Birmingham Weekly Arts Roundup, July 24 – 30

The Electric Cinema is not a place for the faint-hearted this week, as the fourth annual Shock & Gore festival gets underway on Friday (July 25).  The celebration of all things horror and fantasy this year includes The Owls Are Not What They Seem, a David Lynch night taking in Mulholland Drive as well as Twin Peaks-related material.  There’s also a screening of the notorious VHS slasher flick Nightmare Maker, as well as a special edition of the Electric’s Film Food Club, which offers themed culinary treats alongside ’70s black comedy Harold & Maude.

SCREEN JUNIORS ON HOLIDAYIn other cinematic fun, Saturday (July 26) is the first day of Flatpack’s Screen Juniors On Holiday summer season, a range of family-friendly film treats at the Mac.  This weekend’s opening programme includes screenings of Bugsy Malone and Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 silent comedy The Circus.

Plenty of interesting theatre at the Mac this week too.  On Thursday (July 24), A World Beyond Man is an adventure tale based on the extraordinary true story of Valerian Albanov, one of only two survivors of a Russian maritime expedition to the Arctic.  Then, from Friday (July 25), celebrate the summer Scandinavian style with Norsesome, an anarchic run through of Norse mythology, before rounding off the weekend on Sunday (July 27) with the Oxford University Drama Society’s action-packed take on Ben Jonson’s 17th-century comedy The Alchemist.

It’s a busy week for the ludicrously creative Stan’s Cafe.  On Monday (July 28), their incredible show Of All The People In All The World, exploring abstract statistics via millions of grains of rice, begins a run at St Martin’s Parish Centre in Worcester, while the same day also marks the opening of their “gently immersive installation exhibition cum concentrated performing ecology survivalist challenge” Of All The Creatures Across The Globe, at Warwick University.  Then, on Tuesday (July 29), there’s the latest performance of their remarkable interactive radio show Tuning Out With Radio Z.

The 2014 Birmingham Fest draws to a close this week – the Old Joint Stock hosts Mark Ravenhill’s incredulous social commentary Yesterday An Incident Occurred on Thursday (July 24), while the Blue Orange Theatre presents Shuffling Philosophies on Friday (July 25), a one-man show combining storytelling with card trickery.

This year’s edition of the Still Walking Festival begins on Friday (July 25), presenting a wealth of opportunities to go off the beaten track and explore Brum’s fascinating highways and byways.  Bookable tours this year include a walk around Brum’s 1980s musical hotspots, a twilight woodland run and a cycling tour of the city’s lost cinemas.  And there’s more for bike enthusiasts at this year’s Warwick Bar Summer Fete on Saturday (July 26), which celebrates cycling and creativity.

CHIC POINTAlso this week, the RBSA presents Wayne Attwood’s pictures of Brum’s changing landscape from Monday (July 28), while there are also two new shows at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery – Brian Yale: First World War Battlefield Paintings from Saturday (July 26), and thought-provoking satire from Wednesday (July 30) in Chic Point: Fashion For Israeli Checkpoints, a range of clothes custom-made for Palestinians’ body searches.


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