By The Hair of Her Chin work in progress performance at the mac 
Once a staple of circus freak shows bearded women have been a peculiar cultural phenomenon since the legend of Saint Wilgefortis in the 14th century. Women would seek the help of Wilgefortis to be rid of abusive husbands. Why facially hirsute women were deemed freakish enough in the 19th century to charge the curious an entrance fee to stare, is something Birmingham based theatre collective Needless Allies is exploring in its new production ‘By The Hair of Her Chin’. Come along and see how they are getting on with this special work in progress performance. Grotesque hairy hostesses are promised, alongside the more serious business of probing patriarchal ideas of beauty.
Mon 6 Feb 4pm at at mac Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH facebook

The Circle (dir: Stefan Haupt, 2014, cert 15) at Birmingham LGBT
Compelling docudrama that won the Best Documentary Award at the 2014 Berlin Film festival. The titular Circle refers to a Swiss gay publication that was popular in Zurich during the 1940’s and 1950’s and found itself at the heart of a moral outcry after the murders of three gay men by rent boys. Whilst the events themselves are dramatised there are actual interviews with the protagonists portrayed in the film Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp, a schoolteacher and a drag artist both involved with the publication of The Circle. The magazine itself drifted out of publication nearly fifty years ago, let’s hope the attitudes that precipitated its demise stay there too.
Tue 7 Feb 7.30pm at Journey Film Club, Birmingham LGBT, 38-40 Holloway Circus, Birmingham B1 1EQ Free facebook

Artists Talk: Roger Hiorns at The Ikon Gallery
The Ikon is such an important part of Birmingham’s cultural landscape. Consistently hosting high quality exhibitions in a slick city centre spot. Whenever you’re passing you should pop in, you won’t be disappointed. Current star exhibition is an installation by Birmingham artist Roger Hiorns, using found materials he has created new objects and altered their meanings imbuing them with a new power. The imaginative Hiorns has created paintings from brain matter and filled jet engines with antidepressants, his work is always challenging and forthright. For this event Roger will be in conversation with curator Tom Morton who will explore the themes and ideas behind Hiorns’ work.
Wed 8 Feb 6pm at Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2HS (booking essential) ikon-gallery

Book Launch: Poet Pixievic’s PixieKisses at Ort Cafe
There’s a thriving spoken word scene in Birmingham and if you’ve even a cursory interest you will be aware of our favourite pixie poet Vicki MacWinyers. Writing about her personal experiences as a mother, lover and all round good egg her poetry has a resonating sharpness tinged with good humour. We particularly like ‘Strange Encounter’ a poem about being harassed by a short greasy bald man whilst waiting at a supermarket checkout. We’ve all been there. For the launch party of Pixievic’s book there’s a great lineup of poets and songwriters including Steve Pottinger, Glyn Phillips and many more. ‘I think you’re very pretty’ He said – not raising up his head ‘Ummm Thank you’ I returned Fiddling with my bread’. Brilliant.
Thu 9 Feb 7.30pm at Cafe Ort 500- 506 Moseley Road Balsall Heath Birmingham B12 9AH ortcafe

Swampmeat Family Band at The Dark Horse
Those Fazeley hillbillies have been legends in these parts for several years, bringing the noise of the Southern United States to the discerning ears of Birmingham’s redneck community and beyond. After a hiatus of several years when, as the rumour goes, Danny C was running a moonshine operation in some backwater hicksville part of the USA, the self-confessed reprobates are back. Original members Danny C and T-Bird are joined by Bentley Rhythm Ace bass fiddler Richard March and Tommy ‘Castro’ Hughes. The family mean business and are primed to unleash a wall of dirty rockabilly swamp noise. There’s a new album on the way so come join your cousins and rock out.
Fri 10 Feb 10pm at The Dark Horse, 145 Alcester Rd, Birmingham B13 8JP facebook

I, Daniel Blake (dir: Ken Loach, 2016, cert 15) at Stirchley Baths
Loach is angry and so will you be after viewing the tribulations of the titular Daniel as he strives to negotiate the bureaucratic behemoth of state welfare. No sitting on the fence here and the message is certainly hammered home but when the rhetoric of the right wing press is likewise hammered into popular consciousness maybe it’s the only way. An important antidote to the vile class stereotyping so beloved of the Daily Mail and its ilk and the most relevant film you will have seen in the last 12 months. You have been told.
Fri 10 Feb 7.30pm at Stirchley Baths, Bournville Lane Birmingham B30 2JT Free i-daniel-blake

Desert Boots and Sam Redmore at The Dark Horse
The Dark Horse has such a strong and well earned reputation for throwing incredible free parties. Here we go again with Worcester’s five piece groovy funk machine Desert Boots. Sweet chilled harmonies, toe tapping rhythms and a fine line in gorgeous facial hair. Drawing on a range of influences from jazz, funk, northern soul and electronica, these boys are an instant pop up party. Once the live music ends local DJing legend Sam Redmore will be your good times guide into the early hours.
Sat 11 Feb 9pm at The Dark Horse, 145 Alcester Rd, Birmingham B13 8JP facebook

Mon 6 Feb - Sun 12 Feb
Giles Logan
Published on:
Mon 9 Jan 2017