Press Release

It’s a family affair as theatre company returns with a show about the ordinary women who campaigned for equal rights and made history

 A real-life dad and daughter will take to the stage as father and daughter as Tudor Musical Comedy Society returns to Sutton Coldfield Town Hall next week. Nathan and Scarlett Rock will appear as Eddie and Sharon O’Grady in the company’s forthcoming production of Made in Dagenham from 20-24 September.

Based on the film of the same name, the musical follows the story of the women machinists at Ford Dagenham who, in 1968, went on strike over equal pay after finding they were paid less than their male colleagues on the same grading. Their protest not only resulted in them securing a fairer wage, but it also forced the issue of equal pay into the spotlight and ultimately led to the introduction of the Equal Pay Act of 1970.

And taking on two of the central characters in this heart-warming, funny and emotional snapshot of history, are dad and daughter team of Nathan and nine-year-old Scarlett. But Scarlett is no stranger to performing as she was a cast member in Tudor’s production of Evita and has featured in several high-profile television advertising campaigns for organisations such as ASDA, the National Lottery and Marks and Spencer. She also appeared in the feature film Johnny English 3 and the keen-eyed might recognise her from the 2021 Debenhams Christmas advert.

Those who have watched Tudor’s previous productions will also be familiar with Nathan as he has performed regularly with them taking leading roles in previous shows such as Sister Act and Legally Blonde. Nathan said: “I am looking forward to sharing the stage with my daughter, Scarlett. She makes me so proud, and I know that she will have the most amazing week performing in Made in Dagenham.”

Made in Dagenham marks Tudor’s 61st year of entertaining audiences in Sutton Coldfield.

Chairman, Jayne Gleig, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring this fantastic show to The Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Hall. For those who don’t know the story, it is very much one of friendship, love and fighting for what is right. That’s something that chimes with the ethos of our company where we pride ourselves on being inclusive, supportive, and friendly.

“Bringing the show to the stage represents seven months of hard work and dedication by our cast, company and production team which has been expertly led by Paula Lumsden who, having previously undertaken numerous leading roles on stage, makes her directorial debut with Made in Dagenham. We can’t wait for this show to take to the stage and urge the people of Sutton Coldfield to support local theatre and their town hall by coming to see this piece of history set in a musical about ordinary women who made positive change happen for generations to come.”

Made in Dagenham is at The Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Hall from 20-24 September. Tickets are available at or by calling the box office on 0121 296 9543.



Giant footsteps are set to echo around Sutton Coldfield Town Centre this month when larger-than-life characters mix with shoppers.

This Saturday (August 13th) Transformers Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will touch down in Sutton and patrol the Parade for a free meet-and-greet with fans from 11am-2pm. Then, on Bank Holiday Monday (August 28th) the Royal Town will get a Royal visit with a difference when the King of the Dinosaurs – ‘Chomp’, the T-Rex – stalks the town centre from 11am-2pm. The colourful characters are part of the new Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield BID programme of year-round events which aims to encourage more people to choose the town centre as a destination to spend time, eat, drink, shop and relax.

Organised by Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID), the programme of events also includes a new monthly Farmer’s Market, beginning on Sunday, September 25th. BID Manager Michelle Baker said: “We’re aiming to make Sutton Coldfield town centre a big attraction, and they don’t come much bigger than the Transformers and Chomp, who is the world’s biggest, most realistic Tyrannosaurus Rex! “These are amazing performance characters who have to be seen to be believed, so come down to Sutton town centre and enjoy the free entertainment.




#GENERATIONS is a celebration of families, individuals, diversity and the people of Birmingham and the region. We are inviting YOU to tell us the story of your family through your photos. We would love to see photographs that represent local people’s heritage, background, family stories and the diversity of the region and the many communities that make up the city.
It’s super easy to submit…
1) Select your favourite image that represents your family story and what family means to you. You can take a photograph of it, scan it in or select straight from your smartphone or device.
2) Go to the GRAIN Website and head to our GENERATIONS submissions page…/submit-your…/
3) Enter the details on the form, including a brief description of your photo.
4) Don’t forget to add your photos!
5) Click submit and away you go…
So, what are you waiting for? Go to our website and upload your photograph today! Once uploaded your picture may be used online, on social media and in online exhibitions during Birmingham 2022 and the Commonwealth Games. For more information on the project, please visit: If you have any questions, please do get in touch by emailing [email protected].

West Midlands Trains – Hot Weather

Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 July – Speed restrictions due to hot weather

The impact of hot weather

Hot weather has an impact on the railways, and with extreme temperatures forecasted next week, speed restrictions (during peak temperature days) will be implemented across the whole rail network for a number of safety reasons. This includes (but not limited to) Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 July.

As these days present the highest temperatures forecasted, there will be a temporary-amended timetable across sections of our network. Work is currently ongoing with Network Rail to establish the level of service that we will be able to run.

We aim to have our timetable information as soon as possible, but in the meantime you can view the overview online today.

More On Timetable Overviews

If you’re travelling during this time:

  • Plan ahead – please allow extra time for your journey, as journeys are likely to take longer than usual.
  • Check before you travel – changes to services will be in place. Please check our confirmed timetable information online.
  • Stay hydrated – the weather is likely to be very hot early next week. If you are travelling, please ensure you bring a bottle of water with you to keep you hydrated and cool.
  • If you are subject to delays of more than 15 minutes, you may be entitled to compensation through Delay Repay.
  • Book assistance if you require assistance with your journey, please book in advance if possible.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this will cause. Thank you for your patience.


Arthur Terry student Sarah tells council chiefs to support families hit by sepsis

An inspirational Arthur Terry student who had to look after her mum when she caught a life-threatening condition took her campaign for improved support to the corridors of power, when she appeared before the biggest local authority in Europe to demand urgent action.

Year 9 student Sarah Gibson took the floor at a full meeting of Birmingham City Council on Tuesday, July 12 to ask a question about support for families who are affected by Sepsis, which struck down her mum Ali in 2019.

Sarah, who was just 11 years old at the time, cared for her mum as they were not aware of the support that was available to families in their situation.

Sepsis is the body’s over-reaction to an infection or injury, which causes the immune system to attack its own organs and tissues. It affects 245,000 people every year in the UK and is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide (11 million people).

Sarah asked a question of the council’s cabinet member with responsibility for Health and Social Care, Cllr Mariam Khan.

She told the council:

“I first came into contact with the serious effects of sepsis through my mum in 2019. This experience was very difficult and frightening for me as I did not know what Sepsis was. Even now, three years on, my mum is still struggling with the long-lasting effects that this condition has caused. Sepsis has led to anxiety for my mum’s wellbeing. This is all because she got no support.
“Nationally, 245,000 are directly affected yearly, not to mention the family of each person like me. My mum was offered no support. I had to care for her and myself when I was only 11. This is something no child should have to suddenly and irreversibly carry the responsibility for, but thousands have no choice but to. It is vital that patients are signposted towards UK Sepsis Trust services at the hospital. Awareness for sepsis is essential to save lives and lower the death rate of some 48,000 people every year.
“Will you commit to embedding signposting towards sepsis support systems like the Sepsis Trust at hospitals across Birmingham for patients and families?”

National charity the UK Sepsis Trust, which was founded in Birmingham by a doctor working at Good Hope Hospital, exists to support this hit by the condition and backed Sarah in her big moment at the council.

The Trust’s Fundraising Manager Brian Davies, who accompanied Sarah to the council meeting, said he had been ‘hugely impressed’ by the maturity and determination she had shown in demanding action.

He said: “Sarah showed great courage and determination to speak at the council and got across her point with real conviction.

“She and her family have experience of how Sepsis can impact on lives and have long-lasting effects. The UK Sepsis Trust is is proud to provide a free, confidential and compassionate helpline service, facilitated by our dedicated team of specialist sepsis nurses.

“However, effected families often don’t know about us, or aren’t pointed towards us when they need support the most.

“Sarah’s idea to embed signposting to help families affected by sepsis find us, and access our services and support, is a simple move that could improve the lives of so many people impacted by this terrible condition.”

Sarah found out about the trust during an ‘experience of the workplace’ careers event at the Arthur Terry School, which is part of the respected Arthur terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), where Brian was acting as a mentor.

Another mentor at the event, ATLP Trust member Councillor Alex Yip, arranged for Sarah to ask her question at Birmingham City Council’s full meeting, bringing the issue of sepsis to the attention of more than 100 elected councillors in the Second City.

Lauren Murphy, Sarah’s form tutor, said: “We are so proud of Sarah and the stand she has made about this issue, which has had such an impact on not only her own family but thousands of others.

“It was a privilege to see her speak to the council and we all hope the councillors will act on the suggestion she made.”

Courtesy Gary Phelps Communications Ltd

Passport to joy!

Passport to joy! Office Manager Caroline gets MP on board to bid children a “bon voyage”

A dedicated school worker teamed up with her MP to ensure two children didn’t miss the boat in joining their classmates on a dream holiday to France, after a last-minute passport mix-up.

When Year 6 Mere Green Primary pupils Taiya-Lea Brown and Daniel Wharrad faced missing the June school trip due to not having their passports back, school office manager, Caroline Dempsey made it her mission to help the children.

She enlisted the help of Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell to secure both passports in the nick of time. This included an 11th hour dash on a Sunday – just one day before the holiday – to the Liverpool passport office, which opened especially, following a heartfelt plea from Caroline and Mr Mitchell.

Caroline, who has worked at Mere Green Primary School, part of the respected Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), for four months, said: “Our children have been looking forward to this holiday, especially after the last couple of years. When we realised (insert the two children’s names) wouldn’t have their passports back in time, I wanted to do all I could to help.

“I contacted Andrew Mitchell, who immediately responded and volunteered to help. We managed to get one passport delivered on the Friday, but the other was not dispatched as promised. We then tried to arrange delivery on the Saturday, with no joy. Daniel was devastated, but we did not give up hope. Andrew worked tirelessly to arrange for the Liverpool Passport Office, which is normally closed on a Sunday, to open and the family drove up to collect the passport.

“As a result, both children made the trip and had an amazing time alongside their classmates! Enormous thanks to Andrew and Liverpool Passport Office for saving the day. It’s been my pleasure to do this and seeing the children and their classmates return from their holiday with smiles on their faces, is the most rewarding part of it all.”

Mr Mitchell said: “I’m delighted that Daniel and Taiya-Lea could join the other children, and that they’ve had a wonderful adventure.  When Caroline contacted me, it was clear just how much this holiday meant to all the children, and I was only too happy to help.

“Caroline selflessly devoted hours of her own time, including across the weekend, to help these families. Her tenacity and dedication to the children is commendable – she went beyond the call of duty, and that level of care is reflected across our schools in the town.

“We were very fortunate to secure this support and result, but I understand that this is not the case for everybody. I want to thank all those involved, especially Liverpool Passport Office, who pulled out all the stops to ensure two children did not miss out. What a wonderful end to term and what stories they will have to tell!”

The Mere Green pupils returned from their holiday to Paris on Monday. Headteacher Kristal Brookes said they had an “amazing time” and praised Caroline’s “hard work and determination.”

Speaking about their holiday, Taiya-Lea Brown said: “Having the support given to me by Andrew Mitchell made me feel exceptional. I am grateful that he was contacted because I thankfully got my passport and went to France.

“In France, I enjoyed seeing all the monuments and learning things that I didn’t know before. Going on this trip was a memory that I could never forget.”

Andrew Mitchell MP with Caroline Dempsey and Mere Green students Taiya-Lea Brown and Daniel Wharrad.

Grease ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Grease – Script Youth Musical Theatre

Highbury Theatre

Monday 4th July 2022 – Dress Rehearsal

By Nigel Gambles

Photography – Nigel Gambles Photography

We all know Grease we’ve all seen the film with Danny, Sandy T-Birds and Pink Ladies. Script Youth are and will be performing it in style and you will be “Hopelessly Devoted To It”

So off we go to Rydell High where the students are returning after summer break . Danny leader of the T-Birds meets up with the rest of the gang and reminisces about his summer on the beach and the girl he met, played by Ollie Roberts. He captures the strutting tough guy leader to perfection his vocals are strong and he sings with confidence and passion. Meanwhile Sandy played by Erin Moony is a school newcomer and is introduced to the Pink Ladies and she also tells of her summer romance while being put down by Rizzo, more about her in a while. This brings us to the duet “Summer Lovin” Erin plays Sandy  with a shy naivety  her voice lovely crisp and tuneful.

Back to Rizzo played by Evie Rice. Evie was made for the role playing it with such style and class. She could be a clone of Stockard Channing (played Rizzo in the movie) as she turns the lesser known “There Are Worse Things I could Do” into a hands down show stopper. I think we have a future star in the making here.

The rest of the cast play their roles with passion and commitment bringing energy to the dance sequences and power to the group vocals indeed “Hand Jive” is just that and encourages audience participation, so you better brush up on your hand jive.

Louise Farmers production of the show is excellent you feel her passion and commitment shine through. The cast show this in their polished and slick delivery. Full credit must also be given to the costumes makeup and backstage crew.

This is a youth production, but you would not think so from the quality and maturity of the performances. Its a first class show and you will need to be like “Greased Lightning ” to get your tickets as Im sure this is going to be hugely popular.

For your tickets click the link 👇

The Addams Family Musical ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Addams Family Musical – Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company

Lichfield Garrick

Tuesday 5th July 2022 – Opening Night

By Nigel Gambles

Photography – Nigel Gambles Photography

I was very kindly invited to the opening night of Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company’s latest production of “The Addams Family Musical” at The Garrick Theatre in Lichfield. If like me you grew up in the 60’s then I’m sure you will remember that..creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky family, the catchy theme tune and snapping fingers.

The musical is based around the main characters of the TV series with a script from a book by Brickman and Elice and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa.

The story revolves around Wednesdays budding romance with normal boy Lucas and families meeting for dinner at chez Addams, obviously the course of true love never runs smoothly and the ensuing antics accompanied by some wonderful one liners it makes for a very uplifting show.

Mark Skett who plays  Gomez the Father, is wonderful with an outrageous phoney Spanish accent and desperately trying keep Morticia in love with him. Kate Pilling who plays Morticia superbly reminding me of Carolyn Jones the original Morticia.  Her voice is sultry and beautiful and with some alluring dancing nails the character.

Charlotte Jervis who plays Wednesday with a demonic zest, swapping between her brothers tormentor and torturer and the love struck youngster easily and confidently her voice is powerful and harmonious.

As for the rest of the cast James Fisher playing the wacky Uncle Fester gives a glorious performance even when he breaks into his ballad “The Moon and Me”.  Paula Lumsden who plays Grandma is hilarious delivering a crazy witch like character with some of the best one liners. Pugsley the son is played by 2 actors depending on which performance you go to. On this occasion it was Alfie Stevens giving a energetic performance trying to send his sisters romance off the rails. Finally Lurch played by Tony Orbell wearing a pair of platforms high enough to be the envy of any 70’s glam rock band. Although his is a performance with only grunts, he makes sure that his presence is always felt and the surprises us all with a lovely rendition of “Move Towards the Darkness”

The Beineke family who are travelling to the big city to meet the Addams family are wonderfully played delivering doubt, reservations and surprise. Simon Smith as Mal and Sarah Cordin as Alice the repressed wife but not for long.. and son and Wednesday’s love Lucas played by Louis Patterson whose mellow tones work very well with Wednesday.

Finally the ensemble cast paying the Ancestors (cavemen, ballerina gladiator, sailor and so many more) absolutely fantastic the dancing so in sync Maggie Jackson choreographer has done an amazing job. Also a massive well done to the costume, make-up and set depts. Great job!

Summing up I have to say this was one of the best performances I have seen from an amateur group. Slick, professional, fantastic dance routines and perfect singing an all round mega hit, congratulations to Chris Stanley producer, and his team.

Oh and for those of you thinking someone or “Thing” is missing keep your eyes peeled!

The Addams Family Musical runs at the Lichfield Garrick Main Theatre from Tuesday 5 to Saturday 9 July, performances start at 7.30pm, with a matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday 9 July. Ticket prices start from £20 and can be purchased at the Garrick Box Office, ring 01543 412121 or book online at:

Northern Live – Do I Love You at Sutton Town Hall

Last night we were taken back to the mid 1960’s to the time when a new music movement was emerging in the Northern clubs “Northern Soul”

Northern Live looked like they had just walked out of the pages of history a tight 11 piece band looking and sounding perfect. This brand new show keeps faith to the original sounds that swept the Northern clubs. Playing such classic like “Tainted Love”, “Do I Love You” “There’s A Ghost in My House” and so many more  it was long before the audience were joining in.

If you get the chance and love this era, get a long to one of their shows you won’t be disappointed.

Plantsbrook Students Get A Taste Of College Life

Dozens of students from Plantsbrook School got a taste of life in higher education when they spent a day at Sutton Coldfield College. More than 60 Year 10 students from Plantsbrook, which is part of the Broadleaf Partnership Trust, enjoyed the taster day at BMet’s Lichfield Road campus. The students began the day with a talk from college Vice Principal Anna Jackson, before finding out more about career pathways and post 16 opportunities on offer, while also meeting BMet experts and teaching staff. Subjects included everything from Applied Law and Criminology to Travel and Tourism, and from Health and Social Care to life in the Uniformed Public Services.

Plantsbrook students interested in BMet’s Football Academy course spent the day at Boldmere St Michael’s football ground, being put through their paces by the coaching staff. Anna Jackson, Vice Principal of the college, said: “The taster day was about giving the students an opportunity to see what it feels like to be a Sutton Coldfield College student, while also giving them information on the wider support we provide, from bursary help or enrichment activities to the pastoral support students can get here.           “We give them a welcome at the start of the day, and then they go off into the particular areas that they have chosen to get some more information, look around and ask questions. “A day like this also gives them assurance about what they can expect if they decide to come to the college, by allowing them to have a look around the campus and get used to the social spaces, like the student centre. “Moving from school to college is a big step, so spending a day here is a valuable experience.”

Plantsbrook headteacher Jason Farr said: “This was an event organised specifically for those students who may be considering college as an option and aimed to give them a real understanding of the opportunities available to them in Sutton. “We are very grateful to Sutton Coldfield College for providing such a useful and wide-ranging taster day for our students, which not only allowed them to find out about the subjects they could study there, it also allowed them to see the facilities first-hand.”

Courtesy of Gary Phelps Communications

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