A Round Heeled Woman

The Play, starring multi award-winning actress Sharon GlessJane Prowse’s stage adaptation is based on Jane Juska’s book A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance.

The play runs at the Aldwych Theatre, London, WC2B 4DF

until 14 January 2012.

Check out website links at http://www.aroundheeledwoman.com/ to book tickets  or click here. Also worth checking LastMinute.com for great deals on tickets for this fabulous, heart-warming, funny, poignant play. Sharon Gless is superb! The supporting cast are great too.


Sharon Gless – Jane Juska

Barry McCarthy – Jonah, Sidney, and others

Beth Cordingly – Nathalie, Miss MacKenzie, and others

Gwyneth Strong – Celia, Jane’s mother, and others

Michael Thomson – Graham, Andy, and others

Neil McCaul – Eddie, Robert, John, and others

(and about time the whole lot of Cagney and Lacey were on DVD – fill this in – http://www.cagneyandlacey.com/dvd-availability-survey  )

Blog review by Alison:

Click here for full blog post

…     “Sharon Gless was outstanding in the role. I have to admit I only really knew of her as Christine Cagney and wasn’t aware of what a varied and accomplished career she has had to date. Her character is the central focus of the play and is on stage the whole time. She’s got great comic timing, but that’s only one aspect of a complex role. She gave a very ‘real’ performance which was in turns funny, touching and heart-breaking, and which had the audience completely taken along on Jane’s journey, particularly as they were regularly addressed which lead to a very intimate feel to the play.”     …

Blog review by “TheatreandMe”:

Click here for full blog post

…     “Now onto Sharon Gless. I love her. She’s marvellous. She owns the stage. (and she’s never off it for two hours!) Every wink, every innuendo is perfectly placed, enhances the text of the play, makes you laugh at all too crass descriptions. She is a wonderful actress who is a master of the tricks of the trade.”     …

The CBSO’s Great Big Choral Christmas


Friday 23 December 2011 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Simon Halsey conductor
Sue Perkins presenter
CBSO Choruses

We’d like to welcome you to join us for Christmas festivities with the whole CBSO family – a joyful celebration of seasonal music with the Orchestra and over 250 singers of the CBSO Choruses. Expect festive music a-plenty, from well-known favourites to some unusual treats, plus a generous helping of your favourite carols for all to sing. TV personality, panel-show regular – and winner of the BBC’s conducting series Maestro – Sue Perkins adds a dash of her trademark humour to proceedings, with her favourite Christmas stories and readings.

Download the CBSO charity Christmas card and share your Christmas wishes with your friends and family. Whilst doing this, you can help to support the CBSO by donating on JustGiving. It’s quick, easy and safe and all amounts will be gratefully received. Your donation will help to continue the fantastic work of our world-class orchestra on the concert platform and in our communityhttp://www.cbso.co.uk




Review by Maggie Cotton, (same concert, different night) Birmingham Post:


…     “TV personality Sue Perkins presented the evening with wit and imaginative readings, adding greatly to the relaxed atmosphere. Her big moment came when, with baton in hand, she obviously enjoyed conducting the all-time favourite Sleigh Ride fronted by smiling instrumentalists dressed in every kind of festive head-gear, proving that the orchestra can also join in the fun!”     …

LSO: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Birmingham International Concert Season 2011/12

Friday 16 December, 7:30pm

Symphony HallSymphony Hall logo

London Symphony Orchestra
The Monteverdi Choir
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor
Rebecca Evans soprano
Wilke te Brummelstroete mezzo-soprano
Michael Spyres tenor
Vuyani Mlinde bass-baritone

Beethoven Symphony No 1 26’
            Symphony No 9, Choral 67’

Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the London Symphony Orchestra ignite the exhilarating drama of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, crowned with the luminous voices of The Monteverdi Choir for the concluding Ode to Joy. The towering majesty of Beethoven’s great masterpiece is cast alongside the composer’s first youthful adventure in symphonic form.

BBC Music magazine’s Editor, Oliver Condy, recommends tonight’s concert: “The LSO, one of the world’s most thrilling orchestras, knows its Beethoven, there’s no doubt. And you can be sure that Sir John Eliot Gardiner will bring his huge experience of authentic performance to this concert. Top-notch singers too. A real treat.”

 Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:


…     ” Undoubtedly he would have admired the crack playing of the London Symphony Orchestra, brass well-focussed, woodwind tumbling over each other in their glittering eloquence, timpani with the gift of holding our attention with the quietest of rhythmic articulation in the scherzo, and appropriately vibrato-less string sounds at the music’s cosmic opening.

But that last characteristic was the closest we got to rawness in Gardiner’s interpretation of a work where the composer had at last broken the bounds of everything (including his own preceding eight symphonies) that had gone before. Everything here was slick, streamlined in its honing, and communicating little of Beethoven’s vast elemental struggle to realise his vision.”     …

CBSO Benevolent Fund Concert


Wednesday 14 December 2011 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Michael Seal conductor
Peter Donohoe piano

Shostakovich: Festive Overture Op 96 6′
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3 44′
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 44′

Unfortunately, Andris Nelsons has withdrawn from this performance due to the imminent arrival of his first child. We are grateful to CBSO associate conductor Michael Seal who has kindly agreed to take his place at short notice. The programme remains unchanged, and we apologise for any disappointment caused.

Sibelius begins his Second Symphony deep in the forests of Finland and ends it with triumphant fanfares. It’s been a favourite with Birmingham audiences for generations, and it’s the climax of a concert that stars two more Birmingham favourites: Andris Nelsons, and keyboard lion Peter Donohoe. Together they tackle the “Everest”of romantic piano concertos, Rachmaninov’s epic Third – in grand style! A concert with a big heart, bursting with great music: and all for the CBSO Benevolent Fund*, a truly worthwhile cause.

* Registered Friendly Society 735F

Find out what our musicians love about this music – watch music director Andris Nelsons and CBSO’s flute section leader Marie-Christine Zupancic discussing Sibelius’s Symphony No.2.


If you like this concert, you might also like:
Nelsons conducts Strauss, Thursday 12 & Saturday 14 January
Winter Dreams, Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 January
Nelsons conducts Sibelius, Friday 30 March

Review by David Hart, Birmingham Post:


…     “This was a terrific evening, by an orchestra in tiptop form collaborating with a conductor and soloist risen from its own ranks – Michael Seal, who when he is not on the podium as Associate Conductor continues to play Second Violin; and world-renowned pianist Peter Donohoe, who in his younger days regularly played orchestral piano and, occasionally, even percussion in the CBSO.

 All three elements came together in a stupendous performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3, with Donohoe delivering a fully-integrated, listening interpretation (often turning during his tacets to appreciate the superb woodwind contributions) and an expressively powerful display of virtuosity.”     …  ***** 

Bruckner’s Seventh

Wednesday 7 December 2011 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Nikolaj Znaider conductor
Thomas Trotter organ

Ruders: Symphony No. 4 (Feeney Trust co-commission – UK premiere) 30′
Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 70′

Unfortunately, Andris Nelsons has withdrawn from this performance due to the imminent arrival of his first child. We are grateful to Nikolaj Znaider who has kindly agreed to take his place at short notice. The programme remains unchanged, and we apologise for any disappointment caused.

Bruckner heard the opening of his Seventh Symphony in a dream -played by an angel. And from then on, it only gets lovelier. You’ll be knocked backwards by the emotion, grandeur and sheer breathtaking beauty of this great romantic symphony: Andris Nelsons certainly thinks so. First, though, join us as we make history – and give the Symphony Hall Organ a workout into the bargain! – in the UK premiere of a stunning new symphony by the Danish master Poul Ruders.

Click here to find out more about composer Poul Ruders and his music.

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:


…     “Trotter played with verve and total empathy with the orchestra, conducted authoritatively at short notice by Nikolaj Znaider, yet another brilliant violinist who also conducts.

The response from the auditorium was warm and appreciative.

Znaider also presided over an account of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony which allowed all the orchestra’s glories to tell: effulgent strings, woodwind of almost human eloquence, and well-rounded, clearly-articulated brass.”     …

Review by Andrew Clements, Guardian:


…     “Znaider had taken over Nelsons’s programme unchanged, and so followed the very polished account of the Ruders with another symphony, Bruckner’s Seventh. That was a brisk, pliable performance, perhaps a bit too streamlined, but never overstudied or too monumental even in the great slow movement. It was superbly played: the sound world, very much Bruckner’s own for all its Wagnerian debts, was glowingly realised.”     …

The Year 1911: Sibelius and Nielsen

Thursday 1 December 2011 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Robert Spano conductor
Inger Dam-Jensen soprano
Jeremy Huw Williams baritone

Sibelius: Symphony No.4 32′
Grieg: Orchestral Songs 20′
Nielsen: Symphony No. 3 (Sinfonia Espansiva) 38′ Listen on Spotify

It’s the year 1911, and in Finland Jean Sibelius wrestles with his demons in his most powerful symphony. Meanwhile, in Denmark, Carl Nielsen’s imagination takes flight in his gloriously optimistic Sinfonia Espansiva. Two great composers re-invent the symphony in unmistakable style in this stirring programme from guest conductor Robert Spano; and in between we welcome another great Dane, as soprano Inger Dam-Jensen sings a selection of Grieg’s lovely orchestral songs. They’re everything you’d expect from the composer of Peer Gynt: lush, romantic and irresistibly tuneful.

To listen to some of the music in this concert, and explore the rest of the season, using our Spotify playlists, click here.

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:


…     “And how well Spano and the CBSO achieved this; top marks to Ulrich Heinen for the dark eloquence of his frequent cello solos, but top marks, too, for the biting strings, the portentous brass and the lamenting woodwind.

We come close to the otherworld of the Kalevala here, and it was good eventually to escape into the pastoral optimisim of Nielsen’s Third Symphony.”     …