Re-Awakening Lea Village History Boards Unveiled

On the 8th of January 2014 the Lea Village History Boards were unveiled to a specially invited audience by town crier Ken Knowles, Reel Access Creative Producer Laura Breakwell and Shard End Councillor John Cotton.

The set of four local history boards located along the border of Lea Village, from the site of the original Lea Hall to the nearby Lea Village shop,s have been installed as a permanent reminder of the long history of the village. Each board focuses on a particular aspect of village life across its 800 year history.

A handy leaflet has been produced which maps out the boards locations and you should be able to pick these up at various locations across the area in the coming weeks. The boards contain just a small selection of the stories and images uncovered during the project and more information can be found in the Lea Village Archive which will be available to view at The Pump and Shard End Library.



Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

Stan's Cafe twilightofthefreakingods (11 of 15)


Twilightofthefreakingods celebrated five glorious years for Stan’s Cafe @ A E Harris, and was the last performance at the venue in its large format.

Reel Access was lucky enough to be bought on board to record the performance that unfolded slowly over 255 minutes. We are now in the process of creating a unique film experience using this footage. It’ll be a long editing process but here is an early glimpse at some of the shots we captured.

(Click on an image to enter the full screen gallery)


Birmingham Hippodrome Summer School 2013

They learned to dance, they learned to sing, they learned to act and they learned all the technical aspects of putting on a production at The Birmingham Hippodrome. Man, young people are talented these days!

Oh, and they also learned how to film it all, watch this years Hippodrome Summer School film online here.

Alice An Extraordinary Adventure (32 of 36)

Alice: An Extraordinary Adventure in Pictures

Sunday 28th July and Monday 29th July saw Heartbreak Productions bring their acclaimed production of Alice: An Extraordinary Adventure to the Norman Chamberlain Playing Fields in Shard End. It was the first event of its type at the site and despite the weather being less than cooperative during the Monday performance it was a huge success.

Visitors got into the mood for a summer outdoor event by bringing blankets, picnics and of course umbrellas and took up positions around the checker board stage. The company of only four plucky performers were ably assisted by local children for several songs including an action packed chess battle.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to come and support Alice especially The Friends of Kingfisher Park, Heartbreak Productions, Shard End Library and Birmingham City Council, you helped make it an experience we won’t forget.

Alice: An Extraordinary Gallery (To view a full size version just click on the images below)


Alice-An Extraordinary Adventure

Alice – An Extraordinary Adventure Live Open Air Performances

Looking for something exciting to do this weekend in Shard End then you might want to come down to the Norman Chamberlain Playing Fields, Shard End, Birmingham, West Midlands B34 7SA.

You are invited to Alice’s birthday tea party…

Alice-An Extraordinary Adventure
Alice-An Extraordinary Adventure

Enter a dreamlike world full of games, colour, song and rhyme ruled by a crazy, croquet-playing Queen with very little heart and a very short temper! So, don’t be late, don’t lose your head, and watch out for a picnic stealing knave who wants your tarts…! A captivating event for all the family.

Heartbreak Productions
open air theatre at its best

Alice – An Extraordinary Adventure

By Lewis Caroll
Adapted by Dani Carbery

On Sunday 28th July at 5pm (come down at 4pm to join in the Mad Hatters Tea Party) Heartbreak Productions will be performing Alice – An Extraordinary Adventure. They are doing it all again on Monday 29th July at 2pm (1pm for Tea Party).

These special performances will also feature song and movement by local community groups.

Tickets are priced at £3 each or £12 for a family (2 adults and 3 children) and can be booked in advance via The Rep Box Office or a limited number can be purchased in person from The Shard End Library, All Saints Square, Shard End Crescent, Shard End, B34 7AG. Tickets will also be available to buy on the day but that will be cash only.

About Heartbreak Productions –

Renowned for award-winning open air theatre, Heartbreak Productions also creates indoor theatre, film, education and community pieces. For more details about these opportunities visit their website –

Useful Information –

These are open are performances. To make the most of this, we advise bringater, sunscreen and shade. You will be outside in direct sunlight and we want you to enjoy the event without suffering from the heat.

The Small Print –

Heartbreak performances continue in all but the severest of weather conditions. On rare occasions where circumstances beyond Heartbreak’s control force the cancellation of a performance, you are advised to contact the venue/ticket seller directly for their refund/exchange policy.


These performances are also listed on our events page –

Sunday 28th July Performance

Monday 29th July Performance

Life Love 10 Songs

Life & Love In Ten Songs IndieGoGo Campaign

Unfortunately, we did not reach our target of raising enough money to work with the homeless charity SIFA Fireside to make the film ‘Life and Love in Ten Songs’. However, we will not give up so easily!

Firstly we must thank profusely everyone who donated! £900 is still such a big achievement, which means we will be putting our heads together and working out a way to raise the rest of the money so this brilliant film written by Lee Harris of SIFA Fireside can come to life.

We will be contacting the donators to thank them individually soon, but we cannot stress how grateful we are so far.

Life and Love in 10 Songs’ is a romantic comedy that will be a different take on the lives of homeless people, showing that relationships and romance can flourish from the most difficult and dire circumstances. The focus is on two people who find a mutual inner strength which develops into a love story and takes them on an unforeseen journey. The film is in 10 chapters with a theme song to each, which mirrors the journey they are on. It looks at people from a human perspective and tries to avoid the usual stereotyping of homeless people and substance abusers.

SIFA Fireside is a dynamic local charity working to tackle homelessness and alcohol misuse.  We are based in Digbeth, Birmingham and work with people aged 18 and over with no upper age limit. SIFA Fireside is proposing to work with not-for-profit film organisation Reel Access to produce a film that will be made in conjunction with the homeless men and women who use the centre.

Reel Access will be working with SIFA Fireside to provide filmmaking training those people who come come to centre and thus giving them active roles within the production. They will be given opportunities to act in the film.

Download your free Life and Love in 10 Songs Wallpaper –

Free Wallpaper (Right Click and choose ‘Save As’)


Re-Awakening Lea Village Festival

The weather was in our favour and the people of Lea Village came out to enjoy the traditional atmosphere and festivities of our Village Festival. A lot of fun was had, the community was united and quite importantly we affirmed the rightful place name of ‘Lea Village’.

The feedback about the screenings, activities and performances was fantastic. Take a look at these lovely photographs of the day taken by Jack Adams.

A huge ‘Thank You’ to everyone who contributed, helped, volunteered, visited, enjoyed, acted and filmed with us at the event.

The Re-Awakening Lea Village Festival  was such a great event but we couldn’t have done it without the incredible people of Lea Village.

The Bristol St. Cinema

The Bristol Street Cinema – Secret City Arts

This one of the films created as part Secret City Arts’ recent community history project funded by Heritage Lottery- All Our Stories Fund. The project explored the history and stories in and around Woodview, Edgbaston.
The cinema is now gone but many people still remember it in all it’s glory.

The drama work was based on creative sessions using archive material with students from BMET College.