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Coming up.

Raise a glass to the Barton Arms (right). It is 111 and celebrating in appropriate style - with a beer festival from May 4-7. Based in High Street, Aston, it was a favourite haunt for stars of Vaudeville and black-and-white films.

Thanks to its association with the Aston Hippodrome - once the Midland's premier variety theatre, now long gone, it was frequented by the likes of Laurel and Hardy, Enrico Caruso, Marie Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin.

During the three-day festival, The Laughing Gravy Tent - The Birmingham arm of the worldwide Laurel and Hardy appreciation society - will be visiting the famous pub on the Sunday afternoon, with 130 conventioneers from the national appreciation group, some of whom will be dressed in homage to their heroes.

Aston is almost unrecognizable since the great silent film comedians held court but the Barton Arms has kept its Victorian splendour.

In 1976 it was granted a Grade II listed building status.

The beer festival will start at midday on Friday, May 4. Thai food from the Barton Arms menu will be available during the festival, there will be a comedy night on the Friday and the Backroom Boys duo will play jazz, country and blues on the Sunday.

Elsewhere, renowned theatrical innovators Gonzo Moose presents a physical comedy adaptation of I'm An Aristocrat, Get Me Out Of Here! at Wolverhampton's Arena Theatre on April 17.

Paris, 1792. Revolution grips the city and the secret police march traitors to their deaths. No one is safe. Everyone is a suspect.

Paris needs a hero.

Inspired by the legend of the Scarlet Pimpernel, three actors - Mark Conway, Lauren Silver and Jonathan Peck play more than 20 roles, engaging in sword fights, heart wrenching love scenes and mangling of the French accent.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 12, 2012
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