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The Nutcracker; James Barton in the 'Russian Dance'; photo Roy Smiljanic
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James Barton – Birmingham Royal Ballet Soloist

I started dancing at the age of three at a small local school in Grantham, Lincolnshire. If someone had told me back then I would end up dancing professionally and as a member of one of the top ballet companies in the world, I would have laughed! Growing up I wanted to be an actor….

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Birmingham’s Magical Mayhem Ballet

When I was asked to visit the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre to review the ballet I must admit I did hop on to Google to find out more about the story I was going to watch. Coppelia is described with the words magic and mayhem which, along with a sprinkling of humour, sum it up perfectly….

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A Chinatown perspective

If you live, work or are visiting Birmingham, nothing quite beats the colourful vibrancy of the city’s Chinatown during the annual Chinese New Year celebrations. So in this year of the Goat, we were delighted that the lovely Verity Milligan was out and about with her camera and able to photograph the fun and festivities….

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Valentine’s Day

It can’t have escaped anyone’s notice that Valentine’s Day is around the corner.  The one day of the year equally loved and loathed, it’s a great excuse to take your loved one out to dinner and with Birmingham being awash with fantastic places to eat and drink here’s some of the more home-grown suggestions –…

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Panto in Birmingham – Win Tickets!

Birmingham’s Pantomime season is here Nothing sums up the spirit of fun family Christmas entertainment quite like an outing to the Pantomime – and this year’s Jack & The Beanstalk at the Birmingham Hippodrome looks like it’s all set to be one of the best yet… Probably Europe’s largest panto and most definitely the biggest…

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Vivacious & Vibrant – Birmingham is buzzing

When I first learned of the Kickstarter campaign for City of Colours – Birmingham Street Art Festival, I felt excited. Having spent time in Bristol, a city renowned for encouraging art on its streets and promoting creativity in general, the City of Colours festival promised to bring some of that buzz to Birmingham. Birmingham has…

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Back to Birmingham for Lisa

Birmingham is where my childhood roots lie. This is partly what makes returning to the City to head-up the amazing new John Lewis shop at Grand Central Birmingham so utterly thrilling. In 1989, when I first walked through the doors of the Milton Keynes John Lewis shop, I don’t think I could ever have imagined…

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For the love of Cosmopolitan Birmingham

Paris, New York, Milan, Birmingham. That’s exactly what crosses your mind when you walk down the main shopping street – New Street – right after you’ve been to the top of the grand Library of Birmingham. Whilst standing on the top of the very building which houses over a million books you only just begin…

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Hello from Grand Central Birmingham

Welcome!  You have arrived at our new Grand Central Birmingham blog – the place to find out about one of the most exciting retail developments happening in our City. Our blog is all about Birmingham as seen through the eyes of our exclusive bloggers.  Over the coming weeks and months in the run up to…