Coming up at Artrix

There’s theatre and comedy arriving in Bromsgrove. 

Birmingham’s award-winning theatre company Women & Theatre has established a national reputation over 30 years for producing well-researched and sharply observed pieces of original and exciting theatre on themes of contemporary relevance.

Their latest production Laughing for a Change, which is coming to the Artrix on 18th March, combines the talents of comedians Rob Deering, Karen Bayley and Andy Robinson. With his easy charm, cheesy singing voice, razor-sharp wit and clownish persona, award-winning comedian Rob Deering quickly established himself as a firm favourite on the London circuit and has played at all the major comedy clubs nationwide. Brummie lass Karen Bayley was the first ever winner of the Comedy Store King Gong award and is a rising star on TV and radio. Andy Robinson, whose TV appearances include The Stand Up Show on BBC 1 has been performing stand-up for five years and has supported Jo Brand on her tour.

Loveable Birmingham housewife Barbara Nice, who has supported both Peter Kay and Johnny Vegas, will be hosting what looks set to be an evening of music and mayhem.

Women and Theatre present Laughing for a Change with Rob Deering on Tuesday 18th March at 8.00 pm. Tickets cost £12 (£10)

We Will Be Free pic

In 1834, six Dorset farm labourers were tried and convicted for having the temerity to form a secret union against a succession of wage cuts inflicted by their local landowner. We Will Be Free, a new play coming to Artrix on 20th March, tells the true story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs through the eyes of George and Betsy Loveless.

As the fast and furious tale unravels, we see how the arch tyrant-in-chief James Frampton, local squire and magistrate springs the trap, how labourer Edward Legg betrays the Martyrs and how the judiciary revel in the use of his evidence to condemn them to imprisonment and transportation to Australia. We see too the anguish of their families and the subsequent howl of protest and the battle for their reprieve. Through it all we see how events affected the lives and relationship of George and Betsy Loveless and how it strengthened their religious and political resolve.

This vitally important story is presented by The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and features the songs and rallying hymns of the Dorset labouring classes that resound down the years.

Townsend Productions presents We Will Be Free! on Wednesday 19th March at 8 pm. Tickets, £12 (£5 unwaged),

Andrew Lawrence

Bringing his trademark rants and sense of comedic despair, you can easily see why Andrew Lawrence is a double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee.

The comedian has been doing stand-up for ten years since 2003 when he graduated from St Andrews University. He started his comedy career doing stand-up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He has completed five tours so far and has made a number of TV appearances including BBC 1’s Live at the Apollo. In his new tour There is No Escape, Andrew presents his latest stand-up show of all new material.

Andrew Lawrence presents There is No Escape on Thursday 20th March. Tickets cost £15 (£13)

Three extraordinary women are drawn together to help a woman in her hour of need, in a compelling, funny and moving new play coming to Artrix on 24th March.

The Sistren tells the tale of three key players in the fight for women’s rights. Mary Wollstonecraft, considered to be “the founder of modern feminism” through her book’A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and mother to Frankenstein author, Mary Shelley; Claudia Jones – communist, founder of the first Black British weekly newspaper, and considered to be ‘the mother of the Notting Hill Carnival’ in response to race riots and Emma Lloyd Sproson, suffragette, suffragist and Wolverhampton’s first female councillor. If you’re a woman ….or a man that knows one, this is for you!

Gazebo Theatre presents The Sistren on Monday 24th March. Tickets cost £12 (£10)

All tickets are available from the Artrix box office on 01527 577330 or online at