While many people are sad to bid farewell to the summer months, I for one am really looking forward to layering up in cosy jumpers, indulging in comfort food and, of course, getting ready for all the incredible new openings, shows and exhibitions heading to Birmingham and beyond this autumn.
Featured image credit: Brinkhoff & Mögenburg
Whether you’re looking for a new show to see or somewhere to grab a drink and a bite to eat, I’ve pulled together a list of my top picks exciting happenings so that you don’t miss a thing this season.
War Horse, Birmingham Hippodrome, Wednesday, October 10 – Saturday, 3 November
One of the biggest touring shows in the UK, the award-winning War Horse comes to Birmingham Hippodrome for three weeks this October.
Having completed eight years in London’s West End and touring 11 countries worldwide, this beautiful show follows the story of Joey, Albert’s beloved horse who is sold and shipped off to France during the First World War.
And although he’s not old enough to enlist and fight for his country, Albert can’t bring himself to forget about Joey, so he decides to abandon his countryside home in Devon and go embark on a dangerous and challenging adventure to bring Joey home.
Filled with an array of beloved songs, this unforgettable musical based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo is an absolute must-see this autumn.
Kinky Boots, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Tuesday 16 – Saturday, 27 October
Winner of pretty much every Best Musical award going, the sassy Kinky Boots is strutting into Wolverhampton Grand this October and I absolutely cannot wait to see it.
With lyrics from Cyndi Lauper and a book from Tony Award-winning Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots has played to thousands in its runs in both the West End and New York’s Broadway.
Inspired by true events, this joyous musical takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan.
Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue their family business, Price & Son. But when the factory’s future’s left hanging by a thread, help arrives in the form of Lola, who’s desperately in need of some new sturdy, sparkly stilettos.
Dirty Dancing, The Alexandra, Monday 5 – Saturday, 10 November
If you’re ready for the time of your life, then look no further, Dirty Dancing the Musical is returning to Birmingham.
Packed with all the greatest hits from the 1987 classic movie, this heart-warming romantic drama follows the story of sweet and innocent Baby, who discovers a love for dance after meeting the charming Johhny, a dance instructor at a holiday resort she’s visiting with her parents.
In Birmingham for six nights only, tickets for Dirty Dancing the Musical are from £21.90.
Food & Drink
Be at One Brindleyplace
If you love a cocktail or two, you won’t want to miss this. After opening a basement bar in Piccadilly Arcade a couple of years ago, Be at One is opening a second site in Brindleyplace.
By far one of my favourite places to drink in the city, Be at One offers an incredible array of cocktails, great atmosphere and music sure to get you dancing.
The new venue at Water’s Edge which opens on Friday, October 5 with a capacity of 150, plus an outside terrace that will be open all year round, will be your new go-to for Friday night drinks with the team after work, pre-drinks ahead of a gig at Arena Birmingham, or any other occasion!
Plus, don’t forget about Be at One’s Happy Hour, which gets you two drinks for the price of one. And with 101 drinks on the menu, you’ll be left spoilt for choice!
Aria, Hyatt Regency Birmingham
So it may have officially opened up at the end of summer, but I feel like I need to give Aria a mention in here because honestly, it just looks incredible.
This brand new restaurant, situated in the stylish Hyatt Regency Hotel on Broadstreet is somewhere that’s certainly on my radar this autumn.
Serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, the menu offers a range of mouthwatering choices from Dingley Dell Pork Belly to delicate Sea Bass and a delicate range of deserts.
If you’re looking for somewhere in the city to grab a meal for a special occasion, I suggest you check Aria out!
Fazenda Bar & Grill, Church Street
If Brazillian food is a bit of you, then Fazenda is bringing plenty of flavour to Church Street.
Located right next door to the luxury steak restaurant, Gaucho, Fazenda also joins a host of popular bars and restaurants in the Colmore Row district including The Alchemist, Gusto and Tattu – due to open in The Grand Hotel next year.
When it comes to the menu, diners can expect a range of meat dishes including steak, pork belly and chicken. For vegetarians, there is a tasty range of salads and hot fish dishes, plus a great selection of drinks to choose from to top off your meal.
With sites already in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh, Fazenda is sure to be an exciting addition to the city!
Concerts, Events & Exhibitions
Birmingham Comedy Festival, Various Venues, Friday 5 – Sunday 14 October
Always a popular event in Birmingham’s annual calendar, I’m really excited to see that Birmingham Comedy Festival is back for another year.
Taking over multiple venues across the city, this 10-day festival has previously welcomed some of the biggest names in comedy, and this year’s set to be no different with acts including Joanna Lumley, Barbara Nice and Steve Lilly all set to tickle your funny bones.
This year also sees the return of the Free Half-Dayer, which gives you the chance to catch gigs from comedians that might not yet be on your radar.
To see the line-up in full, head on over to the Birmingham Comedy Festival website.
GirlCode, Sovereign Hall, Thursday, 11 October
One of my favourite events in the city, I’m so excited that GirlCode is back in October.
Brought to you by the team at Digital Cake, GirlCode features three key speakers from various businesses across the city, who come together to share their experiences and wisdom.
In the past, GirlCode has had themed events on International Women’s Month and Mental Health Awareness month, so it’s something really worth attending if you’re looking for some support and advice, or simply want to meet some new faces from across the city.
This month’s theme is titled Your Next Steps and includes talks from Jenni Sharp, Kirstie Smith and PJ Ellis.
Polly Apfelbaum, Ikon Gallery, Now – Sunday, 18 November
Birmingham is never short of stunning exhibitions to see, and after the success of Dippy’s visit in the summer, which brought thousands of tourists to the city, it’s proof that the city’s cultural scene is continuing to blossom.
This season, I suggest you head down to Ikon Gallery and check out Waiting for the UFOs (a space set between a landscape and a bunch of flowers), by Polly Apfelbaum.
An international artist from New York, Polly’s latest exhibition features large-scale colourful installations of textiles, ceramics and drawings, all highlighting social and political contexts, including pop culture, feminism and politics.
And once you’re done, don’t forget to grab a coffee and a bite to eat at Yorks!
Years & Years, Arena Birmingham, Friday, 30 November
Following the release of their second studio album, electro-pop trio Years & Years are bringing their latest UK tour to Arena Birmingham this November.
With a UK Official No.1 Single and Album to their names, Years & Years burst on to the music scene with their debut single, King.
They returned earlier this year with their latest album Palo Santo, which features singles including Sanctify, If You’re Over Me and All For You.
Having seen them perform at both the O2 Academy and V Festival in the past, this headline tour is one not to be missed if you’re a fan of the band.