WHETHER summer is a wash out or cracking the flags there are plenty of cultural events to enjoy in Merseyside.
WHETHER summer is a wash out or cracking the flags there are plenty of cultural events to enjoy in Merseyside. Laura Davis and Jade Wright select 50 to go to over the next few weeks and months
1. THE organisers of the annual Threshold Festival are holding a one-day event as a fundraiser for next year.
Taking place at Camp and Furnace, Greenland Street, on Saturday, July 28 it will feature music, art, fun and games while showcasing some of the best emerging talent in Liverpool.
Featured bands include We the Undersigned, 69 Watts, Bolshy, Dominic Dunn and Vanessa Murray, The Thespians, Triphazard and Thom Morecroft.
Family friendly events include The Littlepool Art Prize for children, judged by Liverpool Art Prize 2012 winner Robyn Woolston.
CantmixWontmixShdntMixDontMix will be hosting have-a-go DJ tasters, while there’ll also be a vintage clothing swap shop, big screen retro gaming and a prize for the most flowery summer hat.
Chris Carney, Threshold’s artistic director, says: “This event is all about three things – music, fun and raising funds for Threshold 2013. We are really excited about the line-up and also eager to make our annual main event more open to families.
2. AFTER a trip to the planetarium, the universe starts to wobble for a group of young people in Liverpool.
In 20 Stories High Youth Theatre’s new production, Ruby and her gang start to experiment with teleportation, Jason is feeling so small that he’s starting to become invisible and Abdul has to choose between Nigeria and his one true love.
The Universe and Me is at The Black-E tonight and tomorrow before touring to Manchester’s Truth About Youth Festival. Tickets are £3 (£2 concs) from 0151 709 5109.
3. THE Everyman and Playhouse’s Summer School is returning for another year, giving children interested in drama and acting that chance to have fun in a professional theatre environment.
Professional theatre practitioners will use acting exercises and games to develop skills in voice, movement, improvisation and storytelling, culminating in a short performance piece at the end of each week.
All abilities are welcome, no performance or acting experience necessary.
Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and cost £100 per week (payable in advance). The course, for seven to 10-year-olds, runs from August 13-17, 10am-4pm. Further details on 0151 709 4776.
4. AUTHOR Tony Hawks will be at Picturehouse at FACT for a screening of Playing the Moldovans at Tennis plus a Q&A on Saturday, July 21.
He’s giving away a pair of tickets to the first two Moldovans who come to the cinema with their passports. The screening takes place at 4pm.
5. THE Chemical Brothers, Groove Armada, David Guetta, Skrillex, Tiesto, Afrojack, Avicii, deadmau5, Calvin Harris and Example are among the big names at this year’s three-day dance fest, Creamfields.
A new Nation stage has been added to the tfestival and will be showcasing talent from UK DJs.
This will include a performance from DJ and producer Jordan Suckley who recently secured a monthly show on BBC Radio 1.
The festival starts on Friday August 24 with a night offering three silent discos featuring music choices from more than 10 different DJs, and continues through the weekend with both the Saturday and Sunday night offering multiple stages with live DJ sets.
Creamfields has sold out of day tickets for Saturday August 25, two-day non-camping and the limited ticket offer has also sold out. There are now only a limited number of tickets still available.
Details at www.creamfields.com
6. BROADWAY star Kim Criswell will join the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in the first of two free concerts taking place at the Pier Head this weekend.
She will sing a range of classics from the Hollywood’s golden age, including There’s No Business Like Show Business and Stormy Weather, on a waterfront stage tomorrow evening.
Fresh from the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall last week, John Wilson will conduct the RLPO in an evening celebrating the silver screen.
The programme will feature songs from the musicals Carousel, Annie Get Your Gun, Funny Girl and The Sound of Music as well as a selection of music by The Beatles to mark the pop group’s 50th anniversary.
Before the RLPO begins, there will be performances by young opera singers Danielle Thomas and Nick Hardy, former stars of the city’s performing arts festival, accompanied by the Liverpool Signing Choir.
The Liverpool Youth Orchestra will be playing at locations around the Pier Head as the audience arrives.
Sue McAdam, Music on the Waterfront event manager, says: “We want to encourage people coming to the Friday night concert to bring a chair and have a picnic and really enjoy the ambience of what will be like a picnic at the Proms event.
“The waterfront is an absolutely awesome location to have a free concert.
“People can come along and enjoy the view of the World Heritage Site as well as listen to the music.”
It’ll be standing room only at Saturday’s concert when Smooth Radio presenters will introduce some of the station’s best loved artists.
Paul Carrack, the distinctive voice of Mike and the Mechanics classics The Living Years and Over My Shoulder, will take to the stage to deliver some of his biggest hits, including How Long?.
Internationally renowned tenor Russell Watson will be performing his own unique brand of rousing classical-pop crossover.
The line-up also includes British trio Honey Ryder, New York singer-songwriter Nell Bryden and singer-songwriters Scarlette Fever and Ben Montague.
Both concerts are open air so audience members are advised to dress appropriately for the weather and check the event’s website for updates.
This is the fourth year of Liverpool’s On the Waterfront events.
Last year’s included Spring on the Waterfront in April, Reflection on the Waterfront in July, featuring a 3D light show by Czech artists The Macula, and the return of the Mersey River Festival in September.
In total they attracted 250,000 people, bringing in more than £10m to the local economy.
Music on the Waterfront takes place at the Pier Head this weekend with John Wilson conducting the RLPO tomorrow, 6.30pm-9.30pm and Love Live Music with Smooth Radio on Saturday, 6pm-10.30pm. Both concerts are free and unticketed. Further details at www.liverpoolonthewaterfront.co.uk
7. PROFOUNDLY deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie will perform a diverse recital at the Philharmonic Hall on Saturday, August 18.
The programme will include Ilijas by Nebojsa Zivkovic, Clapping Music by Steve Reich, Rhythmic Caprice by Leigh Howard Stevens and her own work.
The concert will be followed by an insightful talk about her unique connection to music, challenging the listener to ask where music comes from. It will be British Sign Language interpreted.
Liverpool’s Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra will open the event with its new 10-minute work The Jasmine Flower, performed with the Merseyside Signing Choir and Shanghai Deaf School.
8. TRY your hand at digital SLR photography on one of Open Eye Gallery’s photowalks.
On July 28, McCoy Wynne will be hosting a Cityscape workshop, while Mark McNulty will be showing beginners how to take street and even photography on August 4.
The one-day events aim to de-mystify the digital single lens reflex camera, helping participants to take some outstanding pictures.
After an introductory session at Open Eye Gallery, at Mann Island, the workshop moves outside for them to test their new skills on a specially tailored photowalk.
Aimed at beginners and people who understand the basics but want to be more creative, the courses cover all the essential tips and techniques including getting the correct exposure and understanding the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO, learning about composition and light, lenses, colour temperature and white balance.
To take part, you’ll need your own DSLR camera and appropriate dress for the weather. The photowalks, priced £80 (£60 concs) are limited to a maximum of 15 people so make sure you book ahead at www.openeye.org.uk or 0151 236 6768.
9. JOHN REILLY has recorded with Bryan Adams and can claim Sean Connery as a fan, but the thing he’s most excited about is playing a gig in his hometown.
“My mum’s a Phelan from Scotland Road and the Reillys are from Aigburth,” explains Reilly. “It was a big family, all kinds of music. Dad was the youngest of 14 kids. Mum was one of nine. I have three older sisters, so I grew up wearing their cast offs.”
The singer moved to Sheffield at 18, but he’s still a proud Scouser, and a devoted Evertonian. He’s looking forward to playing The Cavern this month.
“I’m looking forward to a reaffirmation of my roots and identity, and of course the Walker Art Gallery,” he says. “I miss the tangible sense of a shared and unique culture, a sense of pride that our city survived the late 70s and 80s when its soul was in danger of being suffocated. Now I tell everyone I meet, wherever I am in the world, to visit Liverpool.”
John Reilly plays The Cavern on July 27
10. DISNEY Live! presents Mickey’s Magic Show at the Echo Arena from August 29 to September 2. The master magician joins forces with professional illusionist Michael Barron and a host of Disney friends to perform the magic of the films live on stage. Tickets £16.50-£23 from 0844 800 3680.
You can also take part in a treasure hunt at the Albert Dock to win tickets to the show. Find out how at www.albertdock.com
11. JAMES BURTON has played on some of the most influential guitar riffs in popular music. Elvis Costello says he is one of a few players who musicians call “legendary”, while Pete Townshend calls him “probably the most important guitar player in American music.”
He’s best known for playing guitar for Elvis Presley from 1969–1977.
“Elvis was a wonderful entertainer,” smiles Burton. “One of the best. It was an honour and a privilege to play alongside him.”
Burton will be performing some of the songs he played with Elvis when he plays the James Burton Weekend at Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton.
“I’ll play some of the Elvis songs,” he says.
“I like playing Suspicious Minds and the Trilogy, but anything goes.”
His back catalogue reads like a who’s who of popular music – he played alongside Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Jerry Lee Lewis,The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Simon and Garfunkel, The Righteous Brothers and The Mamas and The Papas.
“I’ve had a great life and I’ve been so lucky to work with so many wonderful people,” says Burton.
“I always enjoy playing live, particularly in Merseyside. I’ve been coming here for years, decades, and I always have a great night.”
James Burton plays three nights – Elvis Night on Friday, July 20, a double header with Albert Lee on Saturday, July 21 and Los Pacaminos, featuring Paul Young and James Burton, on Sunday, July 22.
12. IT’S not just all about The Beatles at the Liverpool Academy of Arts this summer.
The gallery has extended its annual Come Together exhibition, usually focused on all things Fab Four, to cover all Merseyside pop bands.
The show runs from August 14-30 and you can still submit works for inclusion. Find out more at www.la-art.co.uk
13. THE Royal Court is running a heritage tour of its Grade II-listing building on Tuesday, August 7.
See behind the scenes of one of the country’s finest art deco theatres after it has completed the first phase of its £10.6m renovation scheme.
Tickets for the hour-long tour are £5, with the whole sum going towards the building’s restoration.
More details at www.royalcourtliverpool.co.uk
14. JOIN comedian Gareth Berliner and comedy actor Kiruna Stamell (Life’s Too Short, Cast-Offs) as they entertain you with their real life rom-com exposing discrimination on route.
A Little Commitment is at The Unity on Thursday, August 30. Tickets £10 (£8 concs) from www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk
15. IMAGINE yourself on Time Team with a session of simulated digging at the Museum of Liverpool. The 30-minutes sessions are being run as part of the Festival of British Archaeology, July 24 and 25; 11am, 1pm, 2pm. Further details on 0151 478 4545.
16. SENSE of Sound is hosting a singing masterclass at The Bluecoat on July 28 for those who aspiring to be a singer or already performing and wishing to improve their vocal and harmony skills. Further details and tickers, priced £25, from www.thebluecoat.org.uk
17. THE Pantaloons theatre company is performing Oscar Wilde's classic comedic masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest outdoors at Speke Hall on Wednesday, August 15. Tickets, priced £14, (child £7) at www.nationaltrust.org.uk
18. LEARN more about Liverpool’s history on the new A Tale of Two Cities Tour, which presents Liverpool as a city of contrasts and reveal how a fishing village nestled on the banks of the River Mersey became the second most important port of the British Empire.
Beginning at Liverpool Town Hall, participants will be led through seven of the city’s original streets, tracing the path walked by their ancestors.
They will be guided through medieval hotspots including Hackins Hay, a burial ground for Quaker ancestors, Leather Lane, Dale Street, Victoria Street, and William Brown Street.
The tour ends in on the steps of St George’s Hall, a landmark that has provided the city with a collective space for celebration, for mourning, for protesting and for remembering.
“Our tours animate our city with live history and provide fantastic entertainment for residents, visitors and families,” says organisation founder Judy McLean.
“They offer a Liverpool experience with a difference and we’re very enthusiastic about how we can make these street theatre experiences even more exciting.”
Last year saw the first partnership between organiser Lovehistory and the University of Liverpool’s history department.
Students carried out research for into the murder cases of James Maybrick and Julia Wallace and the Irish Famine of the 1840s to be used in the tours.
The A Tale of Two Cities Tours take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are priced £10 (£8 concs; £32.50 family) from www.lovehistory.co.uk
19. LIVERPOOL city centre will host its first ever bandstand this summer, giving a platform to musicians, singers, choirs, dancers, poets, comics and other performers.
Commissioned by City Central BID, it will be programmed from Thursday to Sunday, with a professional sound engineer to support four performances a day from 12-5pm.
The bandstand will be available for “free play” from Monday to Wednesday, listed as a busking venue under Liverpool City Council’s new street entertainment policy.
It will be in action from July 26 to August 22.
20. DRIFTERS member Roy G Hemmings leads a celebration of 50 years of Motown and the sound of Philadephia, with hits by The Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Jacksons, The Stylistics and more at the Floral Pavilion on Wednesday, July 25. Tickets £17.50-£19.50 (£17.50 concs) from www.floralpavilion.com
21. EXCITING new UK bands will perform alongside up-and-coming Wirral musicians at the inaugural Astral Coast Festival in New Brighton. The event, at the Floral Pavilion on the afternoon and evening of Saturday July 21, aims to shine a spotlight on upcoming talent. Further details at www.floralpavilion.com , or www.bidolito.co.uk
22. THE Liverpool String Quartet will be joined by guest artist Spanish pianist Kiev Portella for an afternoon concert at The Bluecoat. The programme includes pieces by by Schumann and Cesar Franck.
The ensemble was formed in 2010 and have enjoyed a busy concert schedule, playing across Europe including at the Festival Internacional de Musica de Menorca. Tickets, priced £7.50 (£4.50 concs) from 0151 702 5324.
23. HANDBELL musicians will perform a concert of music they’ve rehearsed and created during the 15th International Handbell Symposium at the Echo Arena on Saturday, August 4. Tickets £10 (£5 members) from 0844 800 3680.
24. AUGUST bank holiday in Liverpool will have a distinct Merseybeat feel to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles.
As part of the Mathew Street Music Festival there will be a nod to Liverpool’s most famous sons as the second day has been renamed Merseybeat Monday, celebrating all things Beatles and Beatles-influenced. Two stages will be dedicated to the Fab Four as that week marks 50 years since Ringo joined John, Paul and George.
A selection of tracks from every Beatles album will be performed.
Over the two days, five stages across the city centre will host fantastic live music to attract all ages. As well as the Beatles connection, there will be a tribute to another Mathew Street music icon – the legendary Eric’s.
Ethan Allen, music director of Eric’s, says: “Being located on Mathew St itself, we are used to running our own live music events over the festival weekend but this year is going to be extra special for us as we are pleased to announce a tribute to Eric's on the Water St Stage and we'll be looking forward to bringing the brand to a bigger audience.”
Also this August, Beatles-mania will take over Hulme Hall, in Port Sunlight, on Saturday, August 18, with a musical extravaganza to mark the day Ringo Starr made his debut with The Beatles.
Then Sunday, August 19 marks the 50-year anniversary of the Fab Four’s first gig at The Cavern. And the venue will be in full party mode to celebrate the occasion.
International Beatles Week (August 22-28) will mark the anniversary in style with bands and fans from all over the world descending on the city.
Gigs, guest speakers and the world’s biggest Beatles convention will lead neatly into the 20th Mathew Street Music Festival to conclude the week.
Dave Jones, The Cavern Club director, says: “The legacy of The Beatles stretches beyond the timeless appeal of their music – they were a social and cultural phenomenon. The story of their rise to fame is one of the great chronicles of our time and it began here in Liverpool in 1962.”
MATHEW Street Music Festival takes place on Sunday, August 26 and Monday, August 27.
25. SEFTON PARK’s Palm House is hosting a two-hour children’s dance and sing-a-long from 2-4pm on Thursday, August 16. Ages five to 10 will learn the dances and songs from Disney’s and Glee’s classic soundtrack.Pparents can enjoy a short show at the end. Tickets £2 at www.wegottickets.com/event/171097
26. ANGELINA BALLERINA will pirouette on stage at the Liverpool Empire for her new musical – or mousical – Ballet Girls & Hip Hop Boys. It runs from August 21-23, tickets priced £10-£17.50 from www.liverpoolempire.org.uk
27. SCULPTOR Tony Evans has created a new collection of work especially for the Olympics.
Twenty Twelve, exhibited at The Gallery Liverpool, on Stanhope Street, features copper and bronze sculptures of Olympians alongside his animal pieces.
The subjects are depicted in that moment in time that portrays the supreme effort, grace and movement of animals and humans alike. The show runs from July 21 to August 10.
28. VENTRILOQUIST and YouTube hit Paul Zerdin is at the Floral Pavilion on Friday August 24, with his new stand-up show Puppet Master. Tickets £15 (£10 under-16s), 0151 666 0000.
29. WORLD-renowed Tango artist Martín Alvarado will be kicking off his third UK tour in Liverpool.
He will be joined by Mikko Helenius, a Finnish virtuoso pianist and bandoneon player, for the concert at Studio 2 on Parr Street.
The Buenos Aires-born singer has won wide acclaim for his tenor voice.
He discovered his singing talent by chance at the age of 19, while studying guitar. A few years later he travelled to Spain where he was spotted and invited to perform with Finland’s Tampere Filharmonia orchestra.
Alvarado comes to Liverpool at the invitation of Linda Wilton, organiser of local dance group Tango Liverpool, which is hosting the concert on Saturday, August 18.
She says: “Although the concert is part of a tango social dance – a milonga – it is also open to people who don’t dance but who would like to enjoy hearing some live world class tango music. And, who knows, we may even tempt them to start learning this beautiful Argentinian dance.”
Further details on 0151 707 3727.
30. FACT is showing two films with a Brazilian to link with its current exhibition The Humble Market.
On Tuesday, August 7, the Wood Street arts centre will screen Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, starring Jonathan Pryce as a low-level government employee in a dystopian world who is searching for the woman who appears in his dreams.
The second film is City of God, about the different paths followed by two boys growing up in a violent neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro. It will be shown on Tuesday, August 14.
Part art installation, part promenade theatre, The Humble Market is inspired by the spectacular rise of Brazil as an economic power and the preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Created by theatre company Zecora Ura and a group of artists, it invites visitors to examine their psyches and decide whether they are ready for a more Brazilian world.
They are taken on a journey to experience the hustle and bustle of the Rio carnival from a Brazilian taxi, lie back on the grass and contemplate the universe and discover what happens when the impersonal automated voice on the telephone suddenly gets very personal indeed.
The exhibition runs until August 26.
31. GET your tickets early for the FestEvol Gardens events next month.There will be two days of sets from bands including Clinic, Outfit, Eva Petersen, Thunderbird Gerard, The Liberty Vessels, Hey Carrianne, The Razz, The Wicked Whispers, The Temps, Tea Street Band and Death At Sea.
The FestEvol is a new summer showcase of new and original music from bands and solo artists hailing from Liverpool and the wider North West region.
There will be two stages at the Kazimier, using the main room and the newly built garden. There will also be a mini Screenedelica exhibition hosted by Horse with screen prints of previous Evol shows available to buy.
The events take place across two dates – Saturday, August 4 and Saturday, August 11. Doors 4pm-3am. Tickets are £10 per day from Probe Records.
32. IT’S the last day of the 18th century, balloonists-extraordinaire Elisabeth and Jeanne are about to perform their most daring feat. Ahead of them is a world where women and men are said to be equal in all things. But at what price? The Airborne Adventures Of Elisabeth and Jeanne is at The Unity, July 20-21.
33. WATCH 100 Heads artist Anthony Brown as he creates a new painting of Liverpool’s waterfront live in his new studio on the ground floor of Mann Island. You’ll be able to chat to him while viewing a collection of his pieces or can simply peer through the window as he works, from August 1.
34. GET fit and create art at the same time on Tate Liverpool’s Changing Landscapes artist-led cycling tour.
Taking inspiration from the current Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings exhibition, Peak District artist Susan McCall will lead a morning’s cycle tour through South Liverpool’s parks and green spaces, exploring a sense of place, textures and light, movement through landscape, and the dynamics between changing weather and solid forms.
Stops will be made to make preparatory drawings and paint studies, which will be used back in the studio in the afternoon to produce a finished art work.
It takes place on Sunday, August 19, but you have to enrole by Monday, August 13.
No previous experience necessary and the price includes materials and entry to the exhibition. Tickets priced £50 (concessions available) from 0151 702 7400. Tate Liverpool’s Turner Monet Twombly runs until October 28.
35. SUMMER just wouldn’t be the same without him. Over a decade of Summer Pops, Jools Holland has become as much a part of the summer as England being knocked out of international sporting events.
“What can I say, I like Liverpool,” laughs Holland.
“My great grandfather was from Liverpool, so maybe that’s why it feels like home.
“I used to love playing the Summer Pops in the big tent on the waterfront. The arena is good too, but that tent holds very fond memories.”
This month, Holland is bringing back his rhythm and blues orchestra to the Philharmonic Hall.
“When I hear the sound of the big band, it fills me with joy,” he explains.
“It’s the kind of music that makes you want to dance. You can see it in the crowd, it gives you that physical response that makes you start to move. To share that feeling, that love of the music, with thousands of people, it’s the greatest feeling. Don’t tell my agent, but I’d do it for free.”
Jools Holland plays the Philharmonic Hall on July 26.
36. MODERN day prejudices are set against the backdrop of a claustrophobic jury room in 12 at the Lantern Theatre on August 23-24. Tickets £6 (£4 concs) from www.thelanterntheatre.co.uk
37. THE Bafta-winner and Oscar nominee A Morning Stroll is one of a a selection of the best classic, cult and award-winning short films from around the world being presented at FACT as part of the Future Shorts summer programme on Wednesday, August 29.
Tickets are £4 (£3 members and concs) from www.fact.co.uk
38. ROLF HARRIS’S life and work is being celebrated in a family session at the Walker Art Gallery at 12pm on Tuesday, July 31.
It coincides with the Australian artist, musician, singer, TV presenter and entertainer’s solo exhibition, Can you tell what it is yet?, which runs until August 12.
39. THE English Bob Dylan, songwriter Richard Thompson, will be playing a rare gig at the Floral Pavilion as part of his global tour.
The former Fairport Convention singer, who has an Ivor Novello award, a BBC Lifetime Achievement award and was named one of Rolling Stone Magazine's Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, will be playing songs from across his extensive career. Robert Plant, REM, Elvis Costello, Los Lobos, David Byrne, Del McCoury, Bonnie Raitt, and many others have recorded his work.
Listening to him live, it’s easy to see why. Richard Thompson plays the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton on Saturday August 25.
40. THE Victoria Gallery & Museum is holding a range of free workshops from 1-4pm every Thursday throughout August. They include ancient Hittite crafts, bird-themed crafts, Indian jewellery, create your own portrait and Himalayan masks. No booking required.
41. FOUR-time Grammy-nominated band Pine Leaf Boys lead a line up of special guest artists in Americana Night, an evening of Bluegrass and Cajun music at Philharmonic Hall on Saturday, July 28. Tickets £16, £22 from 0151 709 3789.
42. A NEW York orphanage is the setting for this year’s Stage Experience musical at the Liverpool Empire.
A cast of young people from the local area are working with a professional creative team to create a full-scale production of the family classic Annie.
It’s at the Lime Street theatre from August 16-18. Tickets, priced £14, from www.liverpoolempire.org.uk
43. AARON WILLIAMSON is reinterpreting the Walker Art Gallery’s Victorian collection from the point of view of a deaf artist for Liverpool’s festival of disability and deaf arts, DaDaFest.
Catch him in conversation with Liverpool Biennial director Sally Tallant at The Bluecoat on August 28.
44. THE X Factor’s Marcus Collins will be joined by Liz McClarnon, The Only Way is Essex star Jessica Wright and 2 Shoes on Liverpool Pride’s waterfront stage on Saturday, August 4.
45. QUEERTET 2012 – four short, original LGBT-themed plays by local writers produced especially for Liverpool Pride – are being performed at the Lantern Theatre on July 27 and 28.
The event will be hosted by Lewis and Drew from Channel 4’s My Transsexual Summer and is being produced by Grin Theatre.
The four plays are: Madam Reprobate by Patrick Maguire, about the difficulty of introducing the new man in your life to your mother; Linda and Sue by Chris Christou, exploring the ways to a woman’s heart; Sweats by Wes Williams, a play about friendship, lust and sticky floors; and Half a Bottle Gone by Ian Walker, about friends begin sharing secrets over a bottle of wine.
Simon James, of Grin, says “Pride has become a highlight of the year in Liverpool and has proved to be a huge success and we love the inclusivity of the festival which ensures that all members of the community can get involved.
“We hope with Queertet we can offer something extra to people wanting to join in the fun.”
Further details at www.liverpoolpride.co.uk
46. ”IT’S not just listen to my beautiful voice kind of acting,” says Liverpool actor Stephen Fletcher of his latest project, a new production of the off-Broadway hit The Last 5 Years.
Opening at the Actors Studio on Seel Street next week, the once-act musical tells follows the five-year love affair of a New York couple from beginning to end, in both directions.
Their story is related through a series of musical monologues – struggling actor Cathy (Helen Carter) begins at the end and goes back in time to the start of their relationship, while novelist Jamie begins his tale just after their first meeting and ends with their break-up.
“There’s no secret about what happens because as soon as the lights come up you see a distraught Cathy reading a farewell letter from her husband,” explains Fletcher ( A Life in the Theatre, Eric’s, A Streetcar Named Desire, Hamlet, Lennon).
“It’s a really interesting way of seeing it because you think ‘how did they get to that stage?’
“There are occasional pieces of dialogue when they’re on the phone together but they’re never in the same space physically until the marriage in the middle of the play.”
Carter, who Liverpool audiences will recognise from The Gatekeeper, Flint Street Nativity, No Wise Men and Dead Heavy Fantastic, adds: “It’s quite nice for me because I start the show in misery but I end in hope. I can go to the bar afterwards and feel okay.”
The last time Carter appeared in a Liverpool musical was in The Playhouse 2008 production of Once Upon a time at The Adelphi in which she played the memorable “tart with a heart” chambermaid, Babs Barlow.
“Cathy wants to be an actress and at the point she meets Jamie she’s a bit down on her luck,” she continues.
“She’s looking for excitement and romance and for someone to save her.
“She’s a quirky, funny, excitable, almost childlike character and she’s very loving but she does teeter on the point of being possessive of him.
“She wants to hang on to the marriage as it was but they’re both going in different directions.”
The two performers will be accompanied by a pianist, playing the score by Tony award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown.
“It’s got a bit of everything – jazzy, modern, folky, rock, pop. Jason Robert Brown has definitely got his own unique style,” says Fletcher.
“It’s a really technical score and our musical director Nick Phillips, who is a senior lecturer at Lipa and has worked with Stephen Sondheim, is relishing the opportunity to get his teeth into it.”
The Last 5 Years premiered in Chicago in 2001, followed by an off-Broadway run in 2002, before playing to audiences in over 20 countries.
Its Liverpool premiere is also the second production by Fletcher’s new company, Life in Theatre Productions, and follows the success of the two-hander A Life in the Theatre, which he performed with Andrew Schofield at the Actors Studio.
“At the moment, work’s a bit tough,” he explains. “It always is in this business – in many respects there’s been a recession forever for actors. The majority of time you’re out of work.
“The idea is to take plays into all the different spaces in Liverpool and take the audiences with us. I’d love to take this on the road further afield and show off a production company from Liverpool.”
THE Last 5 Years is at The Actors studio from Tuesday, July 24 to Friday, August 3. Tickets £10 from 0151 709 9034 or 07906 279258.
47. PAUL GENT has spent the past two years braving weather conditions to make a collection of sketches of Liverpool scenes.
He then recreates them in his studio using pen, ink and acrylic on various background materials including bank notes, maps, vintage wallpaper, comics, packaging and gold foil before sealing the completed works with an antique varnish.
Mounted on laminated floor boards, the mixed media works are on display in Gent’s solo exhibition at Corke Gallery, Aigburth Road, which also includes drawings of statues from the Walker Art Gallery.
Catch his show, Leaving of Liverpool, before it finishes on Saturday.
48. THE world’s only piano busking festival has returned to Liverpool City Centre for a second year.
For 10 weeks, Tickle the Ivories is bringing the sound of music to the streets with five upright pianos transforming Liverpool One into a live venue.
Players are invited to book free timeslots to perform on and around the pianos. All performers registered to take part are licensed to busk so keep any money they collect.
And as well as five stationary pianos there is a Tickle on Tour piano moving around the city from the Albert Dock to Central Station.
There are also “freeplay sessions” each day when members of the public can play without pre-booking.
Further details at www.tickle theivories.org
49. VIDEOTAPED interviews with Holocaust survivors Ed Silverberg and Eva Schloss are combined with with live actors recreating scenes from their lives during World War II in The Blue Sky Network’s And Then They Came for Me.
Ed was Anne Frank’s first boyfriend and featured in the beginning of her now-famous diary.
Her half-sister Eva Schloss was the same age as Anne and lived in the same Amsterdam apartment building.
Her family went into hiding the same day as the Frank family and were also betrayed. And Then They Came for Me is at the Epstein Theatre on Sunday, July 29 and will be followed by a Q&A with Eva Schloss chaired by Stephen Twigg MP. Tickets are £20 from 0844 888 9991.
50. THEY may hail from Manchester, but six piece Folks make music that’s inspired from sounds from our side of the M62.
Taking The Beatles as their starting point, the band were formed when guitarist and writer Michael Beasley hooked up with vocalist Scott Anderson, and they relocated to the US to record what would end up being their debut album.
On their return the duo pulled together a full band (Thom Fripp – lead guitar, Harry Gumery – bass, Wil Akroyd – keyboards and Elliot Barlow – drums) which ensured this group could also let rip live.
Having supported Miles Kane, the lads are now playing alongside Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds before playing the Cavern next month.
“We did a tour with Miles Kane, which was our intro to playing in theatres,” says Beasley.
“The great thing about his shows were that all his fans were there early to watch us.
“You never get that normally, everyone's in the bar until the main band come on, but not this time. It was great.
“Then Noel's manager played him our songs, and then he asked if we'd play the Roundhouse in London with him.
“And before that, Noel filled in on Dermot O'Leary's Radio 2 show and invited us to do a session. “He knows we're all Manchester United fans, but that didn't stop him.”
Folks play The Cavern on Thursday, August 9.