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Live at LICA Launch Night – Alice Hughes
Want to experience local history come alive and watch a sensational performance in one night this term? First come to Live at LICA’s Launch Night on 17th October at the Peter Scott Gallery where artists Raisin & Willow resurrect Winter Gardens, an iconic Victorian theatre in Morecambe. Hear voices of the usherettes, the boy who shone the lime-light and the woman who sold ice-creams resurface alongside lost relics and memories in their exhibition Sea Breeze: An Archive. Then see Transformed Double Bill, commissioned by Green Close, where ‘Ghost Bird’ questions current persecution through its ghostly tale of nesting pairs of hen harriers in the Trough of Bowland, mirroring the journey from Bowland Fells to Lancaster Castle made by the persecuted Pendle Witches. Similarly, Signs and Wonders contemplates the way we create meaning through artefacts and signs, with focus upon the Lancashire Witch Trials of 1612. Gallery doors open at 6.30pm, entrance to the opening event is free and works will be exhibited until 6th December.
After that you can choose from Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra in the Great Hall, featuring Frank Gallagher from Channel 4’s Shameless famed for his scholarly drunken ramblings, otherwise known as British actor David Threlfall who will be narrating William Walton’s Henry V – A Shakespeare Scenario, based on the Oscar-nominated score for Laurence Olivier’s popular film adaption of the Shakespeare play. Alternatively, at the Nuffield Theatre there is a provocative performance on offer by Tim Crouch & Andy Smith titled ‘What Happens to the hope at the end of the evening’, where the odd conversation between old friends opens the enlightening, lawless space between opposites. Tickets can be booked online on the Live at LICA website so book your seat now!
Lancaster Music Festival – Jonathan Doyle
Lancaster Music Festival, now in its fifth year, celebrates the abundance of musical talent that the city of Lancaster has to offer. With over 30 venues and attracting over 140 local, national and international acts, 2013 is set to be the biggest and best year yet!
On Friday 11th October, the festival is reaching out to Lancaster University in conjunction with Live at the Oak. The event will be spread across two stages situated in the ‘Trough of Bowland’ at Bowland College and ‘The Northern Oak’ at County College.
For those who fancy a quiet pint and chat with friends old and new, Bowland will be the place for you as it hosts the acoustic/folk stage. Performing there will be campus bands The Marties, Katie Louise, Molly Warburton and the Shady Days, and Polish folk superstars Paula and Karol. If you feel like something a little livelier, head to The Northern Oak where County will be turning it up to eleven with the rock stage. Campus band Outside October will kick off the night, followed by pop rockers Articles and pop punkers 7 Day Weekend. The Lottery Winners will close the night in style with their vocal harmony-fuelled indie rock, certainly not one to miss!
Lancaster Music Festival has three full days of live music to offer, so there is definitely something for everyone. With so many incredible pubs hosting the event, what better time is there to go and explore the city for yourself? For more information about Live at the Oak’s events, check out their Facebook page. For a full list of venues and acts participating over the weekend, take a look at the Lancaster Music Festival website.
1927: Animals and Children Took to the Streets – Sophie Barrett
1927 Theatre Company’s Animals and Children Took to the Streets can be equated to a stodgy soup of Dickens grime, gothic rooted horror, and the charm of a Victorian parlor game. I say gothic-rooted horror because the sinister elements of the performance are more luxuriously unsettling than slapstick. The aesthetics are both gorgeous and gross. The Herald’s claim that the show is ‘sound tracked by cut-glass parlor room piano ditties’ successfully articulates the oxymoronic nature of the show. The performance is doubly charming and ominous, most obviously because the tinkling piano is paired with the presence of haunting animations of cockroaches and white painted faces. I suppose that the overall effect echoes a joint direction between Austen and Dickens – it is the love child of the extremes of the canon.
Suzanne Anchrade, of ‘1927’ reveals that the performance is designed within the context of three large white screens, upon which animations are projected. ‘Everywhere is saturated with cockroaches crawling over the actors’; the actors and animations respond to one another, and their interaction contributes to the weird nature of the show. It appears hyper-real – the audience is subject to layers upon layers of reality, as animations appear alive on top of the actor’s bodies. Anchrade reiterates: ‘It’s as if the actors are trapped in the animations’, which I believe has the effect of producing an extraordinarily microcosmic piece of theatre. The white screens are constantly shifting, resulting in a ‘quirky and wonky’ viewing. The silent film inspiration, and an exaggerated method of miming, echoes the absurdity of Charlie Chaplain’s films (if Charlie Chaplain was transported into a hellish wonderland).
LICA themselves maintain that the performance is ‘wickedly twisted’, and boasts a seamless merging of ‘live music, performance and storytelling with stunning films and animation.’
The Animals and Children Took to the Streets is to be performed at the Dukes Theatre from 7th to 9th November.
Light up Lancaster – Lucy Smalley
Last autumn the Lancaster Arts City partnership illuminated the city with an astounding light, sound, film and dance show that encouraged visitors to flock from far and wide. It was considered a huge success, with a wide variety of performances and visual spectacles that allowed visitors to see the city in a whole new light, and best of all it was completely free for everyone to enjoy.
Following a great response last year, the Lancaster Arts partners are clubbing together yet again to put together four days of entertainment in different locations across Lancaster. On Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th October stories about the history of Lancaster’s beautiful waterways will be told through illuminated installations along the canal at night, leading all the way up to the Lune aqueduct. Friday 1st November will see the heart of Lancaster’s city centre animated in a unique night time ‘art experience’, bringing the streets to life in a combination of music, dance, theatre and film events. Finally, on the evening of Saturday 2nd November, Lancaster’s skies will be illuminated by one of the finest fireworks displays in the North West. Fired from the roof of Lancaster Castle, the show will light up the landscape and skyline of the city and promises to be an impressive ending to this string of cultural events. Light Up Lancaster offers an excellent way for both students and the general public to encounter the talent and beauty within our historic city, and with so much happening across the week there is simply no excuse to miss it!
For more information and details of timings go to www.artscity.co.uk and download the free Lancaster Arts City app.
Litfest – Simon James
This year sees the eighteenth annual literature festival in Lancaster – a true highlight for the arts in the North. Once again, poets, novelists, short fiction writers and other storytellers will conduct readings, performances, discussions and more in various venues across Lancaster to bring to you a celebration of the very best literature that humanity has to offer.
This year will see the introduction of Joseph Delaney’s new novel. Delaney is the creator of Spooks (the TV series which is soon to become a motion picture), and will be reading from his new book the Ghost Prison inside the room that gave it inspiration – one of Lancaster Castle’s atmospheric prison wings!
Later that same day, performance storyteller Cat Weatherill will be performing Bluebeard, a “magnificently dark, erotic and creepy” journey into obsession, inspired by Perrault’s classic gothic horror story. Cat has performed at every major literature festival and on national television, and this “life-affirming celebration of the resilience of women” is going to be one people don’t want to miss.
Another one to watch out for is Intimate Worlds, featuring two award-winning authors. Alison Macleod (The Changeling) and Evie Wyld (All The Birds, Singing) will both be doing readings from their work and then leading discussions at the Storey Institute.
Litfest encourages the production of work too, and there are lots of workshops and competitions. One example of this is Spotlight, the open mic slam which takes a regular monthly event in Lancaster and ups the stakes. Anyone can enter to perform their way to audience acclaim and a cash prize.
This is just a small sample of the many different things Litfest has to offer. For more information on all of the events and to book places, visit litfest.org!
Music at LICA – Steff Brawn
Last year we saw the music department at Lancaster go through some troublesome times, but thankfully what still remains is a stunning line up of performances in the Live at LICA programme. This autumn the Great Hall will be welcoming talent from all ends of the musical spectrum including stars from jazz, orchestral and contemporary backgrounds. Some expected highlights will be “Serious Cabaret” from the Manchester Camerata in November that should not only appeal to those who enjoy the soprano voice coming from special guest Mary Carewe but will also spark an interest for those who enjoy a bit German history as the programme is intriguingly based on Berlin cabaret and theatre before the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. Another virtuosic performer that will be gracing the stage later in the same month will be Julian Joseph along with his trio who will be entertaining the crowd with some jazz classics and some of his own, no doubt, impressive repertoire. The autumn season also happily welcomes back the Chethams Symphony Orchestra and the regular celebrity recital will come from one of France’s finest pianists Pascal Rogé. As always, the autumn programme promises that Lancaster University is one of the greatest homes of music and it’s right on your doorstep, so don’t miss out and make sure you check more information at www.liveatlica.org.