The latest of my reports for Made in Birmingham TV aired Saturday evening. the first half of a discussion with local rock musician Joe Dempster, whose band The Bloodthirsters has since supplied the theme tune for the first of Chrissie Harper’s and my Club Vamporama minisodes.
Other recent contributions to Birmingham News Weekend Magazine have featured Vamos Theatre (whose performers wear full-face masks), the producer and director of Worcester-based crime thriller Artichoke, performance duo notnow Collective, Birmingham-based space artist David A Hardy, Birmingham CAMRA chair Sally Lavender and award-winning licensee Brendon Daly (whose pub has already served as an ad hoc studio on three occasions). The majority are now available to view on our YouTube channel.
Clockwise, from top left: with musician Joe Dempster; with film-makers Fernando Antonio Maffei and Lawrence Donello; with artist David A Hardy; with performers Hannah Kimpton and Aron De Casmaker of Vamos Theatre.
In my previous post, I mentioned Club Vamporama, a prospective television adaptation of the comic series. Well, Chrissie Harper and I are also working on All Bad Things, a short film scripted by Chrissie from a story idea of mine and which she’ll also be directing. The female lead will be taken by Liz Burden, who also posed for the promotional shot above when the three of us got together at Bromsgrove’s St Johns Church on Sunday afternoon.
It’s been several weeks since I last updated this site, mainly because my colleague Chrissie Harper and I have been kept busy with supplying content to Made in Birmingham TV, but most recently due to our working on a short horror film, All Bad Things, and a prospective television project, Club Vamporama. Just to whet your appetites, here’s a promotional image for the latter, engineered from today’s shoot with actresses Jaz Arden-Brown (playing Marie Leroux) and Charlie Clarke (Jenni Russell).
I had the immense pleasure of interviewing my old friend Dave Hardy on Tuesday, with the footage (photographed by Chrissie Harper) to be divided between two separate programmes on Made in Birmingham TV. As I reminded him, the previous time I profiled Dave was way back in 1979, not long after I moved from the Walsall Observer to its sister title in Solihull (my home town, of course).
I’ve become somewhat of a regular fixture on Made in Birmingham TV of late, and Saturday saw my fifth report in a row for Birmingham News Weekend Magazine. The first two focussed upon the recent Blue Orange Theatre production of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the next two featured extracts from Adam Nevill’s appearance at the Birmingham Horror Group, and the latest concerned a local pub being honoured by Birmingham CAMRA. In due course, all five will be available via YouTube.
Back in the autumn of 1993, I made several appearances on The Way Out, broadcast live on BBC Radio 5 each Friday night from Birmingham’s famous Pebble Mill studios. Shortly afterwards, Radio 5 was re-engineered beyond all recognition into 5 Live, ending my blossoming career as the show’s resident horror and science fiction pundit, whilst the studios were closed in 2004 and demolished the following year.
I guess the first appearance of Chrissie’s and my comic strip ‘The Lighter Side’ didn’t prompt readers to march towards the Dark Side offices waving burning torches like a scene from the 1930s horror movies we lampooned, because the January issue features our second collaboration, this time a nod to a more recent British classic.
As previously mentioned, you can see more of Chrissie’s work at her own website, Chez Chrissie, and support her webcomics via Patreon.
It’s still early days, so any support from Dark Side readers is very welcome. You can contact the editor, Allan Bryce, via email@example.com.
Shortly afterwards, I was on stage with author Adam Nevill, discussing his influences, his new novel Under a Watchful Eye (a terrific read, by the way) and the impending movie adaptation of The Ritual, which had only been announced two days earlier. The conversation was filmed for use on two separate Made in Birmingham TV shows, the general material for Lee and the film-related footage for his colleague Carl Jones’ daily cinema slot. In addition, the interview will be transcribed for a forthcoming issue of the magazine Fear.
The first of Chrissie’s and my reports from the Blue Orange Theatre on its latest production of Lady Chatterley’s Lover aired on Saturday, as part of Made in Birmingham TV’s Birmingham News Weekend Magazine. To my surprise, presenter Lee Bannister announced the second will be broadcast next weekend (I’d expected it to be held back until 18 February).
Above, you can see me in conversation with the play’s director, Tina Hofman; in the follow-up, I talk to actors Abi Castleton (Connie Chatterley) and Marcus Fernando (Oliver Mellors).
Paid another visit to Birmingham’s Blue Orange Theatre on Tuesday, to film an interview with Tina Hofman, director of the Theatre’s production of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, plus cast members Abi Castleton (Connie Chatterley) and Marcus Fernando (Oliver Mellors). As usual, Chrissie Harper shot the raw footage and will be handling the final edit.
The week-long in-house run began Thursday night, then it’s off on a month’s UK tour. Looking forward to catching a performance early next week.
[You can watch my conversation in September with Blue Orange Theatre trustee Mark Webster here.]