ARTS editor Laura Davis looks ahead to 2013 in her cultural highlights guide in Liverpool and Merseyside for the coming year.
9-5 THE MUSICAL
JACKIE CLUNE, Natalie Casey, Amy Lennox and Bonnie Langford star in the stage version of Dolly Parton’s hilarious story of friendship, gossip and revenge, touring to the Liverpool Empire.
20 STORIES High presents a bold and unflinching look at sex, sexuality and religion for young people in 21st century Britain. The play at The Unity has been inspired by the real stories of the young people in Liverpool and focuses on four friends as they come of age.
January 31 to February 2
DISGUSTED with French society, where powdered fops gossip in code and be-jewelled coquettes whisper behind fans, poet Alceste embarks on a one-man crusade against fakery, frippery and forked tongue in the third of Roger McGough’s Molière adaptations for the Liverpool Playhouse.
February 15 to March 9
BOY IN A DRESS
THE transgender, fallen Catholic, ex-fashion model La JohnJoseph invites you to her raucously political and accidentally profound autobiographical show. Touring to The Unity, it combines song, vaudeville, striptease and postmodern philosophy to explore intersections between faith, gender, class, family and identity.
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
CAMERON MACKINTOSH’S spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary musical will star Earl Carpenter as The Phantom, Katie Hall as Christine and Simon Bailey as Raoul.
February 20 to March 9
EVEN Stephen Fry is looking forward to seeing Hope – or at least he hopes it will move to the West End, he said on Twitter last month. Liverpool-born TV actor Mark Womack (Good Cop, Route Irish) is making a rare stage appearance at the Royal Court in this darkly comic psychological thriller, starring alongside his Hillsborough and Liverpool One co-star Scot Williams, who is also the play’s writer, director and producer.
I WAS A RAT!
PHILIP PULLMAN’S gripping story of a boy who claims he was one of the rats that pulled Cinderella’s pumpkin coach is brought to life on the UK professional stage for the first time in a tour to the Liverpool Playhouse.
THE VICTORIAN IN THE WALL
A WORK-shy writer discovers a Victorian man living in the wall of his flat. Everyone’s pretty surprised. Adjustments need to be made in the brand new play from Perrier Award winner Will Adamsdale (Campus, The Boat That Rocked, Jackson's Way) at The Unity.
A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG
A FAST-paced black comedy blazes with the love and pain, the anger and strain of a young couple raising a disabled child in Peter Nichols’ acclaimed work at the Liverpool Playhouse.
THE story of a miner who became entombed in a tunnel during World War I, this award-winning Edinburgh Fringe sell out show blends live music, puppetry and physical performance at The Unity. Not everything in the darkness of the trench is what it seems when a strange world is discovered beneath the mud and death.
BLUE REMEMBERED HILLS
NORTHERN Stage presents Dennis Potter’s charming and profound story of seven children one wartime summer, whose games, complex friendships and moral dilemmas lead them headlong into sudden and unexpected tragedy.
LIVERPOOL-born writer Jonathan Harvey celebrates the 20th anniversity of his play Beautiful Thing with a UK tour starring ex-Coronation Street actor Suranne Jones. Written when Harvey was 24-years-old, the West End hit is the urban love story of two young men coming to grips with their sexuality and the effect it has on the people in their lives.
May 28 to June 1
THE KITE RUNNER
TWO motherless boys, born in Kabul, learn to crawl, walk and kite-fight side by side. But neither Hassan nor Amir can foresee a terrible incident that will rip their lives apart. Matthew Spangler’s acclaimed adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s international best-selling novel is being produced by the Liverpool Everyman & PLayhouse with Nottingham Playhouses.
June 13 to July 6
THE Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra tackles the Russian composer’s mighty Fourth Symphony as well as the UK premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Cello Concerto, performed by Paul Watkins, and Pärt’s Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten at the Philharmonic Hall.
CLARK RUNDELL conducts a programme that’s all about rhythm in the latest concert by Ensemble 10/10 (the Phil’s contemporary music group) at Liverpool Hoper University’s Cornerstone theatre. It features Graham Fitkin’s tribute to London 2012) Truck to Track, Osvaldo Golijov‘s Last Round and Dances by modernist legend Louis Andriessen. Stravinsky’s Danses Concertantes completes the programme.
THE BEGGAR’S OPERA
OPERA North’s Richard Farnes makes his first appearance with the RLPO at this Epstein Theatre concert, conducting Britten’s imaginative score that has been outraging and entertaining audiences since 1728.
March 1 & 3
TINE THING HELSETH, KATHRYN STOTT
THE Norwegian trumpeter is joined by pianist Kathryn Stott in St George’s Hall’s concert room for a programme that includes music by de Falla, Kurt Weill, Hindemith, Sibelius and Graham Fitkin.
ENTRY OF THE GODS
RLPO chief conductor conducts an all-Wagner programme that includes Entry of the Gods into Valhalla from Das Rheingold, Ride of the Valkyries and Siegfried’s Funeral March, at the Philharmonic Hall.
STRICTLY COME DANCING – THE LIVE TOUR 2013
DENISE VAN OUTEN, Phil Tufnell, Fern Britton, Louis Smith, Lisa Riley, Dani Harmer and Michael Vaughan are the celebrity stars of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing Tour, which calls at the Echo Arena for two nights of glittering costumes and your chance to vote for a winner.
RUSSIAN STATE BALLET
RUSSIA’S acclaimed ballet company returns to the UK with three different productions for three different nights. Accompanied by the Orchestra of Siberia, it will perform La Fille Mal Gardèe, Coppelia and Swan Lake at the Liverpool Empire.
LADY WHITE SNAKE
LIVERPOOL’S China Pearl presents a Chinese cultural show at The Unity with music, dance and folklore to celebrate the year of the snake.
PHOENIX Dance returns to the Liverpool Playhouse with quadruple bill – a work by artist director Sharon Watson that uses movement to unravel our genetic code, a blistering duet by Douglas Thorpe, Jose Agudo’s ferocious solo inspired by the fearsome Mongol warlord Ghengis Kahn and All Alight, celebrated choreographer Richard Alston’s first work for Phoenix, danced to Ravel’s moving Sonata for Violin and Cello.
MICHELANGELO: DRAWING BLOOD
TWENTY-first century theatre meets 16th century culture as three male performers bring to life the fluid twists and turns of Michelangelo’s drawings accompanied by animation, video and music performed live on renaissance instruments. Watch out – it contains male nudity.
MATTHEW BOURNE’S SLEEPING BEAUTY
THE New Adventures choreographer returns to the music of Tchaikovsky with a gothic fairytale version of Sleeping Beauty coming to the Liverpool Empire in the spring.
April 30 to May 4
MARK THOMAS: BRAVO FIGARO!
THE outspoken comedian moves away from his usual political subjects to share the story of putting on an opera in a Bournemouth bungalow for his Mozart-loving builder father who suffers from a degenerative illness. He’s at the Liverpool Playhouse for one night only.
ROGER MCGOUGH: AS FAR AS I KNOW
WITH a new book of poetry out, Liverpool’s poet laureate presents a recital of witty wordplay at the Liverpool Playhouse.
THE self-styled floppy-collared loon is back with a live show that promises incontrovertible proof that God exists. Joined by showband The Harry's at the Liverpool Empire, there's a section exclusively for Tongans, a chance to catch up on Harry's nan's latest ailments and a debut solo stand-up spot by Harry’s son Gary, recognisable for his role as Alan Sugar in Harry Hill's TV Burp.
MY PERFECT MIND
ACCLAIMED actor Edward Petherbridge was cast as King Lear, when on the second day of rehearsals he suffered a stroke that left him barely able to move. From being on the brink of playing Shakespeare's most revered role, to lying in a hospital bed, he had never imagined what tragedies and comedies lay in store for him. This two-man comic show is performed by sPetherbridge and Told By an Idiot co-founder Paul Hunter at The Unity.
LUKE WRIGHT: YOUR NEW FAVOURITE POET
EXPECT thigh-slapping acerbic wordplay and bawdy bar room ballads as Luke Wright introduces you to a cast of greedy politicians and boozy ne’er-do-wells in his brand new show at The Unity.
IN SEVEN DAYS. . . BY NICOLA GREEN
THE story of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign told in seven iconic silk screen prints by Nicola Green, who followed Obama and his campaign team across America as this historic journey unfolded.
January 18-April 14
NEW WORKS AT THE WALKER
FEATURING paintings, ceramics, sculpture and work on paper by artists including Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois, Yoko Ono, Paula Rego, and Haroon Mirza, the show will consist of contemporary works owned by the gallery, many of which have not been on display before.
Opens February 2
GLAM! THE PERFORMANCE OF STYLE
THE visually extravagant pop style that exploded across Britain from 1971-5 had its roots firmly in British art schools. Tate Liverpool will bring together more than 100 works to reveal the genealogy of glam through themes of glamour, camp, exaggerated identity, androgyny, eroticism and dandyism.
February 8-May 12
THE UNIVERSAL ADDRESSABILITY OF DUMB THINGS
CHESHIRE-born Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey explores how our relationships with artworks and common objects are being transformed through new technologies in this exhibition at The Bluecoat.
February 16-April 14
THE Austrian-born communist-sympathiser and spy for the Soviet Union used photography as a tool to communicate her political ideas and fled Vienna in 1933 to escape persecution for Communist activities and her Jewish background. The exhibition of her work will take place in the Open Eye’s archive gallery.
March 1-May 5
CHAGALL: MODERN MASTER
THE UK’s first major presentation of the Russian painter’s work for more than 15 years will bring together more than 60 paintings and a selection of works on paper from across the world, focussing on Marc Chagall’s time in Paris before the First world War, his visit to Berlin and his exhibition there in 1914 and the years he spent in his native Russia around the time of the Revolution in 1917.
June 8-October 6
THE DRAWINGS OF EDWARD BURNE-JONES: A PRE-RAPHAELITE MASTER
WORK from the Lady Lever Art Gallery collection including drawings, watercolours and a painting. An opportunity to see his studies and finished pieces as well as large scale full colour designs for the stained glass works for which he became so welk known.
June 14-January, 2014
MAJOR exhibition of the Yorkshire-born artist’s early work featuring prints, drawings and painting and celebrating Hockney’s long association with the Walker Art Gallery where he won the John Moores Painting Prize in 1967.
October 11-March, 2014
KEN DODD BY STEPHEN SHAKESHAFT
PHOTOGRAPHS by the former Liverpool Post picture editor renowned for his remarkable and varied studies of people. The exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool will chronicle the comedian’s remarkable career.
November 8-March, 2014