Theatre and cinema to open at Custard Factory

Published
13/06/2014 by

Birmingham's Custard Factory is to get a new theatre cinema. 

In a move which could add a major cultural attraction to Digbeth, the Mockingbird Theatre will showcase a mix of established and new artists, with a programme of events, from original works in film, to ground-breaking plays and live comedy nights. 

Set beside Scott Lake in the heart of the Custard Factory, the 101-seat venue will offer an intimate atmosphere that is unique to the region, according to a spokesman. 

Adjoining the theatre will be the Mockingbird Bar, which will screen locally produced short film, animation, music and art to promote the region's talent. 

James Anderson Brown, local film producer/writer and co-founder of the Mockingbird Project said: "We wanted to create a home for new and established artists across the spectrum. 

"This is a place where comedians can come and test new material, film makers can screen their new films, poets and playwrights can debut their shows and musicians can perform live. 

"We aim to build a community for artists and give them a platform for their material in the region. Our vision is to build a hub of creativity open to all. 

"The new Mockingbird will be central to the actives in the Custard Factory, offering a place for artists in all fields to meet and network, build new relationships and develop new projects." 

The programme of events at the Mockingbird Theatre and Bar will aim to provide a unique and diverse programme of events over the coming year, embracing the city's cultural diversity and young rising talent. It will also offer artists cost-effective production facilities in music and film. 

Upcoming pre-launch events include Custard Pie: Battle of the Comedians, on June 25, which features 10 comedians and one winner, with 10 acts each fighting to stay on stage before the audience decides their time is up. 

The theatre's opening comes at a busy time for the Custard Factory, with the recent opening of food and music venue Alfie Bird's which includes the Oobleck, a 400-capacity live music venue, to hold live touring bands and Saturday club nights. 

Douglas Laird, co-founder of the Mockingbird Theatre and chairman of Best For Business, said: "We start over 1,000 new businesses every year in Birmingham and have 10 years' specialist experience in the creative industries and simply want to help more of these succeed. 

"The Mockingbird base lets us support creative’s in a very practical way through the venue facilities and not just be an advice centre, but a living entity that works with its clients and realise our motto 'Everyone an artist, everyone a creative business'." 

On June 28, the Mockingbird will host Birmingham's first Korean Film Festival, with two big screen film showings plus guest speakers, music and activities throughout the day. 

The Mockingbird Theatre and Bar will officially launch on Saturday July 12 but will be running selected pre-launch events from late June.