From comedy to classical music, a haunting play to avant-pop in a pumping station, here’s our round-up of what’s on this April in Lichfield, Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth and beyond
What: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Where: Birmingham Hippodrome
When: April 5 to 16
The sensational brand-new production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat comes to Birmingham Hippodrome for two weeks only!
The multi award-winning show has been performed in more than 80 countries worldwide and has become one of the world’s most beloved family musicals.
With stars from The London Palladium Alexandra Burke, Jason Donovan and Jac Yarrow, the show features songs that have gone on to become pop and musical theatre classics, including Any Dream Will Do, Close Every Door To Me, There’s One More Angel In Heaven and Go, Go, Go Joseph.
Tickets are priced from £30, for more details visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com
What: Made in Dagenham: The Musical
Where: Tamworth Assembly Rooms
When: April 6
Inspired by a true story and based on the hit film, Made in Dagenham is an uplifting musical comedy set in 1968 Essex about friendship, love and the importance of fighting for what is right.
Like millions of other working women, Rita O’Grady is just trying to get her husband out of bed and the kids off to school while aiming to clock in at the factory on time. But life changes forever when Rita leads her fellow sewing machinists into battle against the mighty Ford Motor Company in a fight for equal pay.
When Rita and the women of Ford Dagenham go on strike, followed by the female workforce at Ford Liverpool, the company flies in its American bosses who attempt to break worker solidarity. The case goes right to the top of the British government, culminating in a history-making speech at the TUC conference. Funny, touching and timeless, Made in Dagenham shows how ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things when they stand together.
Tickets for the Gala Opening Night on April 6 cost £25 and include a drink and canapés on arrival. For April 7 to 9 shows, the doors open at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm start, with tickets priced at £15 or £13. The show does contain adult language. For details visit www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk
What: Mary Rose by JM Barrie
Where: Lichfield Garrick
When: April 8 and 9
Mary Rose is a spellbindingly beautiful ghost story about time, love, loss and hope from JM Barrie, creator of Peter Pan. The setting – an old Sussex manor house, standing empty and for sale – is haunted by the ghost of a young woman who once lived there.
37 years earlier, 12 year old Mary Rose went missing on a small island in the Outer Hebrides whilst on holiday with her parents. After a month, she mysteriously returned unaware that she had been away for any length of time. Years later, Mary Rose, her new baby son and young husband return to the same island, where she disappears for a second time. After 23 years, when her family have come to terms with her loss, she reappears yet again. But her parents, husband and child have all aged whilst Mary Rose is just the same as the day she vanished.
With an ensemble cast of five actors, and featuring original music and traditional folk songs, Mary Rose will leave you spellbound by its mystical nature and moved by its deepest yearnings to be reunited with the ones we love, and offering a message of hope.
For more details and tickets visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com
What: The Greatest Showcase
Where: The Alexandra, Birmingham
When: April 9
The Greatest Showcase is a three-hour celebration of comedy, music and dance from a selection of the UK’s most loved acts. Hosted by talented entertainer Kat B, expect a night of non-stop action, breathtaking performances and good vibes.
With comedy from entertainment royalty Richard Blackwood, Instagram comedy sensation Spuddz and one of the hardest hitting comedians on the stand-up scene right now Shabz Kariem (formerly known as Shabba the Comedian), The Greatest Showcase also features performances from celebrated MOBO and BRIT Award winning R&B and Garage artists Shola Ama and Kele Le Roc.
Plus, you’ll be awed by exhilarating performances from BDO World Street Dance champions and multi-award winning dance troupe IMD Legion. This is your chance to laugh, feel good and be entertained in a venue that will take your breath away.
For more information visit www.atgtickets.com/birmingham
What: Handel’s Messiah
Where: Lichfield Cathedral
When: April 9
Two years after the first performance of Handel’s Messiah in Dublin in 1742, Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford and son of Sir Robert Walpole wrote: “Handel’s oratorios thrive abundantly — for my part, they give me an idea of heaven, where everybody is to sing whether they have voices or not.”
Lichfield Cathedral Chorus certainly has no shortage of voices! Head along and join them as they mark their return to large-scale performances after the pandemic and prepare for the Easter season with one of the best known and most loved choral works of them all.
Ben Lamb directs the newly formed Lichfield Camerata, the massed voices of Lichfield Cathedral Chorus and soloists in an unforgettable evening of reflective and uplifting music. The performance will start at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £24, £17 and £10. Visit www.lichfieldcathedralchorus.co.uk
What: Cluedo Family Murder Mystery Evening
Where: Moor Hall Hotel and Spa
When: April 18
Enjoy a family night out solving the ultimate crime of ‘whodunnit’ with the Cluedo characters at Moor Hall Hotel and Spa on Easter Bank Holiday Monday.
It’s up to you to work out the clues and question the suspects. Was it Miss Scarlet in the Library with the candlestick? Or maybe it was Professor Plum in the Kitchen with the dagger? The case will unravel over a three course dinner prepared by Moor Hall’s expert team of chefs – will you be the ones to crack the case?
Arrival is 5pm and the evening is priced at £33 per adult and £25 per child, and there is also the option to stay overnight from £99 per family (up to two adults and two children) including full use of the leisure facilities and a full English breakfast. For more details and to book visit www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
What: Private Peaceful
Where: Birmingham Rep
When: April 19 to 23
The Peaceful brothers, Tommo and Charlie, have a tough rural childhood facing the loss of their father, financial hardship and a cruel landlord.
Their fierce loyalty to each other pulls them through, until one day they both fall for the same girl. And then the Great War comes.
Set against the epic backdrop of WW1, we join 18-year-old Private Tommo Peaceful in the trenches as he takes us on a journey through his most cherished memories and tells his story of courage, devotion, family and friendship.
The award-winning Private Peaceful was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, won the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Award. Acknowledged by Michael Morpurgo (War Horse, The Butterfly Lion) as his favourite work, this thrilling new ensemble retelling by Simon Reade, directed by Elle While, explores the lengths a young soldier will go to to fight for what is right.
For more details and ticket information visit www.birmingham-rep.co.uk
What: Afternoon Tea with Disney Classics
Where: Moor Hall Hotel and Spa
When: April 20
Enjoy a delicious afternoon tea at Moor Hall Hotel and Spa, while listening to their live choir perform the most iconic songs from some Disney classics on Wednesday, April 20. This popular themed afternoon tea is sure to delight guests both young and young-at-heart.
The four-star country house hotel’s skilled chefs will prepare the afternoon tea of dreams, served while you sit back as live performers, The Wings Family, entertain you with songs and dances from a collection of your Disney favourites. Listen out for tunes from a whole host of Disney classics, with some new songs added especially for this performance. Arrive at 12.30pm for a 1pm start.
Tickets for the afternoon tea are priced at £32 per adult and £22 per child. For more details and to book, visit www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
What: Romesh Ranganathan – The Cynic’s Mixtape
Where: Birmingham Hippodrome
When: April 24 to 27
Stand-up and TV comedian Romesh is back on tour in 2022 with his new show, The Cynic’s Mixtape, his most brutally honest yet.
Fresh from a fourth series of the Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan, A League of Their Own, Judge Romesh and The Weakest Link, he’s putting showbiz aside for now to deliver a carefully curated selection of all the things he has found unacceptable since the last tour. The list includes why trying to save the environment is a scam, why none of us are truly free, and his suspicion that his wife is using gluten intolerance to avoid sleeping with him.
Suitable for ages 14+, catch Romesh on one of four dates this April at Birmingham Hippodrome. Tickets are £25.50. For more details visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com
What: Rosie Tee
Where: Sandfields Pumping Station, Lichfield
When: April 30
Composer and performer Rosie Tee brings a unique and atmospheric blend of electronica, psych and avant-pop to the unique industrial backdrop of Sandfields Pumping Station at the end of the month.
Rosie’s crystalline vocals meander between dark, forceful beats and fragile melodic contours, with the sporadic movements of her synth-heavy sound anchored only by the use of striking, minimal structures. Together with Rosie on vocals and glockenspiel, Piera Onacko’s off kilter synths, Dan Cippico’s swarming bass and Kai Chareunsy’s textural drums ebb and flow between digital and analogue worlds.
This will be Lichfield Arts’ first concert in the Victorian pumping station, which is one of the Black Country’s most important pieces of industrial heritage. Built in the mid nineteenth century in the wake of several cholera epidemics, the waterworks pumped four million gallons of fresh water to the industrial Midlands every day.
Tickets are £10 per person. For more information visit www.lichfieldarts.org.uk