Aug 20, 2009

Posted by in Birmingham, Reviews | 0 Comments

Mr Elephant’s reviews #2 by Emily Poyser – Birmingham’s Weird & Wonderful

Birmingham’s weird and wonderful summer

Sometimes it takes a hard slap in the face (or your average out-of-body experience) to realise that you’ve been doing the same thing week-in, week-out for about four and a half years. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? The number 50 bus to work, the same over-priced warm beer accompanied by unobtrusive house music or the majestic trips to Cannon Hill Park to feed the only duck left in the city.

Now, my friends, is the time to inaugurate Random Monday’s Club with your buddies, Sexy Thursdays with your capably sexy neighbour and Weird Weeknights with your mum – they’re all bloody good options!

Summer is about to get eccentric and there’s plenty of tomfoolery to be had in Birmingham whilst you’re learning to love the rain. Here’s a list of some juicy activities to get your teeth into:

Kings Heath Scrabble Club

Kings Heath Community Centre, 7.30pm every Tuesday

Now, to the modern dyslexic out there this may seem like a frightening thought, but this club is a sociable affair and fun can be had by all. Beginners and professionals alike are welcome. The aim is to play three games between 7.30pm and 10pm with a break for tea and Penguin biscuits.

This week saw a fight break out between Ralph and Mavis over an illegal double word score.

Stitches and Hos

The Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath, last Tuesday of every month

The widely acclaimed (and featured in the Daily Mail) Stitches and Hos monthly meet has encouraged even the most sceptical swines to have a go at all things knitted, crocheted and stitched. All are welcome – you don’t even have to know your cross from your fisherman’s rib stitch!

Birmingham British Sub Aqua Club

Stechford Cascades Leisure Centre, 8.45pm every Monday

You won’t believe it, but you can actually go diving with blue fish tuna, great white sharks and barracuda, right in the city – they’re rectangular and made of foam, but that’s fine. Birmingham, sometimes mistaken for Barbados, actually has a diving club to which anyone is welcome to join and learn to dive with friendly and qualified coaches.

8bit Lounge

The Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath, starts Tuesday 1 September

Ever laid awake in bed and thought about what it feels like to beat your older brother at Street Fighter? Yes? Well this is going to be right up your garden path. On offer is a menagerie of arcade games, arcade theme tunes, game inspired music, robotics, hacking and circuit bending, along with a collection of games consoles for you delight from the 80s and 90s.

Clive’s Easylearn Music Schools

Dickens Heath School, Solihull, starts Tuesday 15 September, weekly

Free, yes free. Sorry did you hear that? Free adult guitar lessons are starting in September. Places are limited, so get booking or forever hold your peace.

What lies beneath

Midlands Arts Centre, Cannon Hill Park, from 11am onward on 16 August
Find out what, and who, lives under the surface of the ‘secret pond’ at Cannon Hill Park. The event is again free, but you may have deal with some pesky kids asking how snails have sex or something, actually that would be quite interesting eh? Nets provided, wellingtons advised.

In fact, the much-loved park has community events on most weekends over the summer.

Outdoor showing of Moonwalker

New Elizabethan School, Stourbridge, 5pm onwards on 29 August
With pre-movie entertainment from the local radio station (maybe skip that bit) starting at 5pm, Moonwalker will be screened at 8pm in loving memory of Mr Michael Jackson to commemorate what would have been his 51st birthday.

The Travelling Picture Show

West Midlands, June to September

This summer, kids (and grown-ups) will have a chance to feast on film. Inspired by the classic Saturday matinee experience, the Travelling Picture Show will be popping up in arts centres and community venues all over the region with a lorry-load of short films, animation and features from across the world.

Other nights to look out for this summer include: the swing based Sugar Foot Stomp, the excellent Coffee & Cake by The Other Woman’s Club and Mr Elephant’s very own Cinephonic/Intermix; all offering a twist of lemon and some ice in your warm lemonade. And one last thing, keep your eyes peeled for ArtsFest running from 11 to 13 September.

Do you know of any peculiar nights happening near you? Then email:

Written by Emily Poyser for Mr Elephant Presents

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