Highbury Theatre Centre

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Highbury Flyer

Issue - 28                                                                                                  26 April 2021

Highbury Plans

What might be happening at Highbury?

We’ve all taken the first two steps in the government's road map towards opening up and now we’re waiting to see the impact of those changes. The next important date for us is 10 May, when we hope that the government will confirm that we can all take Step 3 on 17 May. That will mean that indoor entertainment can start again, with the restrictions we’ve become familiar with: reduced numbers, keeping our distance, wearing face coverings. 

We’ve got some ideas that would enable us to put on some live performances and some films within the restrictions, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll be able to move them from plans to realities.

We’ll announce any forthcoming productions and films at relatively short notice so that we can be as confident as possible that they’ll go ahead. We'll be sending information out via the Highbury Flyer and other mailings. If you'd like to 'save the date', then you could put some tentative question marks in your diaries against 27-29 May, when we hope to be able to welcome you back.

Highbury Online Art

Andrew Lee

My grandmother painted water colours and my sister was an accomplished amateur oil and acrylic artist.  I enjoy drawing flowers, buildings and boots and adding water colours.  If I have learned anything, it is due to Betty Blight.  She has provided gentle tuition at the Thursday morning U3A Art classes and colleagues have offered generous encouragement.

For all information on exhibiting your work at Highbury please email
Sheila Knapman


With the world starting to open up it's time to start thinking of travelling again.  Over the next few months, we will give some ideas and small tasters of places to visit.  Just don't get caught out by the changing 'traffic' lights!

This one is from Paul Knapman.

Memories and photos of a Norwegian trip, once upon a time

I’ve turned the clock back 14 years to 2007 when Sheila and I travelled to Norway, taking in Oslo, the Lofoten archipelago and Bergen.  In between, the Hurtigruten ferried us from A to B in their inimitable style.

For our 5 days in the Lofoten Islands we were left pretty much to our own devices and there was a wonderful international chamber music festival which happens every summer.  Remote and beautiful churches and a glass workshop overlooking the Arctic Sea hosted top performers from across Europe with a first class classical repertoire.  I booked the tickets by ringing the Oslo office about 10 days before we flew.  ‘I am speaking from England’ was countered in a flash by: ‘I can tell!’

A solo harp concert in the glass studio finished at midnight and we drove home in the ethereal half light, to find ourselves locked out of our room.  A night in the car serenaded by seagulls…!!  Did we sleep?  What do you think?

Bergen is very often wet.  There are 280+ days of rain a year, but we were fortunate, walking around in glorious sunshine, busking groups everywhere.  And nearby is Grieg’s birthplace, so of course, more music!  And this is the only place in the world we have been serenaded from the quayside (in light drizzle!) by a very serious and very youthful and I have to say very accomplished busking recorder duo.

Music, mountains, midnight sun, cities and cruising – the dream combination!

Photo montage key:   Left to right from top
Vigelund’s Park , Oslo:  Recorder duo:  Hurtigruten Kong Harald
3 Lofoten landscapes
Bergen buskers:  glass studio:  'A' frames for drying cod
Lofoten seascape,   Sheila with Edvard Grieg

Also Online

While the theatres are still closed, Original Theatre Online are offering theatre productions to stream.  Most are 'pay-to-view' but until we are able to get back to a real live experience, it may continue to fill the gap.


Other sites are also available including British TheatreStream Theatre, and the Official London Theatre sites.

And a new addition to our own Highbury YouTube Channel, what will happen when there is Turmoil in Trafalgar Square?

FOLIO Sutton Coldfield, the charity that supports our local public libraries, continues to run their series of online local interest talks and are also launching some new projects. 

Telling Sutton's Stories is a map-based community project which includes workshops. Each workshop will include a presentation of old photos and other material relating to the given topic, drawing on Sutton Coldfield Library’s archive material. Participants will also learn how to contribute their own stories, photos and other material to the Telling Sutton’s Stories map, if they want to. The workshops aim to be engaging, fun and full of interesting information about different aspects of Sutton! They're currently via Zoom but there may be some in real life in due course. 

Shared Reading is a scheme run by The Reader in which groups meet to read books aloud, led by a trained leader. FOLIO's group will start shortly, initially online but with a view to relocating to the Sutton Coldfield library once that is possible.

More information can be found on their web site:

Folio Sutton Coldfield

Player News

Lockdown is easing and the country is starting to get back to normal.  This is good news or so you would think.  Having seen the news reports of queues outside Primark (other shops are available of course), it makes me want to lock the doors for even longer.  I have to say that I'm not that desperate to go out and buy a new T-shirt, especially as there is nowhere to go yet to show it off.

I had a message from one of my colleagues in France saying that things should be getting better in the UK now that the pubs are open.  This was just after Easter and my reply was - that's OK so long as you don't mind sitting outside in the snow.  I think I'll wait until the inside is open, by which time it will have warmed up and we will all be wanting to sit outside.  And of course I will also have to join the queue to get that new T-shirt.

The weather is getting better though and most of the neighbours are engaged in various DIY projects, ranging from hanging plants on fences to a full-scale redesign of the back garden with block walls, 30 square meters of patio and a cement mixer - presumably the cement mixer will not become a permanent feature with plants growing in the mixing bowl.  I'm starting to get itchy DIY fingers and want to go out and buy some large pieces of wood to make planters, and slabs for a patio.  The only problem is that my own DIY skills will probably mean that come the first heavy rain, the sides will fall off the planters leaving the patio awash with mud and dead plants.  Probably best left to the professionals.

Richard Irons, for Highbury News - at home

The Highbury Mini Quiz

Picture clues this time that will lead you to a television programme.

And from last time::

  1. In Lent there are 40 days
  2. The Sunday before Easter is Palm Sunday
  3. The Thursday before Easter is Maundy Thursday
  4. The Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998
  5. Easter is calculated as the first Sunday after the first full moon after 21 March
  6. Easter 1916 was written by W. B. Yeats
  7. The Easter eggs for the Russian imperial family were created by Carl Fabergé
  8. The Feast of Ascension or Holy Thursday is celebrated 39 days after Easter
  9. Good Easter and High Easter are villages in Essex
  10. In the US, the Easter Egg Roll takes place on the lawn of The White House

Funny Bone

An old lady walked up to the counter in the bank, handed her bank card to the cashier and then said, “I would like to withdraw £10 please.”

The cashier replied, “For withdrawals of less than £30 you must use the ATM.”

Looking a little crestfallen, she asked why she couldn’t withdraw the money from the counter.

“These are the rules.” said the cashier, and returned the bank card. “Now please use the ATM as there’s a queue behind you.”

She paused for a moment then handed the card back to the cashier and asked, “What is the maximum amount that I can withdraw?”

“Up to £3,000.” the cashier replied.

“In that case, can I have £3,000, in £10 notes please.”

So, the cashier laboriously counted out the £3,000 in £10 notes, then counted again, before passing the cash across the counter.

She took a £10 note from the top of the pile and put it in her purse, before the cashier then asked, “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

“Yes!” said the said the old lady with a smile, “I’d like to deposit £2,990 into my account, please.”

And Finally

With delivery drivers like this it's a good thing the shops are opening up again.


Want to know more about Highbury Theatre?
Our mailing address is:
Highbury Theatre Centre
Sheffield Rd
Sutton Coldfield
Birmingham, W Mids B73 5HD
United Kingdom

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Tel: 0121 373 2761
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