Birmingham Weekly Arts Roundup May 30-June 5

This week is a great time to visit the new Birmingham History Galleries, up on the third floor of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The £9 million development houses all manner of displays and activities chronicling life in Brum, from medieval times right up to the present day. At lunchtime on Tuesday (June 4), curator Sylvia Crawley leads a tour of the section that focuses on local entertainment in the 18th century.

Also of note from BMAG this week, local historian Ben Waddington leads a walking tour entitled Invisible Architecture. Setting off from the Gas Hall on Saturday (June 1), he’ll shine a light on the city centre’s unknown nooks and crannies.

We’re approaching the end of the academic year, and with it the chance to sample the quality of this summer’s arts graduates. At The Public in West Brom, Transmission 13 opens on Wednesday (June 5), showcasing the work of Sandwell and Walsall Colleges’ HNC/HND Graphics and Photography courses, while at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery, the City Art Day – also on Wednesday (June 5) – invites 15 to 18-year-olds for a guided tour of re:VIEW, the degree show of the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Art & Design.

In theatres this week, The Crescent has a week-long run of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie beginning on Saturday (June 1), while the Mac hosts an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion on Friday (May 31) and Saturday (June 1).

From Thursday (May 30), The Drum has a tale of tangled family relationships in Uncle Ben – The Wedding, while on the same night in Coventry, the Belgrade Theatre offers a sneak preview of a forthcoming play about a notorious Victorian criminal in Discovering Charlie Peace.

Meanwhile, the Mac has the culmination of the Remember This project. The CATHOUSE Theatre Company have been working with local refugees and immigrants, encouraging them to tell their respective stories via various media. The fruits of their labours can be enjoyed at the Mac from Saturday (June 1).

There’s also a good choice for younger theatregoers this week. Dark fairytale The Girl With The Iron Claws plays at the Mac on Thursday (May 30), while at the Warwick Arts Centre, Hans Christian Andersen goes Bollywood in The Snow Queen (Saturday June 1 and Sunday June 2), while Varmints (Wednesday June 5) combines drama and dance in a tale of nature’s struggle against urban development.


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