The pantomime season may be coming to a close in town, but whatever you’ve got planned over the festive season don’t forget to “look behind you”, and in front, so you can perfectly time your theatrical entrance to the Forest Arts Centre.
The Walsall Council managed Centre has something for everyone this season. You can choose critically acclaimed touring theatre shows, new cinema releases, top comedy artists and performers - or show off yourself, by staging your own production in one of our arenas, or rooms for hire. The Centre is well established with local youth & adult theatre companies, music groups, amateur dramatic companies and orchestras – who all use it as a community resource. It has wider performance appeal too, with popular crowd pullers and comedians like Lee Nelson and Jenny Eclair staging sell out shows.
Forest Arts also nurtures music and performance skills in children through local school partnerships and invites an array of visiting music and creative tutors on site to encourage an early interest in the Arts.
But, while we’re in the most magical time of year, let’s talk about the biggest Fairy Godmother of them all - ‘Cinderella.’ Our seasonal Pantomime got Christmas off to a fairy dusted start. ‘Cinders’ certainly went from rags to riches at this year’s Forest Arts Christmas Ball. Her 24 sell out performances translated into over 6,000 ticket sales with new generations of children and families once more enjoying the beloved time old tale.
The Yuletide may come and go in a flash – but coming up in the New Year we have two comedy shows guaranteed to laugh off some of those extra Christmas calories. We’re excited to have booked two very original TV & radio comedy performers, Richard Herring Bilal Zafar. Richard is feeling the journey to middle age and reaching 50. He gets to his millstone milestone half century (against all odds) and looks at how his life has changed in the last decade, from irresponsible, single kidult, literally fighting his way through a mid-life crisis.
Bilal is another bright star on the 2018 horizon – he was named 2016 Best Newcomer nominee - and Hackney Empire New Act of the Year winner of the same year. He explores the fascinating world of online dating and finding love on social media in increasingly confusing times.
Theatre lovers can also enjoy the wonderful new stage show ‘Whistle Down the Wind’ which will be staged Walsall’s A3 Arena in February 2018. The Centre’s new A3 Arena is not a performance space, it can be hired too. The popular venue is used for large technology conferences and awards ceremonies.
More rooms and spaces at Forest Arts are available for hire, too with local businesses choosing it as a popular choice for breakfast meetings and workshops.
Councillor Ian Shires, Portfolio Holder for Community, Leisure and Culture said: “Forest Arts continues to go from strength-to-strength with commercial bookings up by 50% this year. I’m not surprised - it has top notch facilities and balances community arts and acclaimed performers with excellent business facilities. The new A3 Arena is a great addition too, as is the new improved website. It is a loved local resource and truly a jewel, not just in the Christmas crown, but all year round.”
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