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Van Stolen

Big Brum's Van

Sadly, over the weekend of 25th and 26th October, Big Brum had its Mercedes Sprinter van stolen from Park Road in Moseley; we are now appealing for help to track it down.

Thieves escaped with the entire set, costumes and props for the new touring production of Edward Bond's play The Angry Roads. Any sightings of a long wheel base Mercedes Sprinter panel van, silver, with registration number BF09 CYZ (as above photo), should be reported to West Midlands Police on 101.

Many thanks to all our friends and supporters for their kind words and offers of support.

Posted 29/10/14



An Evening To Remember

Home Front Front Line

Big Brum is holding a special event on the evening of Tuesday 11th November 2014, taking place in the splendid setting of Highbury Hall, Birmingham, from 6.30pm to 9.00 pm. Free of charge, come along and watch us perform our piece Home Front - Front Line.
Click here for more details on the evening and how you can reserve your free place at the event.

Posted 23/10/14



Big Brum Flickr Account

Flickr

Big Brum is proud to announce our new Flickr account, showing photos from all our productions over the last 10 years. Take a look into the history of our practice....
www.flickr.com/photos/126702132@N08/sets/

Posted 18/09/14



Messages of Support - Updated 31/07/14

Photo from Home Front - Front Line

As Big Brum moves to our summer break, we are still receiving messages of support from all over the world, including from local MPs Jack Dromey and Richard Burden. (Jack visited Big Brum himself recently: https://twitter.com/JackDromeyMP/status/492607020932296705)

As well as countless sympathetic messages, likes, retweets etc on Big Brum's social media outlets (twitter.com/big_brum and www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Brum-Theatre-in-Education-Company/327795253923734) the Company is still receiving full length letters from artists, educators, and academics. We really appreciate them all - keep sending them in!

For all our supporters, we present a Microsoft Word collection of some of the letters here, updated with many more received up to the end of July.

"This decision threatens England's standing as a leader in youth theatre throughout the world." Alan Dilworth, Director, Canada

"There are no other companies doing what Big Brum does and not just in Birmingham but anywhere in the UK." Janet Davies, Teacher

Posted 31/07/14



Message from Jack Dromey, MP

Big Brum are delighted to have received a very warm message of support from our local MP, Jack Dromey, MP for Erdington and Shadow Minister of State for Policing.

"I would question the reasoning behind balancing arts funding in a manner that has left the city with Europe's youngest population without any Arts Council funded organisations working solely for young people."

You can downland and read the full statement here.

We would like to thank Jack, and everyone else who has been in touch, for the remarkable support we're being given at this time.

Posted 08/07/14



Note from Edward Bond

Response from playwright Edward Bond:
"I'm writing this on learning that the Arts Council have removed their funding support to Big Brum. Of course this has a particular significance for me. Big Brum is my last contact with English professional theatre, if Big Brum were to close I would truly be in exile. But more important to me is the loss of Big Brum to young people. Seeing a professional performance when I was 13 or 14 changed the direction of my life. It made me understand the processes of my life. I was no longer - as most people now are in our culture - a foreigner to myself. I had seen a play by Shakespeare. I am not comparing my work to his - but I am likening Big Brum's work to the work of his Globe. I met myself and my times at his Globe. I was living in war time and in the post war of ruins and austerity. Shakespeare wrote in a time of equal distress but also of victory - and I lived in such a time. The fit was perfect. The capitalist market in all it does and in all its forms, destroys culture. In time we will see that it is at war with young people. Inevitably youngster shut their eyes in shock - what else can they do? - just as I did at the shock of war - but Big Brum's work lets them open their minds in understanding and gives them the power to make victories. I am not exaggerating - this is the power of drama and it has accompanied human beings throughout their history. These cuts are a wound to all young people - and they are an immeasurable debt that society will have to pay."

Posted 02/07/14



Sky News Segment

Within an hour of hearing the bad news, we received a call from Sky wanting to send a team over to interview us about the cut. You can see us as part of a wider segment on Arts Funding here (this opens as an MP4 video):
video.news.sky.com/video/h264/vod/700/2014/07/010714ARTSFUNDINGCOTTERVT17001404236934667700.mp4

Posted 02/07/14



Response to Arts Council National Portfolio Decisions for 2015 to 2018

Big Brum are sad to announce today that we have been cut from the Arts Council England's National Portfolio, as of April 2015. This is very difficult news for the company, as it means the core of our funding has been withdrawn, and as an organisation we will therefore be facing a major challenge to our operations from 2015 onwards.

We are profoundly disappointed with the decision. We are surprised that, whilst the Arts Council have apparently prioritised young people in this funding round, they have decided to remove support from an organisation that delivers high quality theatre to, in their own words, "diverse audiences primarily in Birmingham's most deprived communities."

We do think that it is a real shame that the Arts Council have withdrawn funding from several smaller organisations working with those most excluded from the arts. We believe that the Arts Sector will be weakened by this round of funding decisions. In our own case, we know thousands of young people each year benefit from our arts activity, a provision which is now under threat.

At this time we are still assessing the full impact of the cut. We will explore all options that remain open to us and will keep everyone informed regarding our response. In the meantime Big Brum sends its thanks to all our friends and colleagues for their continuing support.

With best wishes
Big Brum

Posted 01/07/14



Pelsall Village School and Big Brum TIE

Courtesy of Arts Connect West Midlands, read about how Year 1 and 2 pupils at Pelsall Village School met a Giant.
http://www.artsconnectwm.co.uk/news.php?story=70

Posted 06/06/14



Big Brum's Support to Schools

Big Brum's latest "support to Schools" document has been released, giving full details of the variety of ways in which we can engage with schools, from one off sessions to extended long term partnerships. CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS OF THE TYPE OF WORK WE CAN DO WITH YOUR SCHOOL. (Opens as an Adobe PDF document)

Posted 06/06/14



Big Brum announces The Angry Roads

Big Brum Theatre in Education Company announces the world premiere of a new play by Edward Bond, combining a new Theatre in Education programme with world class theatre and participatory workshops, in production from October 2014 aimed at year 9 upwards.

Evening in the city. In a flat a teenage boy is sorting through play things from his childhood; he is sorting through his past in search of the truth about an accident that destroyed his family. The Father remains silent, is he refusing or unable to speak about it? The son struggles to know the truth and take control of his future.

This production, Bond's 10th new commission for Big Brum, is an extraordinary and compelling drama by one of the world's greatest dramatists. Please click here for full details

Posted 11/04/14



NEW SECTION - Case Studies

Big Brum presents case studies from projects we have been involved in over the years.

Erdington Hall Primary School, 2013 This describes partnership work involving Big Brum working with Year 3 children and staff at a primary school in Erdington, Birmingham in Summer 2013. (Opens in a new Window as a Microsoft Word document)

Abbeywood First School, 2013 - This case study shares some of the extraordinary work carried out by teachers and children across Abbeywood First School, Redditch in response to Big Brum's TIE programme 'The Giant's Embrace'. (Opens in a new Window as a Microsoft Word document)

Posted 04/04/14



Big Brum presents 1914 - Home Front - Front Line

Big Brum Theatre in Education Company is pleased to announce a major new programme of work focused around the centenary of World War One. Using cutting edge participatory theatre and drama, this ambitious five year project will explore aspects of the conflict from the centenary of its outbreak to the armistice.

Part One of the project is called Home Front - Front Line and in 2014 this new Theatre in Education programme will take a touring play into primary schools from June to July followed by an Autumn and Winter tour into secondary schools in September and October.

Please click here for full details

Posted 21/01/14



The Giant's Embrace, now taking bookings

Big Brum is pleased to announce that once again it is taking bookings for it's highly regarded theatre in education programme for Key Stages 1 and 2; The Giant's Embrace. The programme is touring from February to July 2014; please click here for full details.

Posted 21/01/14



Touched at the mac

Big Brum is performing its current play, 'Touched', at The Foyle Theatre at the mac on Thursday 20th February. The play starts at 7.15pm, running for one hour 45 minutes, and followed by a half hour Q&A. Details and tickets are available from:
www.macarts.co.uk/event/touched

Posted 13/01/14



Learning Through Theatre, 3rd edition, published by Routledge - out now!

Big Brum's Artistic Director Chris Cooper has contributed two chapters to this new publication Learning Through Theatre, 3rd edition. Theatre in Education has consistently been at the cutting edge of the ever-growing field of Applied Theatre; this comprehensively revised new edition makes an international case for why, and how, it will continue to shape ways in which the participatory arts contribute to the learning of young people (and increasingly, adults) in the 21st century. There will be a book launch at the Birmingham REP on Friday November 8th.

More information available from:
www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415530712/

Posted 18/10/13



Talk on Refugees

Speech given by Dan Brown of Big Brum on it's Refugees project for Arts Connect West Midlands, describing the the type of work Big Brum can do with young people outside schools:
www.artsconnectwm.co.uk/videos.php?id=12

Posted 18/10/13



Big Brum's Production Blog for Touched

Big Brum is delighted to present our new production blog for Touched. Written by Big Brum's Education Partnership Worker, Matt Hinks, the blog will be updated every few days with latest infomation about the rehearsal process, photos, comment, insights; a fascinating look into how we work. Click the link below to read on!
bigbrumtie.blogspot.co.uk/

Posted 18/09/13



Big Brum's new offer to schools

Big Brum's new offer to schools outlines a menu of support that the Company can deliver to schools using our current primary and secondary touring programmes. We can also offer bespoke work including professional development for teachers, transitions projects, working with special schools and excluded young people, with drama and teaching undergraduates and through projects with nurseries, theatres and libraries.

Click here to download our latest offer document! (Opens as an Adobe PDF document in a new window)

Posted 18/09/13



Comment from Edward Bond on Touched

World renowned playwright Edward Bond had this to say about Big Brum's new play Touched:

"Touched combines the idealism of the young with their urgent desire to make their vision practical.
Indirectly it reminded me of Shakespeare's The Tempest. But in Touched the future lies not with Prospero's resigned resignation but with a girl and her friend.
The girl is like Prospero's daughter but also so unlike her - she has the power of innocence but the insight of experience. You can hope either because you dont understand the problem or because you have courage. The young people in this play understand their problems and have the courage to try to change them. You will never make the 'brave new world' without the brave young people to make it. Touched is for the brave young people. It is a strangely powerful play and Big Brum at its best."

Posted 18/09/13



Big Brum in Dublin

Big Brum's latest performance abroad is taking place at the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College Dublin, on the 18th July. If you are based in Ireland, come along and see us perform. Tickets from:
www.tcd.ie/beckett-theatre/theatre-events/index.php#bigbrum
www.tcd.ie/Education/

Posted 12/07/13



New Programme - Touched

"Don't want to come out? Don't blame yer. Believe me darlin' I've seen everythin there is to see an' it's not all it's cracked up to be...no place for a kid. Makes yer old before yer time. Ouch! Steady on with yer size nines"

A city in the throes of a riot. A child is born into chaos and uncertainty. Who can give her a home? What will become of her? It will be years before the answer will be known; a child touched by madness, touched by greed and cruelty, touched by freedom and hope.

Big Brum is proud to present Touched, the final act of a trilogy of Big Brum plays; Dereliction (2008) and Stitch Up (2010). It continues an exploration of the lives of young people on the margins of a society at war with itself, and their desire to find community.

Click here NOW for more details on Touched

Posted 01/07/13



Big Brum in China

Big Brum continues to be committed to supporting theatre-in-education work around the world.

Click below for an interview on Beijing Television about The Box Room, a new play for young people in China aged 3-6, by Big Brum's Artistic Director Chris Cooper. The Box Room was produced by Drama Rainbow, directed by Cao Xi, designed by Ceri Townsend at The National Theatre, Beijing, 10 June 2013. http://video.sina.com.cn/p/news/v/2013-06-13/090762541959.html.

Posted 18/06/13



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Supported by Arts Council England