Sunday, 29 August 2021

Elephant trail hailed a success by Worcester City Council Leader

Councillor Marc Bayliss, Leader of Worcester City Council, with Pears the elephant, one of the sculptures on display as part of Worcester’s Big Parade.

The Leader of Worcester City Council has praised Worcester’s Big Parade, which has seen colourful and eye-catching elephant sculptures brightening up the city streets across the summer.

 Councillor Marc Bayliss visited the elephant named Pears, which is sponsored by the City Council as part of the St Richard’s Hospice initiative, and stands on the riverbank opposite the Cathedral.


He said: “People really love this wonderful elephant trail and have been flocking into the city to see all the colourful creations. This has been another great success for St Richard’s Hospice and a real hit with city residents and visitors.


“Worcester’s Big Parade has really added to the beauty of our city and I hope it raises a really good sum for St Richard’s when the elephants are auctioned in the near future.”


The final day of Worcester’s Big Parade is Sunday 5 September, and there will then be a chance to say goodbye to the elephants when they are all displayed together at Worcestershire County Cricket Club’s New Road ground from 30 September to 3 October and again 7–10 October.


To book for this farewell event, go to


The large elephant sculptures will then be auctioned at an event on 14 October, with all proceeds going to St Richard’s Hospice. Full details of the auction are at


The smaller ele-babies will return to the schools and organisations which decorated them, as a lasting memento of the trail.

Coventry City of Culture - FAITH






Booking is now open for Faith - a co-production between the Royal Shakespeare Company and Coventry City of Culture Trust with City Voices and Coventry faith communities.

Faith is an invitation to explore big questions through the beliefs of people of faith and of non-religious world views, through music, theatre, installation, and ritual. The day culminates in an extraordinary Ceremony of Light, a chance for the city to come together to experience the power and multiple meanings of light. Read on to find out how you can take part.

You can experience the Faith project in lots of different ways; you can visit one of the faith centres taking part in Open House throughout the day on Saturday, follow the ribbon route through the city between the participating faith centres, book for one or more of the live promenade shows, or join in the Ceremony of Light on Saturday evening. The plays tell the stories of important moments in everyday life – from birth to love to death and how Coventry families find the faith to get through them, and find joy and hope in their city. You will be able to watch all four live shows from your home, or on a mobile device, as they are live streamed online on social media from 10.30am to 6.30pm.


Monday, 23 August 2021

Birmingham Indian Film Festival - September 2021

Satyajit Ray Inspired Premiere Helms September Indian Film Festivals in Four British Cities

The Birmingham Indian Film Festival, Manchester Indian Film Festival and Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival return from Saturday 18 September to cinemas and online for an autumn edition of premieres, shorts and classics, supported by the BFI using funds from the National Lottery and support from the BFI Film Audience Network through Film Hub London, Film Hub Midlands and Film Hub North.

The Indian film festival group is excited and proud to present the UK Premiere of the Bengali drama Avijatrik (The Wanderlust of Apu), directed by Subhrajit Mitra; a new tale based on the legendary character Apu who was first brought to the screen by India's most internationally acclaimed director Satyajit Ray, in his Apu Trilogy in the 1950s. Lovingly shot in black and white and keeping an eye on the continuity to Ray’s classics, the new film Avijatrik focuses on Apu's overwhelming wanderlust to discover the world beyond Bengal with his doting 6-year-old son Kajol. This is a must see for all Satyajit Ray fans in the centenary year of his birth anniversary and is screened for one night only at London’s Ciné Lumière, Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham and HOME Manchester, where it will be part of their Not Just Bollywood season.


I Know Her screening as part of Too Desi Too Queer short films

Other highlights of the festival include a screening of the beloved classic Pather Panchali, the first of The Apu Trilogy screening in London, with a lecture introduction about Satyajit Ray from globally acclaimed biographer Andrew Robinson at Ciné Lumière. In Birmingham there’s a focus on Great British Asians as we screen British Asian short films from emerging filmmakers and look back at the contribution British Asians have made to the music and arts. We’re thrilled to bring back the magnum opus, Mughal-E-Azam as a tribute to the late, great Dilip Kumar; the original 1960 version of the film will be screened in Birmingham and Bradford, complete with its 12-song soundtrack, inspired by Indian classical and folk music, that will transport you to a bygone era. Too Desi Too Queer is a collection of short films offering a glimpse into the South Asian LGBTQI+ lived experience while Iram Parveen Bilal’s South by Southwest nominated I’ll Meet You There, showing in Bradford, portrays a modern Pakistani American family in Chicago.


British-Asian Shorts + Panel Discussion

Sat 18 Sep, 14.30, MAC Birmingham
A showcase of exciting and diverse emerging British Asian filmmaking talent is presented, as part of LIFF's highlight of British Asian focus. From award-winning dramas to insightful docs, we see a rarely presented slice of life of Asian Britain today. Films include Armour (Chila Kumari Singh Burman & Susanne Dietz), Khaana (Cary Rajinder Sawhney), Chariot Riders & Little Elephant (Kate Jessop), Vest (Samir Mallal), Alien Culture (Iesh Thapper), I Choose (Tina Pastora), Meow or Never (Neeraja Raj) and #WeAreHere - (Hussina Raja)

Still from Avijatrik

PREMIERE: Avijatrik (The Wanderlust of Apu) + online Q&A

Sat 18 Sep, 17.30, MAC Birmingham
Director: Subhrajit Mitra
Starring: Arjun Chakrabarty, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Sreelekha Mitra, Barun Chanda,  Tanushree Shankar
136 mins | 2021 | India | Recommended Certificate: U
Bengali with English subtitles
Subhrajit Mitra revives Satyajit Ray’s enduring and endearing character of Apu after 60 years with a film that takes off from where The Apu Trilogy ended in 1959. After the death of his beloved wife, Apu is unable to settle and follows his wanderlust, setting out with his 6 year old son Kajol, to explore the world. They have many adventures along the way, but Apu is still trapped in a surreal space, as he imagines discourses with his lost wife, that presses on the real world and soon threatens to alter his path.

Sun 19 Sep, 17.30, MAC Birmingham
Dir: K Asif
With: Pritvhiraj Kapoor, Madhubala, Dilip Kumar
197 mins | 1960 | India | Recommended Certificate: PG
Urdu with English subtitles
A spectacular historical drama, Mughal-E-Azam tells the tale of a timeless love affair between a Prince and a dancer. Think mirrored palaces, sumptuous technicolor and unforgettable songs. Mughal-E-Azam has it all! K Asif’s spectacular epic historical drama tells the tale of a timeless love affair. Heir to the throne, Prince Salim (Dilip Kumar), has matured from a self-indulgent only child into a victorious and distinguished warrior. When he returns to the Mughal court he soon falls for the gorgeous, if lowly born, court dancer Anarkali (Madhubala), it provokes the ire of his father, Mughal emperor Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor), who forbids them from getting married. As Anarkali takes a stand for her man, risking execution, father-son conflict explodes into a full blown battle.

Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music & Brimful of Asia + Panel Discussion

Wed 22 Sep, 19.00, MAC Birmingham

Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music
Dir: Vivek Bald
83 mins | 2003 | UK
An absorbing and thrilling account of the contribution of Asian musicians to British pop in the 90s. Over the course of seven years Vivek Bald captured the rise and fall of what was always imperfectly described as the “Asian Underground”. Shot with virtually no budget in a style that mirrored the ethos of the featured legendary artists such as Asian Dub Foundation, Talvin Singh and Fun^Da^Mental. Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music is part music documentary, part social history and remains as a unique time-capsule on the music culture of the British Asian second generation.

Brimful of Asia
Dir. Pratibha Parmar
24 mins | 1998 | UK
Brimful of Asia A short documentary that depicts the explosion of second generation South Asian talent in mainstream British culture in the late 1990s - features musicians Talvin Singh, Asian Dub Foundation and Cornershop, as well as fashion designers and writers in a veritable who’s who of British Asian arts and culture.


SAT 28 AUG 2021
Duration: 12 noon - 7pm

*You will be transferred to an external ticketing website.

Want to know what to expect on the day? View the site map below to get a feel for Beneath The Trees 2021!


Co-produced by Coventry Arts Collective and Coventry City of Culture Trust

An urban village fete of music, food, dancing, performance, people, and storytelling for the whole family. Beneath the Trees invites you to feel the magic of the earth beneath your feet and find the space to breathe with family and friends.

Join Coventry Arts Collective for a magical and memorable experience at Naul’s Mill Park, a beautiful Edwardian park in the centre of the city as you uncover one of our hidden green spaces, full of nature and wildlife. Enjoy all that the park has to offer including the rose garden, the spoken word tree and the nearby River Sherbourne.

Come along and experience a range of on-stage activity from local, and global, performers and artists, take part in workshops and find out more about the green work happening in our city as you engage with local eco-organisations.

Entry to this event is free but limited.

Please note: Entry times are staggered due to Covid restrictions. You only need to book one ticket per person, which will allow you to access the venue at the specified time and stay for the whole day.

If you would like to attend but were unable to secure your preferred timeslot we still encourage walk-ups on the day.

Apply to perform live, take a crafters table, sell your arts and crafts, speak, dance, sing and tell your story: APPLY NOW

Beneath the Trees is commissioned as part of the #GreenFutures programme supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the #LoveCoventry programme, supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lottery Community Fund.


Saturday, 14 August 2021

Bearwood to Dzorwulu - a short film from Black Country Touring


We are proud to present ""Bearwood to Dzorwulu"" inspired by the resilience and generosity of local businesses during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Watch the full video: Developed in partnership with

. Commissioned by

We are proud to present “Bearwood to Dzorwulu”  and “Motherly” – two brand new short films inspired by the resilience and generosity of local businesses and female led businesses during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Developed in partnership with Accra Theatre Workshop, based in Ghana.

We are proud to have been commissioned as part of the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme in partnership with their International Research & Development Funder, The British Council on this Digital R&D project..

Watch Motherly

The Songwriter Sessions - Sunday 12th September at The Craven Arms, Birmingham


The Radical Potter: Josiah Wedgwood and the Transformation of Britain

Tristram Hunt

The Radical Potter: Josiah Wedgwood and the Transformation of Britain

Friday 10 September

4 – 5pm

To launch his new book, The Radical Potter: Josiah Wedgwood and the Transformation of Britain, Tristram Hunt, former Stoke-on-Trent MP and Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, will present a talk at the museum.

For the first time, Hunt defines the political radicalism of Wedgwood’s thinking, politics and social innovation. This new biography, strongly based on Wedgwood's notebooks, letters and the words of his contemporaries, captures the energy and originality of Wedgwood, and his transformative contributions not only to the development of eighteenth-century Britain but to modern business practices ever since.

Tristram Hunt will also be signing copies of his book during the event. This is a free talk but places must be booked in advance by calling 01782 232323 or emailing

Thursday, 12 August 2021


 After a year online, Birmingham Comedy Festival is back in the room for 2021.

Running from Friday 1st to Sunday 10th October 2021, the popular arts festival features over 40 shows, from big-name acts, to emerging newcomers.

When You Fall Down with James Dangerfield as Buster Keaton at The Old Joint Stock

Highlights include the return of the fast-talking comedian-turned-actor Russell Brand (3rd October at B:Music’s Symphony Hall), as well as appearances from Strictly semi-finalist Chris Ramsey (10th October at B:Music’s Birmingham Town Hall) and the Tailenders crew (1st October at B:Music’s Symphony Hall).

10th October – Jenny Eclair

They’re joined by Jenny Eclair (10th October at The Old Rep) who marks turning 60, Dane Baptiste (10th October, The Glee Club), social star Max Fosh (3rd October The Glee Club), Phoenix Nights’ psychic Clinton Baptiste (7th October at B:Music’s Birmingham Town Hall), Rachel Fairburn (8th October at The Glee Club) and South African comic Loyiso Gola (1st October at The Glee Club).

Elsewhere, new stage production When You Fall Down (30th September to 3rd October at The Old Joint Stock) explores the story of silent comic Buster Keaton, while Howerd’s End (6th to 100th October at The Old Joint Stock) reveals the hidden life of post-war British comedian Frankie Howerd.

The festival also features some of the best acts from across the region, including former Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award winners Josh Pugh and Celya AB, plus Mary Flanigan, Danny Clives, Good Kids and Eric Rushton (who won the prestigious Leicester Comedy Festival Comedian Of The Year Award in 2020).

A spokesperson for Birmingham Comedy Festival said:

We’re so excited to be back. The response to last year’s online festival was fantastic, and we’re hoping to continue with a few digital activities, but you just can’t beat seeing comedy with a roaring audience – the laughter’s infectious!

And this year is extra special for us as it marks our 20th anniversary – which we can’t quite believe! We reckon this makes us the second longest running comedy festival in the UK, and one of the longest running independent arts festivals in the West Midlands!”

Birmingham Comedy Festival runs from Friday 1st to Sunday 10th October 2021 at venues across the city. For more details, including the full programme, see:

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Final countdown to popular Worcester Show

The popular event is coming back to the Pitchcroft Racecourse (WR1 3EJ) on Sunday 15 August (10.00am – 5.00pm).


There will be live bands; fair-style attractions; a have-a-go sports zone; judging of over 130 competitive creative classes; a dog competition; local food and drink – and much, much more!


“We’re looking forward to welcoming people to our fun and action-packed family day,” says Cllr James Stanley, Chair of Worcester City Council’s Communities Committee.


“I’d like to pay tribute to all the members of the Worcester Show Committee, who have worked so hard under challenging circumstances to ensure that we can once again come together and enjoy this fantastic community event.”


This year the Worcester Show has been moved from Gheluvelt Park to Pitchcroft to give visitors more space.  A one-way system will be in place around the stalls, which will be placed two metres apart, and there will be limits on the number of people entering each marquee.  Sanitising stations will be in place and a COVID Marshall will be in attendance.


Get active at the Worcester Show

Throughout the day there will be free have-a-go sports sessions run by Worcester City Football Club; Mini Athletics Worcester; yoga from The Zen Shed and dance classes for under 5s from Jitterbugs.


There will be plenty of demonstrations to enjoy, including a musical theatre performance from Focal Pointe Dance School; Vamos Theatre; Oddstepperz Street Dance Company; Martin Hewlett Martial Arts and Worcestershire Martial Arts.


Food and drink galore!

Locally cooked produce on offer – from bhajis to burgers and beer, curries to cocktails, pizzas to pulled pork and Prosecco.  A number of tastetastic vegan options are available.


There’s also a huge range of stalls selling handicrafts, confectionery, ice cream, preserves and take-home food. 


Entertainment Zone

Plenty of fun and frolics on offer – including bungee trampolines; bouncy castle and slide; tea cup and saucer ride; hook a duck and darts games; pony rides; Vintage Children’s swing chair ride and a strong arm striker game.


Free activities for 2021 include two fully stocked face painting stalls and a children’s craft and activity area, delivered by Arts and Wonder.


Severn Arts will also bring a travelling Music Bus, full of musical instruments and recording equipment ready to be played.


Fun Dog Show

Local vet firm MacArthur, Barstow & Gibbs are running a fun dog show at the event.  Judges will be looking for the most handsome dog, dog with the waggiest tail, best puppy, and much more!  You can register your dog for an event on the day – £2 per class. 


Music and entertainment

An eclectic mix of musicians and bands are to perform at the Show.  Taking centre stage amongst others will be ska and reggae performances from The Stiff Joints; rockabilly from Miss Pearl and The Diamonds; hip hop from Liberty Artillery; blues from The Bourbon Alley Blues Band as well as acoustic guitar from Jess Silk; and well-known Worcestershire artist and front man from the band ‘Dodgy’ - Nigel Clark.


The Got 2 Sing Community Choir will provide performances throughout the day.


Judging of competitive classes

One of the highlights of the event will be the judging of 130 competitive classes, which range from growing a wide variety of fruit and vegetables to displaying flowers and floral decorations, creative handicrafts, art, baking and modelling.  There are many classes for under 18s to too.


Transport and parking


Worcester Show aims to be a sustainable event and we encourage people to travel on foot, by bike or by bus. Bike parking will be available on site.  The nearest City Council car parks are Pitchcroft, Croft Road and Cattle market, where the usual parking charges apply. Locations and further information at


Stewards will be on hand to guide traffic and pedestrians toward the site.


For full details about the Show, including a timetable of events on the day, go to 

What's On at Hereford Cathedral in September?




Everyone is welcome to join any of the acts of worship that take place at the cathedral. Services are normally held at the following times:


Monday – Saturday

8 am – Morning Prayer

11.15 am – Eucharist (8.30 am on a Saturday)

5.30 pm – Evening Prayer or Evensong



8 am – Holy Communion

10 am – Cathedral Eucharist (this service is also live streamed)

11.30 am – Morning Prayer

3.30 pm – Evening Prayer or Evensong





Lost & Found Exhibition

Monday 26 July to Friday 31 December, Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm

Why have things gone missing from the Cathedral over the years?  The latest exhibition in the Mappa Mundi and Chained Library follows the story of things lost but later found and of some special things lost but not found... yet!

Admission charges apply




Booking is required for all events via the cathedral website. If you are not able to access the website, please call 01432 374200 and someone will be able to assist with your booking.


Wednesday 1 September, 10am

Summer Family Workshop – Sensory Journey

Join us as we take a sensory journey around the cathedral – this workshop may be suitable for children and young people with additional needs or those who may benefit from a more relaxed visit to the cathedral.

£2.50 per participating child


Saturday 4 September, 10am, 12noon or 2pm

Open Gardens

Book onto one of three sessions to explore the Chapter House, Cloister, Canon's, Dean’s and the Bishop's garden. Visitors can explore at their own leisure with our team of volunteer garden guides on hand to answer any questions.

Tickets £5, booking essential via the cathedral website


Tuesday 7 September, 1.15pm

Lunchtime Organ Recital – Laurence John (Exeter Cathedral)

Free with a retiring collection – booking strongly advised



Tuesday 7 September, 7pm

Scientists in the Nuremberg Chronicle Lecture

In this lecture, The Revd Canon Dr Maureen Palmer will talk about the structure of The Nuremberg Chronicle, the nature of the woodcuts and also some of the scientific and medical characters which appear within it.

Event takes place in College Hall, tickets £8


Tuesday 14 September, 1.15pm

Lunchtime Organ Recital – Jonathan Allsopp (Southwell Minster)

Free with a retiring collection – booking strongly advised


Tuesday 14 September, 3pm – 4.30pm

From Hell to the Stars – the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death

Canon Chris Pullin will be hosting an afternoon sharing his passion for Dante. In ‘From Hell to the Stars’ will speak about his life and thought, with time to reflect using images of people and places Dante knew while enjoying the music of his day and age.

Tickets cost £7


Saturday 18 September, 10am, 12noon or 2pm

Heritage Open Days 

We will be celebrating Heritage Open Day's 2021 theme of 'Edible England' with a series of delectable flora and food inspired activities held in our beautiful Cloisters.

Events are free, booking essential


Tuesday 21 September, 1.15pm

Lunchtime Organ Recital – Emily India Evans (Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge)

Free with a retiring collection – booking strongly advised


Tuesday 28 September, 1.15pm

Lunchtime Organ Recital – Peter Dyke Audience Requests

Free with a retiring collection – booking strongly advised


Wednesday 29 September, 10am, 12noon or 2pm

Open Gardens

Book onto one of three sessions to explore the Chapter House, Cloister, Canon's, Dean’s and the Bishop's garden. Visitors can explore at their own leisure with our team of volunteer garden guides on hand to answer any questions.

Tickets £5, booking essential via the cathedral website



From Sunday 5th September The Blues Are Back at The Botanical Gardens in Birmingham.

Every Sunday, on the splendidly renovated bandstand Henry’s Botanical Blueshouse presents the best of blues from 2pm to 4pm.

The featured bands will be:

Chickenbone John, ‘The Godfather of the Cigar Box Guitar’, has become a huge favourite with highly successful workshop/concerts demonstrating how to make and play 3-string cigar box guitars. John has been perfecting the art of creating guitars from cigar boxes, inspired by the thought that such great bluesmen as BB King and Lightnin’ Hopkins began with home-made instruments. In performance he is joined by his band, Chickenbone Blues in reviving the authentic sounds of early blues.

Fronted by Big Jim Merris of the Red Lemons Blues Band, the Alabama Boogie Boys have become audience favourites at Henry’s Blueshouse, both at the Bulls Head and in the Botanical Gardens. Their mix of blues, boogie and rock and roll is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.


Stalwarts of Henry’s Blueshouse and regulars at such blues festivals as Upton-on-Severn and Newcastle-under-Lyme, The Nitecrawlers aim to re-create the sheer enjoyment of the original R&B clubs of the 60s. With a lifetime of experience between them, the four band members have appeared with some of the biggest names in the music business – and now they concentrate on serving up archetypal hard-driving, foot-tapping Chicago blues – no-nonsense authentic blues


The Whiskey Brothers featuring Richard Heath, on vocals and mandolin and Gerry Smith on piano, perform old style acoustic blues with songs from the great American blues tradition as well as their own material. They believe in playing the blues in a simple, authentic and entertaining way, mixing well known classics with lesser known gems. Between them they have performed at hundreds of festivals and venues throughout the UK and Europe and beyond.