The streets of Sandwell are about to get technicolour and potentially tropical as West Brom’s Urban Beach and the annual arts carnival roll into town complete with film, theatre, music, fun workshops, exhibitions and of course transformations, big and small. The theme this year is Imagine That! And bugs, bees, flies and other minibeasts will enjoy an en mass bug’s holiday at the beautiful Oak House Museum for the Mini Beast Meadow. A three-wheeled Reliant Ant truck becomes a mobile stage for puppet show Midsummer Mayhem outside the Arts Cafe, on the Saturday at 2pm and 4pm, Corey Baker Dance’s red phone box is back from it’s IDFB success with its acrobatic outdoor display, Black Country Touring bring roaming performances including the Strolling Gardeners, who ‘grow’ children in giant flower pots and Balkanic Eruption will provide a day of live Romany Balkan Beats and mashed-up party fun on the Sunday.

As part of the festival Flatpack Film continue to blow our minds with their imaginative and ingenious ‘happenings’ throughout the region. As part of Sandwell Arts Festival West Bromwich Town Hall will be turned into a multiplex with a difference. Spaces throughout the building will be utilised to show a range of visual pleasures spanning some one hundred years whilst delving into local history. The pick of the days events for us is Jambo Cinema, Dawinder Bansal curates a Bollywood living room experience with film, food and conversation, based on her own upbringing in a Wolverhampton video shop. A screening of Magnum photographer Martin Parr’s ‘Teddy Gray’s Sweet Factory’ promises to bring back wonderful memories of the aroma of herbal tablets filling the Dudley air. Anyone who has grown up in the Black Country will watch with fondness. The day is rounded off with a screening of Buster Keaton’s seminal silent comedy ‘The General’ with live musical accompaniment £5. Read our preview here .

Sat 13 Aug 11am – 5pm, Various venues. Download the full brochure of events here or see:

Sat 13 Aug
Giles Logan
Published on:
Mon 1 Aug 2016