Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Requiem For A Banger

It is with regret that we announce the closure of Snax on New Canal Street.

A favourite company haunt whilst our rehearsal space was a few hundred yards away. A warm haven on harsh winter lunch times. Purveyours of fine road lunches and rapid breakfasts. Great staff, prompt service, good value, local colour. Not a frapachino in sight.

Our kind of Caff. It will be sorely missed.


Friday, November 10, 2006


A Board Meeting

There is a simple method of guaging how good a company's board meeting is. If you emerge more fired up and energised when you come out than when you went in, that's good. Wednesday's AGM and board meeting were good. They dealt with the nuts and bolts, unglamourous aspects of being a legaly constituted company with humour and efficiency.

The more energy your board adds to the company the better they are. This lot are great. They are engaged. They dish out compliments readily. They ask provokative questions. They make acute observations. They share relevant experiences. They offer practical assistance. They know when to leave well alone. They share a sense of being part of it and, crucially, they show up.

If you look forward to board meetings something must be going very right. Roll on 21st February, 2007.


Thursday, November 02, 2006


Hurrah For Teachers

After our recent dispiriting experience with teachers in Stoke, I had a rewarding encounter with a gang of teachers in Castle Vale. There they are introducing project working to Year 7 (first year of secondary school) and we are working with them on this through the year, giving the school starting points, activities and fresh approaches. Yesterday’s discussion was around how The Black Maze could act as a learning stimulus and in a practical, open and uncomplicated way the teachers picked up on ideas, knocked them into shape, took on responsibility for delivering work and basically cheered me up. Well don them.



When The Numbers Don't Stack Up

With Of All The People In All The World doing so tremendously well around the world and opening so many doors for us it is frustrating to have a bid to stage a World Version back at home in Birmingham shot down before it even really got going. The Urban Fusion programme is administered by the City Council and they got their money from Advantage West Midlands. The catch when money comes from these regeneration sources is that criteria shift even more radically from Art to Enterprise. The application needed to set out how many jobs would be generated or safe-guarded, how many training places would be available and so on. Clearly we fell woefully short in these directions as our proposal didn’t even reach the ‘short’ list of 20ish projects.

Still, we can only pitch what we want to do, not what we think will stack up the most points in the regeneration stakes. I just hope the projects that are eventually commissioned produce great art as well as great numbers.


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