Upcoming event listings for MAC Birmingham

Beyond Windrush: Exhibitions


Andrew Jackson: From a Small Island

5 May – 8 July | Open Tue – Sun & Bank Holidays | First Floor Gallery | Admission Free


Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush in 1948, Andrew Jackson’s new photographic exhibition explores the psychological impact of migration through first, second and third generations of migrants from Jamaica. What are the consequences? What is the impact of migration from one small island to another?


Showcasing photographs produced in England and Jamaica, Jackson has explored how the connection to the island has been shaped by the mythologies of his family and the legacy of colonialism.


This exhibition is kindly supported by Arts Council England, The Roughley Trust and Mill Dam Trust.



Vanley Burke: 5,000 Miles and 70 Years

5 May – 8 July | Opening times as per building | Terrace Gallery and Windows | Admission Free


Vanley Burke is a renowned photographer concerned especially with Black culture in Britain, he was born in Jamaica in 1951 and has lived in Birmingham since 1965. Alongside his numerous exhibitions, Burke is also an avid collector and his archive is vast, including posters, clothes, records and ornaments that provide an invaluable insight into the UK’s African Caribbean communities.  Inspired by the collection and his family history Burke has created a new site-specific installation at MAC – a collage of Caribbean migration and settlement - that transforms the venue into a vibrant space.



Raphael Albert: Miss Black and Beautiful

Sat 21 Apr – Sun 1 Jul | Opening times as per building | Arena Gallery | Free Admission


MAC and Autograph ABP are proud to present the first major solo exhibition of photographs by the late Raphael Albert – cultural promoter, entrepreneur and photographer. For more than three decades from the late 1960s, Albert organised and documented numerous black British beauty pageants and other cultural events, while creating a portfolio of photographs of aspiring models in his home studio. These competitions celebrated the global ‘Black is Beautiful’ aesthetic of the 1970s in a local west London context: paired with the obligatory bathing costumes and high heels, Albert’s contestants often sported large Afro hairstyles, inventing and reinventing themselves on stage while articulating a particular and multifaceted black femininity as part of a widely contested and ambiguous cultural performance. Albert’s photographs serve as testament to this profound moment of self-articulation and collective celebration in London’s pan Afro-Caribbean communities, and beyond.



Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity: A Research Project and Art Exhibition

Tue 8 May – Sun 1 Jul | | Opening times as per building | The Hub | Free Admission


The exhibition includes work by sculptural artist Sonia E. Barrett, digital projections of paintings, photographs, documentary film clips and multi-media works by contemporary visual artists of Caribbean descent. CARISCC is an international interdisciplinary research network of seven leading universities who look at how Caribbean people deploy their creative energy to live with the everyday effects of poverty, inequality, social conflict and environmental challenges, while also generating globally influential creativity.


Beyond Windrush: Events


Rum Night with Ian Burrell: The Rum Ambassador

Sat 26 May | 8pm | Theatre | £17 (£15) | Ages 18+


Ian is one of the most travelled and acclaimed figures within the rum industry, conducting masterclasses, seminars, and judging competitions on all seven continents. Now the Rum & Cocktail specialist on Channel 4’s entertainment show Sunday Brunch, he is also the creator of the world’s first international rum festival - UK RumFest, inspiring the birth of rum festivals around the world. Through his entertaining repartee and knowledge guests at MAC will learn all they need to know about this tropical, sugar-caned tipple, while sampling a selection of world class varieties.



Beyond Windrush Conference:
A conversation about art, politics and immigration in post-war Britain

Sat 9 Jun | 10am to 5pm | Cinema | £5  | 14+


This day-long conference brings together acclaimed contributors from artists and scholars for a series of unique presentations and rich panel discussions that explore the art, artists and social histories inspired by MAC’s newly commissioned exhibitions by Andrew Jackson and Vanley Burke. In partnership with the Centre for Critical Studies Research: Black Studies Department, Birmingham City University.



Reggae Women

Sat 7 Jul | 8pm | Theatre | £8


Our season finale of spoken word and song in celebration of Reggae music and its contribution to British society hosted by  Sue Brown and featuring Melika Queely, Judith Emeline, Keisha Diamond, Patrica Panton, Miss Culture Jam, and Empress P.


Beyond Windrush: Families

Sue Brown and Tina Pringle-Hamilton: Poetry Tree

Sun 27 May | 11.30am – 12.30pm & 1pm – 2pm | Weston Studio | Admission Free  

An opportunity for families and young people to participate in creative workshops, with poet Sue Brown and artist Tina Pringle-Hamilton, creating poetry inspired by family objects and photographs, which will be added to a textile tree.


Steel and Strings

Wed 30 May | 11am -12.30pm & 2pm - 3.30pm | English Studio | £3 | 8+

Steel and Strings bring the resonant and distinctly Caribbean sounds of the Steel Pan to MAC for this workshop for families and young people. With a reputation for highly entertaining performances and flamboyant personalities this promises to a joyful experience.


Carnival Workshop

Fri 1 Jun | 11am to 3pm | Weston Studio | £5 | 8+

Get in the spirit of Caribbean by designing and creating smart footwear or a head dress in this fun filled Carnival workshop. Bring your head attire or a pair of boots/pumps to decorate on the day.



Birmingham International Dance Festival


Candoco Dance Company: Face In & Let’s Talk About Dis

Wed 13 – Thu 14 Jun | 7.30pm | Theatre | £15 / £13.50 | Ages 10+


Candoco Dance Company, the renowned contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled performers, presents a dramatic and powerful double bill. Yasmeen Godder’s FACE IN is loud, vibrant and intoxicating, while Hetain Patel’s LET’S TALK ABOUT DIS is a playful and intimate piece that builds on an exploration of the dancer’s personalities and bodies, challenging the audience to think beyond the surface.


LET’S TALK ABOUT DIS uses English, French and British Sign Language. In this way language is used as a creative technique to underpin the themes of understanding and misunderstanding, representation and misrepresentation.



Kallo Collective: Only Bones v1.0

Fri 15 – Sat 16 Jun | 7:30pm | Hexagon Theatre | £13 / £11.50 | Age 8+


An award-winning new solo production of multi-splendous physical buffoonery by the international physical theatre company Kallo Collective and acclaimed production company Show Pony. Mime and clowning meet contemporary movement in a fresh and exhilarating new take on traditional forms of movement.


BIDF: Mini
Sat 16 & Sun 17 Jun | 10.30pm & 12.30pm |£9 Adult & Child / £5 Additional Adult| Foyle Studio | 2-4 years


Lines, forms, and colours emerge from the white surface to take on a life of their own; by sketching a drawing, a man and a woman appear. The two want to get to know each other exploring our curiosity for everything that is different from ourselves.

Simple everyday situations come alive and, by using visual narrative and the physicality of dance, they confer visibility on those “mini” emotional reactions that occur whenever we really encounter someone.


BIDF: Kindur – The Adventurous Life of Icelandic Sheep
Sat 16 & Sun 17 Jun | 3.30pm & 5.30pm |£10 (£8.50) | Theatre | Ages 5 +


A magical interactive theatre experience.  From the white of its glaciers to northern lights, from geysers to the rumble of gigantic waterfalls, a fairy-tale landscape is brought to life, as three dancers take the role of ‘Kindur’, (sheep in Icelandic) guiding audiences on an immersive, magical adventure, where each natural element seems animated by mysterious forces.





The Blockheads Live

Fri 20 Jul | 8pm | Arena |£22 (£19)


Starting out as the band behind Ian Dury, The Blockheads are a legendary outfit that has grown in stature from the early days of the Stiff tour in 1977, right up to the present day. Rarely off the road since Dury’s untimely death in 2000, The Blockheads fronted by Derek Hussey have a legion of fans of all ages. Often described as one of the most underrated British bands of all time, this gig will feature new material and classics like “Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick”, “Reasons To Be Cheerful (Part 3)”, “What A Waste” and many more from the illustrious back catalogue.



Oddsocks Double Bill


The Tempest

Sat 14 Jul | 7:30pm | Arena | £15 (£12.60) | 7+

Shakespeare’s tale of illusion and revenge is brought vividly to life in Oddsocks’ musical, Sci-fi adaptation. Prepare for launch, get on your space suits and take one small step for man, one giant leap for Shakespeare!


Romeo & Juliet

Sun 15 Jul | 7pm | Arena | £15 (£12.60) | 7+

Oddsocks are return with a revival of their mods and rockers themed Romeo & Juliet which featured in The Guardian Readers Favourite Theatre of 2017.



Chapterhouse Double Bill


Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland

Thu 18 August | 6:30pm | Arena | £16 (£14.50) | All ages

Join Alice as she stumbles into the magical world of Wonderland and meet a whole host of colourful characters. Presented in beautiful Victorian costume and alive with song, dance and original music, this is a production to delight the entire family. Discounted family tickets available.


Little Women

Fri 27 July | 7pm | Arena | £16 / £14.50  | Ages 12+

Chapterhouse are proud to present the timeless story of Little Women based on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott. Join Four Sisters, Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy as they tell the tell the story of their life during the Civil War in America. It is a story full of romance, love, passion, friendship; a story where hope will always outdo heartache and hardship if you just have the courage to follow your dreams. Featuring glorious period costume, traditional live music and a story of self-discovery to warm your heart. 



Sundown Cinema

The original outdoor cinema experience that you know and love returns and this year we may even get an actual red carpet! So don’t let it rain on your parade, because this year is the year of the underdog! For all you Funny Girls and one time Aca-awkward teens join us, for a party under the stars, we may even make your prom dreams come true. Shamon!


Moonwalker (1989)

Wed 8 Aug | Arena | £10 | PG | 88 mins

Michael Jackson is Moonwalker! Featuring a collection of shorts and some of his greatest music videos, you may be question just what is this film is about, us too, but we just can’t get enough of that shamon!


Pitch Perfect (2012)

Sat 11 Aug | Arena | £10 | 12A | 109 mins

Welcome to Barton University! Where acapella rules and air hostess costumes are all the rage. Follow Indie kid Beca, as she joins the Barton Bella’s, the unsuccessful all female singing troupe. Turning them from zeros to heroes this is totally aca-awesome.


Funny Girl (1968)

Sun 26 Aug | Arena | £10 |  U | 149 mins

The classic bittersweet musical, which won Barbara Streisand Best Actress at the 1969 Oscars, follows vibrant and ambitious actress Fanny Brice and her rise to fame marriage and Independence. From her first gig on the Vaudeville theatre circuit to her debut on Broadway, and of course her relationship with Nick Arnstein, played by Omar Sharif.


Pretty In Pink (1986)

Sat 1 Sep | Arena | £10 | 15 | 95 mins

Nostalgic teen angst fest! Follow a love triangle between the popular guy (Andrew McCarthy), the Indie girl (Molly Ringwald) and the oddball outcast, as they muddle through the utter mess that is senior year. Featuring one of the best lip syncs committed to film ever (thank-you Jon Cryer) this has killer soundtrack, awesome fashion with a massive dollop of prom night at the end…. Dreamy!



Test Drive our Courses

From a day to a few weeks, our short courses are the perfect way to try out something new. And you can pre-book a buffet lunch for just £5 so you can short cut the café queues and make the most of your lunch break.


Toe dipping classes

If you’re looking for a new hobby but aren’t ready to fully commit just yet, try these.


Celebrating Iyengar Yoga: Taster session with Elisabeth Moreton

Fri 8 Jun | 12.15pm – 1.15pm | FREE | All


Introduction to Tai Chi with Phil Shelton

Fri 8 Jun & Fri 15 Jun | 11.15am -12.15pm | £6 (£5.40) | Beginners


Introduction to Writing Children’s’ Literature with Carol Preston

Sat 14 Jul | 10am – 4pm | £33 (£30) | Beginners


Poetry and Poetic Writing with Carol Preston

Fri 8 Jun | 10am – 4pm | £33 (£30) | Beginners



Project Makes


In these courses you’ll learn a specific technique resulting in something you’ve made that you can take home to show off your new skills.


Decorative stained glass garden stakes with Claire Wainwright

Wed 6 – Wed 27 Jun | 10am – 12pm | £60 (£54) | Beginners


NEW COURSE: Gelatine Plate Printing with Claire Leggett

Thu 21 Jun | 10am – 4pm | £38 (£34) | All

Learn how to use this innovative printing technique and create unique mono prints.


NEW COURSE: Make a Vintage-Style Dress with Sian Riley

Sat 30 Jun – Sun 1 Jul | 10am – 5pm | £73 (£66) | Improvers

Learn to make a stunning vintage style dress in this two day course.


NEW COURSE: Native American Ceramics with Sue Dyer

Mon 13 Aug – Mon 27 Aug | 10am – 4pm | £104 (£94) | Improver/Advanced

During this unique 3 day course you will explore contemporary ceramic work by Native American potters, learn about their techniques and develop your own designs inspired by legends and symbols found in the natural world.


Understanding Colour with Louise Blakeway

Mon 4 - Mon 25 Jun | 2pm – 4pm | £36 (£32) | All


NEW COURSE: Yoga Chakras: A Journey Through Colour with Simon Hunt

Thu 5 Jul – Thu 26 Jul | 11:45am – 1:30pm | £40 (£36) | All

An immersive experience into colour and sound. This four week course is designed by and unique to MAC.



Mastering Your Art


Our Open Studio courses give experienced learners the space and time to explore their own designs. These courses are guided by a tutor, however you should be at an improver level to participate.


Ceramics Open Studio with Sue Dyer

Wed 30 May, Wed 18 Jul, Tue 14 Aug, 10am – 4pm | £37 (£33) | Improvers/Advanced


Life Drawing and Painting Open Studio with Paul Bartlett

Sun 15 Apr, Sun 10 Jun, Sun 19 Aug, 10am – 4pm | £28 (£25) | Improvers/Advanced


Textiles Open Studio with Helen Lane

Sun 15 Jul, 10am – 4pm | £34 (£31) | Improvers/Advanced





Welsh National Opera: Rhondda Rips It Up!  

Sat 9 Jun | 7.30pm | £20 / £18 | Theatre


Rhondda Rips It Up! is a riotous romp through the life of Margaret Haig Thomas, the Newport suffragette whose activities paved the way for women’s rights in the personal, professional and political worlds.


Performed in a classic music hall style, with original songs inspired by the suffragette slogans, this tongue-in-cheek production takes you on a whirlwind tour of the inspiring activist’s mission. Starring Lesley Garrett and Madeline Shaw, watch as Lady Rhondda takes on politicians, peers and a post box as she marches towards the House of Lords.



COMEDY: Edinbrum

See the shows that will be the biggest hits of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. These work-in-progress shows are a great way to see the hot tickets without long journeys and inflated accommodation costs.


*Book several performances at once and receive up to 20% off the price of your tickets*



Jarred Christmas & Viv Groskop

Thu 7 Jun | 7.30pm | £9.50 (£7.50) | 14+


Jarred Christmas, the quick witted master of improv, is a TV regular and Chortle award-winner. Author, journalist (Observer, Guardian) and comedian Viv Groskop  is best known for her podcast Waving Not Drowning and her regular appearances on Radio 4.



Lloyd Langford & Chris Stokes

Thu 14 Jun | 7.30pm | £9.50 (£7.50) | 14+


BBC regular (QI, The Now Show, Ask Rhod Gilbert) Lloyd presents a show that like him is rough but charming, like an old-timey hobo. Also on the bill is Milto0n Jones’ support act and BBC Three and Dave regular Chris Stokes who’ll be premiering material from his fifth solo show.



Pat Monahan & Darren Harriot

Thu 21 Jun | 7.30pm | £9.50 (£7.50) | 14+


Audience favourite Patrick Monahan blends a high-energy comedy style with hilarious and engaging topical and observational material. Known for working a room, Patrick is adored by his audiences with whom he makes an effortless connection. Brummie-born Darren Harriot, recently seen on Live at the Apollo, will be performing new material from hotly anticipated follow up to last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominated show.



Angela Barnes & Mitch Benn

Thu 28 Jun | 7.30pm| £9.50 (£7.50) | 14+


Angela is a TV regular (Mock the Week, Live at the Apolllo) and presenter of Newsjack on Radio 4 Extra. Returning to MAC for more music-filled laughter, Mitch Benn is the star of The Now Show and the Radio 4 adaptation of the 6th book of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.



Jo Caulfield & Hal Cruttenden

Thu 5 Jul | 7.30pm | £9.50 (£7.50) | 14+


Best-known for her ledendary one-woman shows Jo Caulfield is one of the fastest tickets sellers at the fridge. A regular tv panelist, you’ll find her on Mock the Week and Have I got News For You with witty sharp quips. Accomplised writer, actor and comedian Hal Cruttenden is a BBC favourite,  with a succesful Radio 4 sitcom under his belt and several sell out solo tours.



Nick Doody & Jenny Collier

Thu 12 Jul | 7.30pm | £9.50 (£7.50) | 14+


Sharp, topical and not afraid to say what he thinks, Nick Doody’s brand of satirical genius keeps winning fans all over the country. Nick has appeared on various radio and TV shows (memorably as co-host on Rich Hall’s US Election Breakdown) and is the creator and head writer of Bigipedia, a critically acclaimed Radio 4 show. Multi award-winning Welsh comedian, Jenny Collier, returns with a brand new hour of stand up. After a sellout 2017 run, a smattering of European gigs (while she still can) and a year of comeding in every corner of the UK, she's back and gooder than ever.



Larry Dean & Mat Ewins

Thu 19 Jul | 7.30pm | £9.50 (£7.50) | 14+


Hot off the heels from his succful Fringe Show Fandan and his BBC Live at the Apollo debut, see Larry Dean preview much anticipated new material.  A nominee for last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Mat Ewins brings his usual brand of offbeat daftness and silliness. A computer programmer, Mat’s shows often include some pretty clever multimedia technology.



Paul Sinha & Laura Lexx

Thu 26 Jul | 7.30pm | £9.50 (£7.50) | 14+


The Chaser himself, Paul Sinha joins us to premiere new material. Not only a quiz champion Paul has a stellar comedy pedigree and appeared on the like of The News Quiz, Just A Minute and Loose Ends. Having spent 2017 trying to get through therapy, Laura Lexx delights in her supberb new show, Trying. Winner of Comic’s Comic Award and multiple Chortle-award nominee.




Griff Rhys Jones: Where Was I?

Thu 5 July | 8pm | £21 / £19 Theatre


Join the star of Not the Nine o'clock News, Smith & Jones and Three Men In A Boat as he airs stories, anecdotes, reminiscences and outright lies – from forty years of travelling - down rivers and up mountains, into Africa, out of India, and across the arid wastes of the BBC canteen. It's a career, if you mean bouncing chaotically downhill without a map. 



Sir Andrew Motion: Essex Clay

Sat 2 Jun | 7.30pm | £14 / £12.50

The award winning and former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, returns to UK shores with his sequel to the hugely successful biography In The Blood. Rekindling subjects that have haunted his past and giving them a tragic resonance in prose. This is an exercise in admitting the final resolutions of life are never impossible.


Sarah Kendall: One Seventeen

Sun 10 Jun | 8pm | £15 / £13.60 | Foyle | Ages 14+

May contain strong language and adult themes


Nominated twice for the Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show and Total Fringe Sell Out 2015, 2016, 2017. Sarah Kendall embarks on a UK tour with her latest show One-Seventeen. A blistering hour of storytelling from the creator and star of the hit BBC Radio 4 series Australian Trilogy.




Chris Thorpe & Mala Voadora: Your Best Guess

Sun 10 Jun | 8pm | £12 / £11 | Theatre | 14+


Scarves commemorating the victory of a football team that lost in the final, T-shirts from the tour of a singer who died before he even stepped on stage, wedding invitations that were about to be sent when the engaged couple broke up, the victory speech of an election candidate who came second. These are things made for a future that never came to pass, persisting in their uselessness. You can imagine the story in which these aborted things were purchased with enthusiasm, worn with pride, read with an epic tone of voice, or removed from their envelopes with great emotion. Rewriting history: your best guess. In association with ARC Stockton.



Vamos Theatre: Sharing Joy

Thu 5 Jul | 11am | £7 | Foyle | Ages 16+ 


Sharing Joy is a theatre show especially created for those living with dementia and their carers. It’s a huge celebration of life and all its joys, using music, dance, nostalgia, masks, puppetry and laughter to bring pleasure and meaning to everyone involved.


The show is set in the 1940s and 1950s, where we’ll meet courting couples, wartime nurses, a singing dog, and even Elvis himself - who may make an appearance as a special guest! There’s plenty of music to bring back memories, dancing to enjoy or join in with, swinging dresses and best suits. It’s a playful and joyous show that encourages everyone to take part and to express themselves.





Fri 29 Jun | 7pm | £3 | Outdoor Arena


Looking for a lively evening for the family with great music to prepare you for the weekend? 

Then why not join us on Friday 29th June 2018 for SWITCH Sunset! 

You can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere in MAC's outdoor arena where you'll be very welcome to listen, sing and dance along to original music by MAC Makes Music's very own inclusive band, SWITCH also featuring Sandwell-based band, The Warriors.

SWITCH is MAC’s very own band-in-residence, made up of a group of young musicians who work alongside professional music leaders to write songs, play instruments, sing and learn about the many aspects of music production. They have an increasing repertoire of original songs and enjoy regular performance opportunities at MAC and beyond.



Dirty Vegan: A MAC pop-up

Fri 27 July | From 7.30pm | £17.50 | Cafe


Join us for our first ever pop-up Dirty Vegan night in our café. Here to show you that being vegan isn’t just about being good: it’s time to get stuck into some seriously tasty food.

Your Dirty Vegan ticket includes:

  • A classic dirty vegan burger
  • Unlimited fries to load up with naughty toppings (we’re talking BBQ pulled jackfruit, jalapenos, shitake mushroom ‘bacon bits’ and more!)
  • A bottled beer or a glass of wine from the pop up bar
  • And entry to live music on the night

Plus there’ll be loads of delicious drinks, desserts and freak shakes to buy on the night.

Sittings are at 7.30pm, 7.45pm and 8pm. Please book together to ensure you are sitting with your friends


The Windrush Generation: 70th Anniversary Concert
Fri 29 Jun | 7pm | £13.20 | Theatre


An evening celebration in song, dance, poetry and drama

With Black Voices, The Town Hall Gospel Choir, Denniston Stewart and Heion Wray

Come join us for an evening of celebration, thanking them for the many sacrifices that they made for us and their legacy that can never be forgotten Doors open 18.30 - Showtime 19.00    


Dancing Strong: Light Steps

Sun 15 July | 11am & 2.30pm | £7 | Foyle | Ages 4 -7


Meet the charming rag doll Alex and her friends as they invite you into a magical world of interaction and dance. 

The Story is set to a beautiful live musical composition, reflecting the various stages of the day’s light. This dance and music performance piece is made for children and their families to enjoy colour, movement and music. 

This Performance is made for families to enjoy together with the opportunity to join in and have fun with the dancers.