Tag: Chrissie Harper

Calling the Tune

As mentioned in my previous entry, Chrissie Harper and I are no longer supplying content to Made in Birmingham TV. Despite our track record for turning in material on fit and ready to air, we were unceremoniously dropped without warning just two days after our next item had already been announces (luckily, I found another show eager to screen it, though that avenue also appears to have closed since). Considering the channel’s current downward plummet (eight hours per day of US imports simply shoehorned in from TruTV, including the station ident), it was a good time to make the break, although the circumstances left something to be desired.

Still, it’s freed us to explore another project, which really moved up a gear this afternoon. Whilst I can’t say any more at the moment, this has the potential to be a really exciting career move.

A Piece of Cake

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2017-05-28a by CH - Annabel de Vetten (detail2).JPG

Chrissie and I were invited along to Birmingham’s Electric Cinema on 28 May, to meet Annabel de Vetten, founder of speciality bakery Conjurer’s Kitchen, and Victoria Price, author of Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography. The resulting interview turned out to be our final appearance on Made in Birmingham TV, as we finally lost patience with a company which treats its outside contributors with utter contempt.

Another Nice Mess

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Usually, when I interview someone about a shared enthusiasm, it’s related to horror, science fiction or maybe comics, but my latest piece for Made in Birmingham TV took me to the home of John Ullah, ‘Grand Sheik’ of Laughing Gravy, the Birmingham ‘tent’ of the international Laurel & Hardy appreciation society the Sons of the Desert. As well as having a long and highly enjoyable conversation, the first part of which is due to air on Saturday evening, I actually got to touch a pair of Stan Laurel’s socks, which beats any variation of that Kevin Bacon game hands-down.

[Photograph by Chrissie Harper]

Time Czech

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Saturday evening found me back at the Two Towers Brewery, but for once it was not the Birmingham Horror Group which drew me there but Czech Club Birmingham, which had invited me to introduce a screening of the 1977 time travel comedy Zítra vstanu a oparím se cajem (aka Tomorrow I’ll Wake Up and Scald Myself with Tea). You can see the footage on YouTube, though it would have been nice to have the use of a real time machine to fix my comment that Josef Nesvadba was born in 1912 (it was actually 1926, a year he shared with the first true science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories).

Down the Tube [5]

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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.

Stargazing

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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).

Strip Teaser [2]

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 allan@thedarksidemagazine.com.

Saturday Night Fervour

Had a rather busy Saturday. Even as I was driving into Birmingham for the latest gathering of the Birmingham Horror Group at the Gunmakers Arms, Lee Bannister was introducing Chrissie’s and my report from the Blue Orange Theatre for Made in Birmingham TV’s Birmingham News Weekend Magazine.

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.

[Photograph above by Chrissie Harper]

Class Act [2]

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).

Class act

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.]