culture: reading among other books, Paddy Ladd’s Understanding Deaf Culture and Being Deaf: The Experience of Deafness. Then we borrowed some video equipment and spent many hours editing footage taken on various cameras in our conservatory at home”.

The resulting film was made on a shoestring and is split into two sections. The first section is an interview documentary with Gary and the second section is a performance of the song in 2 languages, BSL and English, at the same time using split screen technology.

As there were just two people involved in making this film, Gary also became co-director, cameraman, art director, photographer, wardrobe assistant and set designer. He even produced the ‘BSL paintings’ that appear at the start and the end of the film. The film also incorporates photographs of Gary at different stages of his life, supplied and digitally scanned by Gary.

Alex said “The message of the film and the song is that barriers can be broken down by using language to communicate with one another and learn about different cultures. This opens up new worlds and wider opportunities for everyone”.

The submission to show the film at Deaffest was accepted and since then Alex and Gary have had their film screened at Deaf festivals in Hong Kong, Seattle and Toronto. Alex said “we often joke that our film has a more exciting life than us!”

Watch the film Two Worlds, which includes the documentary interview with Gary and the song  at this link


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

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City Drive 2016


Birmingham & Solihull Social Economy Consortium (BSSEC) is a practitioner-led network of agencies and enterprises that supports social enterprise in Birmingham and Solihull.

BSSEC has been operating since 2000. Many of their members have over twenty years’ experience of social enterprise. BSSEC have a fantastic website/blog which is packed full of useful information about social enterprise and how it can help people in their local communities. There is advice about social retailing with spotlights on successful enterprises in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands.

The website gives a lot of information on the support that is available to groups and/or individuals who are interested in starting a social enterprise, as well as access to business support and finance. There are also lots of fascinating articles about policy, public services & social value and social enterprise and the Localism Act. The blog is administered and kept up to date by Alun Severn who constantly has the hot topics and burning issues of the day in his spotlight. 

For BSSEC enquiries contact

Alun Severn: 0121 233 0278


Sunday, 6 March 2016


We have one our fantastic Speedmatching events lined up for the 28th April in Birmingham at the Utopia Bar and would like to invite you to join us. The event will run from 5.45pm ­ 7.45pm.

We will have lots of wonderful media and communications professionals taking part, free wine, beer, nibbles and refreshments. The event is a great chance to meet with professionals looking to give advice to charities on their marketing, PR, film, design, social media, branding and more and potentially form long-term volunteer relationships.

The event is free to attend and is part of wider matching service giving charities access to experts and professionals willing to support charities. Places are limited so we will be accepting places on a first come first served basis. Do get in touch to book your place and find out more information.

Contact Sam Gillett
Media Matching Manager
Media Trust
0207 871 5658
4th Floor, Centre House, Wood Lane,
London W12 7SB

The March / April 2016 edition of Spaghetti Gazette

Read the March / April 2016 edition of