We are gradually beginning to offer in-person events, though we will be continuing with some online events in 2022. Depending on the Covid situation events may need to be cancelled at short notice. Please follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FOLIOSuttonColdfield or Twitter https://twitter.com/FOLIOsutcol to keep informed.

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< April 2022 >
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4 5 6 7ElderberriesElderberriesTime: 10:30
A welcoming and relaxed group for the over 50s to enjoy socialising and conversation over light refreshments.
Free.
No booking required but if you'd like more information please contact Noran - noran@foliosuttoncoldfield.org.uk
Sutton Coldfield Library
8 9All the World's Stage - a spoken word performance workshopAll the World's Stage - a spoken word performance workshopTime: 00:00 - 16:30
Join performance poets Emma Purshouse and Steve Pottinger for an afternoon workshop designed to increase confidence in sharing your poems/monologues/stories with an audience, including the opportunity to practise your mic technique in a supportive environment. Bring along something to write with and on, plus three or four poems or other pieces that you'd be happy to read aloud (they don’t need to have been written by you, but it would be great if they are linked somehow to Shakespeare). This workshop, part of Shakespeare in Sutton - FOLIO's fun festival for all, is aimed at anyone aged 16 or over. It will be fun, highly interactive and engaging! Participants will have the opportunity to perform their pieces (including if they are written by other people), if they wish to do so, at the Shakespeare in Sutton spoken word event, Mouthpieces, on Friday 29th April at 8pm at Highbury Theatre. Participants may choose to attend the festival’s morning workshop focussing on writing skills (rather than performance skills) if they wish to do so though this will require separate booking. Emma Purshouse was born in Wolverhampton, and was the first poet laureate for the city. She is a freelance writer, performer and highly experienced workshop facilitator. Emma is a poetry slam champion and performs regularly at spoken word nights and festivals far and wide, often using her native Black Country dialect in her work. Her appearances include, The Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Much Wenlock Poetry Festival, Solfest, Latitude, Shambala and WOMAD. She has supported John Hegley, Holly McNish and Carol Ann Duffy. Emma has undertaken poetry residencies for Wolverhampton Libraries, The New Vic Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent and The International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge. She writes for both children and adults. In 2016, Emma’s first collection of children’s poetry was produced by Fair Acre Press. This dyslexia-friendly book is aimed at 6 to 11 year-olds and won the poetry section of the Rubery Book Award in 2016. Her most recent publication is ‘Close’ (Offa’s Press, 2018) which was also shortlisted for the Rubery Book Award in 2019. In 2017 Emma won the ‘Making Waves’ international spoken word competition which was judged by Luke Wright. Her first novel was short-listed for the Mslexia unpublished novel prize. She is one of the writers chosen for the ‘Common People’ anthology in 2019. Her debut novel Dogged came out with Ignite Books in 2021. https://emmapurshouse.co.uk/ Steve Pottinger is a prize winning poet, author, and workshop facilitator, and a founding member of Wolverhampton arts collective Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists. He’s an engaging and accomplished performer whose work has appeared in magazines and anthologies, and he’s a regular contributor to online poetry platforms. He’s performed at Ledbury and StAnza poetry festivals, at the Edinburgh Free Fringe, and in venues the length and breadth of the country, from Penzance up to Orkney. His sixth volume of poems, ‘thirty-one small acts of love and resistance’ is published by Ignite Books. What other poets have to say about Steve: ‘muscular, passionate, emotional, rational, compassionate’ Brenda Read-Brown ‘pathos, grace, and stone-cold contempt for the powerful and immoral’ Laura Taylor ‘ready as needs be to caress or deck humanity in all its beautiful stupidity’ Jonny Fluffypunk ‘Bostin.’ Spoz. https://stevepottinger.co.uk/ Videos ‘the ostentatious breastfeeder’: https://youtu.be/rO7viSywbJs ‘impulse’: https://youtu.be/bjY-amwxUAo Photo by Eric Esma from Pexels FOLIO is a grateful recipient of grants from the Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, Active Arts - Sutton Arts Forum, Magic Little Grants and Making a Difference Locally (NISA), all of which (along with a great deal of community support-in-kind) has made the Shakespeare in Sutton festival possible.
Sutton Coldfield Library
From Bard to Verse – a spoken word writing workshopFrom Bard to Verse – a spoken word writing workshopTime: 10:30 - 12:45
Join freelance writer and performance poet Emma Purshouse for a fun and friendly morning of poetry writing activities using all things Shakespeare as inspiration. Bring something to write with and on. Booking essential: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/from-bard-to-verse-a-spoken-word-writing-workshop-tickets-276735121197 This workshop is aimed at anyone aged 16 or over. It will be relaxed, interactive and engaging! Participants may also choose to attend the festival’s afternoon workshop focussing on performance skills if they wish to do so though this will require separate booking. Participants will have the opportunity to perform their pieces, if they wish to do so, at the Shakespeare in Sutton spoken word event, Mouthpieces, on Friday 29th April at 8pm at Highbury Theatre. Emma Purshouse (@EmmaPurshouse) was born in Wolverhampton, and was the first poet laureate for the city. She is a freelance writer, performer and highly experienced workshop facilitator. Emma is a poetry slam champion and performs regularly at spoken word nights and festivals far and wide, often using her native Black Country dialect in her work. Her appearances include, The Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Much Wenlock Poetry Festival, Solfest, Latitude, Shambala and WOMAD. She has supported John Hegley, Holly McNish and Carol Ann Duffy. Emma has undertaken poetry residencies for Wolverhampton Libraries, The New Vic Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent and The International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge. She writes for both children and adults. In 2016, Emma’s first collection of children’s poetry was produced by Fair Acre Press. This dyslexia-friendly book is aimed at 6 to 11 year-olds and won the poetry section of the Rubery Book Award in 2016. Her most recent publication is ‘Close’ (Offa’s Press, 2018) which was also shortlisted for the Rubery Book Award in 2019. In 2017 Emma won the ‘Making Waves’ international spoken word competition which was judged by Luke Wright. Her first novel was short-listed for the Mslexia unpublished novel prize. She is one of the writers chosen for the ‘Common People’ anthology in 2019. Her debut novel Dogged came out with Ignite Books in 2021.
Sutton Coldfield Library
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11 12Parkinson's CafeParkinson's CafeTime: 10:00 - 12:00
Drop in for free tea, coffee and biscuits and a chance to chat to other people affected by Parkinson’s. Any questions? Please call 0121 308 7826 or email sectparkinsonsnorthbirmingham@gmail.com A Parkinson’s Cafe is also held in Communitea in Boldmere on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month (ie alternating with this event in Sutton Library). Sutton Coldfield Library
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18 19 20Sutton Coldfield in Shakespeare’s timeSutton Coldfield in Shakespeare’s timeTime: 14:30 - 16:00
What did Sutton's town centre, Sutton Park and the surrounding countryside look like in Shakespeare’s time? Buildings, streets, earthworks and the results of excavations show that many features of the old medieval town and its landscape would still have been visible, but additions and modifications were changing the appearance of Sutton Coldfield. This local history talk will be given by Dr Mike Hodder who has been researching the archaeology of the Sutton Coldfield area, above and below ground, for many years. He is an Honorary Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, and President of the Friends of Sutton Park Association. Refreshments will be available (by donation). This event is part of Shakespeare in Sutton - FOLIO's fun festival for all. FOLIO is a grateful recipient of grants from the Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, Active Arts - Sutton Arts Forum, Magic Little Grants and Making a Difference Locally (NISA), all of which (along with a great deal of community support-in-kind) has made the Shakespeare in Sutton festival possible.
Holy Trinity Parish Church
21The Global Stage of Shakespeare and his ContemporariesThe Global Stage of Shakespeare and his ContemporariesTime: 19:30 - 21:00
Inspired by the voyages of famous noblemen, the publication of the first world atlases, and the growth in global trade, playwrights in Shakespeare’s era responded to, and helped to perpetuate, the public's desire for gripping stories involving exploration and adventure. In this wide-ranging online talk, Dr Simon May will introduce and discuss some of the most striking plays that harnessed the theatre’s potential as a means of travel, transporting audiences to many disparate places, both real and imaginary, far beyond the lived experience of the average playgoer. Dr Simon May completed his doctoral research at Jesus College, Oxford. He is Director of English at BOA Creative, Digital and Performing Arts Academy. He previously taught in Sutton Coldfield. This talk will be given over Zoom. You will be sent the Zoom link upon booking your place at the talk.
Online
22Meet the map makers!Meet the map makers!Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Meet award-winning illustrator John Shelley and expert archaeologist Mike Hodder who have collaborated to create a new, accurate historical map of Sutton and its surroundings in the time of Shakespeare. No need to book – just drop by, explore the map and ask its creators any questions you have about the artistic process and the historical research.
The exact location of the map in the Gracechurch Centre will be revealed at the end of March.
23Shakespeare’s fantastical creaturesShakespeare’s fantastical creaturesTime: 09:30 - 13:00
Join Prospero and Puck, two of Shakespeare’s most magical characters in the folio forest of words (or as you mere mortals call it ‘Sutton Coldfield Library’). Drop in from 9.30-13.00 to use natural materials to make puppets of the magical mad spirits from Shakespeare’s plays, Shakespeare inspired art in our nature trays and decorate stunning colouring sheets. Come together at 10.30-10.45 and 12.30-12.45 to bring your art to life through storytelling and song. Free, drop-in. No booking required, but if busy families may be asked to return later.
Sutton Coldfield Library
Gloriana Living HistoryGloriana Living HistoryTime: 10:00 - 15:15
Enjoy an authentic, costumed performance of dances from the time of Shakespeare followed by a 15 minute taster of Elizabethan dances for the complete beginner. If you’ve ever wanted to try Tudor dancing, then this is for you! Gloriana study and recreate dances from the 15th and 16th centuries. They perform in a range of court costumes from three contrasting periods in history – medieval, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. They have danced at many historic houses and castles and have given talks and demonstrations to societies and clubs as well as for charity and fundraising events. They provide Tudor living history workshops to schools, colleges and other settings. They have provided entertainment for events at The British Museum, including their ‘Night at the Museum’ for children. Gloriana has performed at arts festivals such as the Birmingham Weekender and Leicester Cosmopolitan Carnival. They have appeared on film and television including with Ruth Goodman for BBC2’s Tudor Monastery Farm, on Come Dine with Me and for US television. The dance performances and tasters are free. 10.00-10.45am 11.45am-12.30pm 2.30-3.15pm https://www.glorianalivinghistory.org/
The courtyard outside Sutton Coldfield Library
PassamezzoPassamezzoTime: 13:45 - 16:00
Listen to glorious music from the time of Shakespeare performed on period instruments. Free, no booking required. Performances at 1.45pm and 3.30pm in the courtyard outside Sutton Coldfield Library. Passamezzo is an established early music ensemble known for their ability to bring historical events to life through their engaging performances and programming. They specialize in English Tudor and Stuart repertoire. A group of musicians, singers, actors and dancers, with years of experience as historical interpreters, the ensemble delights in all aspects of musical life, from the intimacy of the lute song, to the brash raucousness of the broadside ballad, from the sacred part song, to the profane insanity of bedlamite mad songs. The programmes are carefully researched with music frequently taken from manuscript sources, unearthing pieces that have lain hidden for centuries. It is this range of material and overall spectacle, combined with the informative and accessible manner of their presentation, that makes Passamezzo such an engaging group. They have played in a great variety of venues including the British Museum; the Victoria and Albert Museum; Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre; Hampton Court Palace and in theatres, concert halls, stately homes, churches, palaces and ruins throughout England. Television and Radio credits include: Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family; (BBC1); Lucy Worsley’s Twelve Days of Tudor Christmas; Howard Goodall’s The Truth about Carols (BBC2); Big Brother (Channel 4); A Discovery of Witches (Sky); Frost Fair; King Lear and Boxing Day, (Radio 4)
The courtyard outside Sutton Coldfield Library
Feast your eyes on the First FolioFeast your eyes on the First FolioTime: 14:00 - 17:00
Shakespeare’s First Folio was printed in 1623 and it is the first published collection of 36 of William Shakespeare’s plays. 750 copies were originally printed, and a total of 235 First Folios are currently known to survive. One of these, the Birmingham First Folio, will be on display for 3 hours in Sutton Coldfield Library, as part of FOLIO Sutton Coldfield’s celebration of William Shakespeare’s birthday. Birmingham’s copy of the First Folio is special because it is the only one bought with the aim of improving people’s lives through culture and education. It was purchased in 1881 for all the people of Birmingham – no matter their background, wealth or occupation. Please book a timed slot to view the First Folio; whilst we hope as many people as possible will be able to view the First Folio, only those with pre-booked tickets can be guaranteed the chance to see this treasure. Should there be a queue to see the First Folio, don’t worry; there will be plenty of activities to enjoy whilst waiting. Please book a ticket for each person in your party. Birmingham’s First Folio will be on display as part of the‘Everything to Everybody’ Project – an ambitious four-year celebration of one of the UK’s most important cultural assets: the vast Shakespeare Memorial Library housed within the Library of Birmingham. Everything to Everybody will give the city’s uniquely democratic Shakespeare heritage back to the people, and is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, with funding contributed by National Lottery Heritage Fund and History West Midlands.
Sutton Coldfield Library
24The Changing Faces of Shakespeare’s CleopatraThe Changing Faces of Shakespeare’s CleopatraTime: 19:30 - 20:30
A talk by Ella May McGrail Over the course of the performance history of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, attitudes towards Cleopatra, potentially more than any other Shakespearean character, have seen a huge change. At one time, Shakespeare’s Cleopatra was the focus of misogynist attacks, with critics referring to her as ‘the worst woman in history’, and as ‘femme fatale’ with ‘a nasty turn of mind’. Yet, in more recent years, the role has been regarded as iconic and empowering, even becoming a part that dame-actresses write of as being the highlight of their career. My research aims to shed light on the changing depictions of Shakespeare’s Cleopatra on stage, whilst asking if Cleopatra will ever be free from misogyny? Born in Sutton Coldfield, Ella May McGrail graduated from De Montfort University in 2014, with a BA (Hons) in Drama Studies. After graduating, Ella returned to her childhood drama school, CENTRESTAGE School of Speech and Drama, based in Sutton Coldfield, taking the role of Lead Speech and Drama Teacher, and then, Deputy Head. In 2018, Ella left her full-time role at CENTRESTAGE to pursue a Masters in Shakespeare run by Birmingham University, based at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Following this, in 2019, Ella continued into a doctorate degree at the Shakespeare Institute, researching the performance history of Shakespeare’s Cleopatra.
ONLINE
25 26 27Shakespearean CityShakespearean CityTime: 14:00 - 15:00
A talk by Professor Ewan Fernie, Chair of Shakespeare Studies at The Shakespeare Institute and Director of the ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project This talk explores the forgotten, surprising and significant effort made from the mid-nineteenth century onward to turn Birmingham into a model modern city on the pattern of Shakespeare’s plays. The key figure in this was George Dawson (1821-76). A nationally celebrated Shakespearean lecturer and life President of Birmingham’s ‘Our Shakespeare Club’, Dawson spurred the town to establish the first great Shakespeare library in the world in the tercentenary year of 1864. Shakespeare was a keystone for what became recognised as Dawson’s ‘Civic Gospel’: a sweeping vision of post-industrial urban civilization which not only centrally included giving culture away to everybody, but actually took the individualism and pluralism of Shakespeare’s plays as a spur for reforming and enriching collective life in general. The ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project is an ambitious four-year celebration of one of the UK’s most important cultural assets: the vast Shakespeare Memorial Library housed within the Library of Birmingham. Everything to Everybody will give the city’s uniquely democratic Shakespeare heritage back to the people, and is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, with funding contributed by National Lottery Heritage Fund and History West Midlands.
The Three Tun, High Street, Sutton Coldfield
‘Doing Empathy’ – Shakespeare’s Compassion for All the World‘Doing Empathy’ – Shakespeare’s Compassion for All the WorldTime: 15:00 - 17:00
Explore themes of empathy, tolerance and justice by joining a participatory reading of a brand new play written by Michaela von Britzke, based on Shakespeare’s speech for Thomas More to the Evil May Day Rioters 1517 from Antony Munday’s play Sir Thomas More (1603) .
The Three Tuns, High Street, Sutton Coldfield
28Falstaff – a Naughty Knight in Sutton ColdfieldFalstaff – a Naughty Knight in Sutton ColdfieldTime: 19:30 - 20:30
In William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, on the eve of the Battle of Shrewsbury, Sir John Falstaff, a manipulative and lecherous companion of the King’s son, travels to Sutton Coldfield. This film, created by Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers, is a light-hearted imagining of his exploits on that day and his evening spent in the town. The film will be introduced by a member of Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers. Following the film there will be a Q & A with members of the writing, directing and production team before opening out the conversation to questions from the audience. This event is free but please book your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/falstaff-a-naughty-knight-in-sutton-coldfield-tickets-276573517837 Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers are a group of friendly film making enthusiasts. “We make all kinds of films not only as individuals but also in collaboration with other club members. We normally meet at Wylde Green Community Hall but have been meeting on Zoom during the pandemic. At the meetings we have a programme which includes presentations on aspects of filmmaking, watching each other’s films, and practical activities. We meet on the evenings of 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month for most of the year. Visitors and new members are welcome to come along and have fun meeting other people with a passion for making films.” https://www.suttoncoldfieldmoviemakers.org.uk Highbury Theatre’s coffee bar and bar will be open during this event.
Highbury Theatre, Sheffield Road, Sutton Coldfield
29Mouthpieces – A Shakespeare Special!Mouthpieces – A Shakespeare Special!Time: 20:00 - 22:30
A Shakespearean Spoken Word Special with newly commissioned work performed by Dreadlock Alien, Jemima Hughes, Priyanka Joshi and Emma Purshouse plus open mic slots. Mouthpieces is a celebration of the spoken word in its many forms inviting feature artists from across the UK to flex their wordsmith muscles to the North Birmingham community. We’re thrilled to be bringing Dreadlock Alien, Jemima Hughes, Priyanka Joshi and Emma Purshouse to perform specially commissioned Shakespeare-inspired spoken word pieces at this event. Open mic slots will be available on the night – you’re welcome to get up on stage with your own piece or something written by Shakespeare! Doors open 7.30, headliners from 8pm Mouthpieces is a community live arts event produced by local artists Joe Cook, Vafa Motamedi and Claire Bennett. Jemima Hughes https://www.jemimahughespoet.co.uk/
Priyanka Joshi https://www.facebook.com/priyanka.rattan
Dreadlock Alien https://twitter.com/dreadlockalien
Emma Purshouse https://emmapurshouse.co.uk/
Highbury Theatre, Sheffield Road, Sutton Coldfield
30Shakespeare’s Sutton: the old and the newShakespeare’s Sutton: the old and the newTime: 14:30 - 16:00
This short walk around part of Sutton Coldfield town centre, starting and ending at Vesey Gardens at the junction of Coleshill Street and Mill Street, will explore the town as Shakespeare might have seen it. What was already old by his time, and what was relatively new? We will look at buildings, streets and other features. Dr Mike Hodder has been researching the archaeology of the Sutton Coldfield area, above and below ground, for many years. He is an Honorary Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, and President of the Friends of Sutton Park Association. Showers will not prevent this event from taking place, so please come appropriately dressed! Free but booking essential: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/shakespeares-sutton-the-old-and-the-new-tickets-275853704857 All welcome. Please book a ticket for every member in you party other than those in pushchairs, or babes in arms.
Meet at Vesey Gardens at the top of Mill Street, Sutton Coldfield