THERE is now just a fortnight to go until Bromsgrove’s Artrix celebrates its tenth anniversary.
In the last decade, the popular arts centre, which cost £2.6million, has played host to 1,957 live events, 1,850 screenings, 3,551 workshop sessions and 111 exhibitions.
It has also seen more than 635,000 visitors through its doors during that time.
Artrix has come a long way since it was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester in April 2005.
The first production to be staged in the main auditorium was Bromsgrove Operatic Society’s Me and My Girl.
In its first year, Artix hosted events for the Bromsgrove Festival. It has been doing so ever since then.
Another of the early productions was All and Sundry’s Pied Piper – written by Paul Vollans, who formed the group, and Neale McGrath.
All and Sundry are still performing at the venue, including the popular panto every year.
There have also been a lot of famous acts to grace the stage over the last decade – John Bishop and Sue Perkins performed there before they were famous and, more recently, the venue has played host to Lee Evans, Jo Brand, Julian Clary, Alan Carr, Michael McIntyre and Alexandra Armstrong.
The English String Orchestra and the Vienna Festival Ballet have also played there and youngsters have been delighted by appearances from many a much-loved character, including Basil Brush and Sooty.
On April 25, the celebrations will kick off with two free performances of Quiet Revolution – they will be done by students from the Heart of Worcestershire College in partnership with Dancefest and Bromsgrove District Council. The shows – at 2.15 pm and 3.40 pm – will be part of the council’s St George’s Day celebrations commemorating the centenary of the First World War.
Then at 8pm, local schools and community groups will gather on Bromsgrove High Street for the tenth birthday lantern parade. Artrix learning and engagement and Walk the Plank have been working with more than 200 members of the local community, including Sidemoor, Dodford and Meadows First Schools, Amber Support, YMCA Youth Group, HOW College, brownies, guides and Avoncroft Museum to run workshops to produce the large-scale lanterns for the parade.
Everyone is invited to join the parade which will gather on Bromsgrove High Street at 8pm and then everyone is welcome to make their own battery-powered lanterns to carry.
At 8.30pm, the lantern parade will leave the High Street for Artrix and at 9pm there will be a free performance of Spellbound by outdoor specialists Walk the Plank on the Artrix terrace.
Spellbound is a thrilling tale of love, jealousy, betrayal and daring – inspired by Ramayana, an ancient story from India – and created by experts Walk the Plank.
The performance, at dusk, is suitable for all ages, using shadow theatre with real performers in place of traditional puppetry.
Residents are being urged to submit their memories of Artrix – whether it is a show they have seen at the venue or a project or performance they have been involved in there. Those wanting to send in their memories should use #happybirthdayartrix
The tenth anniversary of Artrix will also see the launch of a new fund-raising campaign. People are being urged to give £10 for ten years, or whatever they can afford.
Donations can be made online at www.artrix.co.uk, at the Box Office or via the donation boxes in the foyer.