The investigation continues…


DSC_9395_medAs our run of five shows at Birmingham REP comes to an end, I have a moment to reflect on the extraordinary journey so far, and to thank all those who have made the journey possible. I will post a full list of credits down below, but the core creative team of Steve Johnstone (director), Claire Browne (designer), Sam Frankie Fox & Ricardo Rocha (original music and sound design, with additional playing from Martin Cox), Jeanette Maggs (stage manager) and Alex Boucher (lighting design) have helped me shape and create something that I am very proud of. DSC_9067_med

The whole enterprise was initially made possible through the REP’s FURNACE scheme, a programme of community engagement – through which I was able to conduct a lot of the early research, and make connections through the Sandwell Libraries.

With additional support this time round from Black Country Touring and the Arts Council, I am able to take the REP show, and offer a tourable version to community venues around the Black Country, and in the coming month I will be bringing Fred Jeffs to Stourbridge Glasshouse (5th June), Wednesbury Library (6th June), Thimblemill Library (7th June) and Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton (8th June). I’ll be fascinated to see how the show travels.

Audiences this week at The REP have been so generous and warm, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the response. Many people from Quinton and Warley have been present, and it has been a joy to share some of their memories in the post-show discussions which have accompanied the performances. For me, this is a vital part of the project, as the storytelling itself is a mere conversation starter to all the themes that get thrown up by the show.

For the time being, there are two remaining shows at The REP today, and a few tickets left. Maybe see you there?


List of Credits for the Theatre Show at Birmingham REP

Fred Jeffs: The Sweetshop Murder

Written and performed by Graeme Rose

Directed by                 Steve Johnstone

Designed by:               Claire Browne

Original music & Sound Design:

Sam Frankie Fox & Ricardo Rocha

Musicians:                 Sam Frankie Fox, Ricardo Rocha and Martin Cox (double bass & electric gtr)

Stage Manager:          Jeanette Maggs

Sound Technician        Clive Meldrum

Lighting Design by:      Alex Boucher

LX Assistant:               Aaron Murphy

Photos by Graeme Braidwood


For Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Producer                      Will Bourdillon

Dramaturg                  Tessa Walker

FURNACE programme (2018): Hannah Jones, Rosalyn Lesurf.


For Black Country Touring:

Natalie Kidman, Steve Johnstone, Frances Land, Deb Justice, Joanne Blunt and the rest of the team.

With additional thanks to;

James, Laura, and everyone at Stan’s Cafe,

Olivia Winteringham and Sam Fox at KILN ensemble,

Lamps originally designed / constructed by Ben Pacey, for the KILN ensemble production “A Journey Round My Skull”

Atxarte, and all at BEfestival,

Gareth & Phil, at Little Earthquake (East meets West consortium)

Paul Fox, at Fox Removals for the sampling and use of the Austin A35.


Interview Contributers for the Theatre version:

Tony Chew, Elizabeth Rose, Betty Rose, Roger & Pauline Philpot, Terry and Viv Wilson, Alan Dunnaker, Michael Rose, Tess Rochfort, Val Taylor, Maureen Bishop, Andrew & Carole Bowen, Alan Atkinson, Alan L Warr. Ray Jones, Denis, Eileen and ‘G’.


Sheila at Candies Sweetshop, the Back-to-Backs.

Jean-Luc & all at William Lench Court,

Jean Fenn and everyone at Bleakhouse Library, Warley

Old Warley Local History Group,

Julie McKirdy and everyone at Thimblemill Library, Smethwick

Chris Sutton and all at Smethwick Heritage Centre

James Hancock and all the Timmins family.

Visit the Fred Jeffs Facebook page,

for updates on the project.


Download the Podcasts from:



No Responses Yet to “The investigation continues…”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: