In celebration of the fabulous work and ethos of Coventry’s Shop Front Theatre, the brainchild of Theatre Absolute’s Julia Negus & Chris O’Connell.

Chris and Julia took over a former chip shop and it became a haven for creative, community-oriented independent performance making. It was initiatives like this that helped Coventry secure it’s UK City of Culture status (while mid-rehearsal for Chris’s ‘CHOKE’ for the We Are Where We Are commissions, we were visited by the DCMS delegation to parade the newly-appointed Minister for the Arts, Matt Hancock) but Theatre Absolute have resolutely shown how vital spaces like this have been needed against the backdrop of 13 years of Tory austerity. Sadly, with Coventry redeveloping the site, the project came to an end this month. Watch this space for Theatre Absolute’s writing of the next chapter.

Expert documenter Jon Randle has filmed and edited this celebration of the Shop Front.

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Bodies in Flight latest work, Life Class. Edited together from documentation of the performance projects with Nottingham Mechanics and Fever Dance, Preston (info/responses from UCLan webpage) . Filmed and edited by Tony Judge. With thanks also to Dance 4 for supporting the project.


ChocFest

23Nov22

ChocFest from Jill Dowse on Vimeo.

As close as I have ever performed, I think, to where I grew up, ChocFest is a revealing insight into the machinations of the chocolate industry, and to what has made Bournville what it is. Expertly conceived and handled by The Bone Ensemble (Jill, Adam, Charlotte and team) with wonderful contributions from the Ghanaian farmers, not to mentions singer-songwriter St.Beryl and the phenomenon that is Wanlov the Kubalor. ChocFest struggled to avoid being compromised by the impact of Covid this summer, but here’s a glimpse of the team performing and discussing the work on Bournville Green, in the shadow of the Cadbury’s factory.


To celebrate three decades of work from Bodies In Flight, videographer and long-time documenter of the work Tony Judge has put together this marvellous retrospective of the company’s prodigious output.

Sara Giddens and Simon Jones formed Bodies In Flight back in 1989, and my first BIF collaboration was on the 1992/3 show, ROUGH. So, this year marks the 30th anniversary of my own partnering with the company.

The current show, LIFE CLASS, was presented (against the odds) last Autumn, as part of Lancashire Encounter Festival. Here is a trailer for that piece, created in partnership with Fever Dance, Preston.


The Adrian Goldberg Interview Fred Jeffs: The Sweetshop Murder

Graeme Rose, creator of the Fred Jeffs: The Sweetshop Murder Podcast, is interviewed by renowned broadcaster Adrian Goldberg.  The interview, produced by Black Country Touring, was originally conducted 8th April 2021.  [This edit features music by Fox and Rocha]
  1. The Adrian Goldberg Interview
  2. Episode 6 Bonus Material – The Search Book
  3. Episode 6 Bonus Material – Ice Cream Turf Wars
  4. Episode 2 Bonus Material – “Jeffs Wood”
  5. Episode 7 – "Let Him Rest…"

Seeds

28Oct20

No Stone Theatre (Nick Pitt and Johanna Taylor) have been developing the Seeds project since the company’s formation in 2018. Following R&D residencies at Pleasance London, Birmingham REP and Clapham Omnibus, lockdown conditions forced a rethinking of the project’s outcomes. The response is the creation of a wonderfully-produced Podcast, in eight episodes, which is being hosted weekly with partner venues and organisations.

Seeds is inspired by the extraordinary story of Nicolai Vavilov, who pioneered the world’s first seed bank at the Institute for Plant Industry in St.Petersburg (later Leningrad), but who fell foul of the Stalinist regime in the USSR and perished in confinement, after science conflicted with the political interests of the commissariat. The themes thrown up by the story have huge resonances with the perilous nature of our food security systems, and writer Nick Walker has juxtaposed a contemporary voice against a dramatic rendering of Institute employees in their attempts to protect the seed bank from destruction by warfare and the starving population outside.

Director – Nicholas Pitt. Producer – Johanna Taylor

Writer – Nick Walker. Music / Sound design – Jon Ouin

Performers – Jordan Kemp, Kirsty Rider, Graeme Rose, Katy Stephens, Nina Sosanya


I Am Birmingham

19Oct20

You’ve heard of Sutton Park, but here is Sutton’s answer to ‘Parky’. Vimal Korpal interviews me about the launch of the Fred Jeffs Podcast for I Am Birmingham. Enjoy.


Fred Jeffs: The Sweetshop Murder

A ‘true-crime’ mystery set in Birmingham and the Black Country, in the English Midlands. Graeme Rose investigates the real unsolved murder of his great uncle, sweetshop-owner Fred Jeffs, on Good Friday 1957, by talking to people who remember the case. Rose attempts to find answers and understand what really happened on that fateful night. 

Conceived, written, produced and presented by Graeme Rose.

Music Composition & Sound Design by Fox & Rocha (guest musician Martin Cox)

Directed by Steve Johnstone. This seven-part podcast series is supported by Black Country Touring (with support from Arts Council England and funding support from Creative Black Country). Episodes 1-4 produced with support from Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Arts Council England. Episodes 5-7 commissioned by Black Country Touring.

I am thrilled to announce that the full seven-episode remixed and remastered series of Fred Jeffs: The Sweetshop Murder will become available from this week…

The Podcasts are being released via Anchor to the major Podcast platforms, including Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple, Soundcloud, etc.

The release schedule is as follows:

16th October 2020 – Episode 1: Maundy Thursday

23rd October 2020 – Episode 2: The Short Good Friday

30th October 2020 – Episode 3: A Robbery Gone Wrong

6th November 2020 – Episode 4: The Mystery Woman

13th November 2020 – Episode 5: The Witness Who Cannot Talk

20th November 2020 – Episode 6: Sex & Clubs & Rock ‘n Roll

27th November 2020 – Episode 7: Let Him Rest

Graeme Rose


Sleepless

03Aug20

The penultimate episode of ‘The Anatomy of Melancholy’ series from Stan’s Cafe, after the touring theatre version that we created and toured in 2013. Daily doses of Robert Burton’s recipe for understanding and treating Melancholy.

Featuring (anti-clockwise from TL) Gerard Bell, Rochi Rampal, Craig Stephens and myself. Directed by James Yarker; produced by Stan’s Cafe.


As this series from Stan’s Cafe draws to its end, here is ‘something for the weekend’, so to speak. From Book II of The Anatomy Of Melancholy (published in several editions from 1621 through until 1651) Robert Burton writes of the benefits of Sports and Exercise.

Episode 25 / 35




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