Addiction and Performance: Fallen Angels Dance Theatre


Yesterday at Hope University’s Capstone Theatre, I came face to face with one of the UK’s most foremost professional dance company ‘Fallen Angels Dance Theatre’.

Their vision is to strive for excellence in artistry whilst raising awareness that people in addiction do recover. Having worked with this team, I have seen at first hand the amazing inspiration and discipline the group has developed, developed with positive results in its delivery to the audience and participants.

I have seen how the role of culture both in understanding such afflictions as addiction, can offer useful strategies of recovery; strategies which are often dismissed by our learned friends.

Technically demanding and strongly narrative literally and emotionally, Fallen Angels Dance Theatre is certainly looking like an important new player in contemporary dance.

The company exists to break down barriers through creativity and self expression, demonstrating the power of transformative theatre.
I enjoyed their dynamic performance last year at the Lowry and thrilled at meeting them yesterday.
I watched ‘Risen’ the performance group who are community dancers and advocates for recovery. They worked with Artistic Director Paul Bayes Kitcher who enabled them to inspire and enhance the lives of others.

So often, I see the mainstream theatres involve themselves in the grabbing of funds to support the next media venture, be it ‘dementia’ or ‘mind games’ They play this, in a socio-political campaign to survive, when all around them there are historical issues such as addiction, so rife, in the neighbourhood of their theatreland and which need urgently to be addressed.

Fallen Angels Dance Theatre exists to break down barriers through creativity and self expression, demonstrating the power of transformative theatre.
The theatre offers creative dance participation and performance activities for young people and adults recovering from or affected by addiction. The team works in social inclusion with those sections of the community who are excluded through economic and social barriers. They inspire and support THEM, the community; to make positive life choices through education and outreach programmes. Their vision, along with mine, might I add, one in undertaking the Culture Champions role is to strive for excellence whilst raising awareness that art changes lives with its rehabilitative power.

We have a number of theatre company’s on Merseyside and a number of supportive organisations engaged with the addiction issue, but how many open up new ways of knowing and looking at the subject by working with contemporary visual art and artists.

I do hope that there is an opening for Fallen Angels Theatre in Liverpool, a group with a vast portfolio of outreach and educational activities worthy of a frontline with the arts, health, and social services sectors.

Treatment is only the beginning; sustained recovery requires engagement with the means to express ourselves positively with those around us.
View their performances if you can!

Liverpool an International City up there with the very best!


Yesterday I met several eminent international planners visiting Liverpool as speakers on the UK Waterfront Cities Symposium. Their view of Liverpool, some as outsiders visiting for the first time, gave the city a resounding thumbs up for its status as a truly International Waterfront city!

Our waterfront provides the gateway to our great city and it symbolises our drive and ambition as it looks out to the rest of the world. It brims with a tempting selection of lively bars, museums, art, history and culture……. with fun-filled activities for all.

At Liverpool Waterfront, world-class attractions and thrilling events come together in a breath-taking and iconic setting.
A setting with the magnificent ‘Three Graces’ fronting a rich cultural history.

Today, the International Mersey River Festival begins with a multitude of musical and maritime activities including the Northern Boat Show and Music on the Waterfront.

This weekend will be an action packed fun few days for all the family with model boats and powerboats to racing rafts and arts and crafts.

New for 2015 will be the Northern Boat Show, with this three day event having around 150 exhibitors and 60 boats on show.

Visit this event and see the latest sailing and power assisted boats showcased against the spectacular backdrop of the Albert Dock.

Purchase a pontoon ticket to gain exclusive access to the boats on display- a pure delight for any boat enthusiast.

Tall Ships, naval vessels and barges are just some of the boats people can explore on the quayside.

Walking tours, airshows and fly-boarding sessions will be hugely popular over the next few days. The weather looks good for this superb weekend of entertainment.
For music lovers, there’s plenty on offer as once again the Pier Head will come alive with music thanks to a host of FREE open air performances on this World heritage Site location not to be missed.

If you have the time, find the ‘Subterranean Theatre’ in Cunard Building Water Street; an interactive walk-through performance experience which celebrates the lives and conflicts of those who worked below decks in the ‘Subterranean Theatre’ of the ships’ stokehold….till Sat 13th June.

Enjoy these events and…….. just think how far Liverpool has come from to get to this point in time. An event like this….. with the combination of Maritime and art venues, eateries and exhibitions gives you plenty to do around the water’s edge. The colourful street performances, electric music and the mouth-watering array of exotic food and drink will be found around every corner of the dock.

Enjoy the days extravaganza …. and think, Liverpool like New York, Sydney, Barcelona, Shanghai and other great waterfront cities of the world. We are up there with the very best, with millions of people visiting our waterfront every year.

Enjoy the events!

Physical fest is certainly a feast of performance.


This International Theatre Festival has brought to Liverpool the best new theatrical talent to the many stages of the city giving the latest batch of home-grown actors a fantastic showcase for their talent.

For the past week we have been subjected to a true treasure trove of theatrical riches in and around our streets. Riches that have made us think and made us laugh but above all I am sure, we have enjoyed the performances immensely.
These opportune performances in Clayton Square and Church Street, have become a vehicle for the performing arts this half term and called out to all young and able, giving them an opportunity to see a ‘special kind’ of theatre and so help them, knock on the doors of our theatre establishments in Liverpool and really consider joining a training programme or acting course at LJMU Joe Makin Drama Centre, as an example.

Last week, I engaged with the festival promoters at the Unity Theatre and was cocooned by the mischievous street theatre trio of fabulous, curvaceous, vivacious, gorgeous, flirty Boom Boom Showgirls who are even now sneaking up on unsuspecting shoppers.

Moments later the slapstick comedy of the Cirque du Kaka created a riotously entertaining experience swiftly followed by the zany Eggmen. Today, watch out for the Car Men greasy mechanics, showing up on the pedestrian streets without a car in sight and getting to grips with their real talent- opera! Led by an aficionado of the art, this unlikely trio live up to their name, performing Carmen in all its greasy glory…..clever!

Earlier in the week, all praise went to Wendy Houstoun’s superb performance ‘Pact with Pointlessness’ a double act for one, with the night twisting and turning, crackling with wit and ridiculous movement in a kind of stand up meets vaudeville.

Funny and moving in equal measure, this performance offered a frank demonstration of how it feels to be knocked sideways by death, then renegotiate and carry on.

If you have not encountered the ‘Physical fest’ workshops and street entertainment with shows at Church Street, Clayton Square, and Pilgrim Street then venture to the Bluecoat and Unity Theatre for performances, there is still time.

Unity Theatre 08448732888
Bluecoat 01517025324


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