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Iconic poppies to come to Liverpool

Weeping Window Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces

Wonderful news! The poignant and iconic poppy sculpture which attracted millions of people to the Tower of London in 2014 is coming to Liverpool

Weeping Window is a section of the artwork showcased in the capital last year and is a tribute to the fallen in World War One.

It will go on display on part of the external façade of St George’s Hall – a location intrinsically linked with the Great War – as part of a UK-wide tour organised by 14-18 Now who are the national organisers of the First World War Centenary Cultural Programme.

When on display in London, the Weeping Window was the cascade of poppies that could be seen pouring out of a high window and in to the moat below and is made up of thousands of ceramic flowers.

It will be erected at the start of November in time for the city’s annual Remembrance Service on Sunday 8 November, and will be in place until January 2016.

Following a bidding process to host either Weeping Window or Wave which is another part of the poppy sculpture, Liverpool is one of just three locations for 2015.  The others are the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield and Woodhorn Museum in Northumberland.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool is honoured and privileged to be chosen to host the Weeping Window.

“There is no better location than St George’s Hall, with its intrinsic links to WW1 and the Liverpool PALS and its Cenotaph where people come to pay their respects to the war dead. It is the spiritual heart of the city and a place where Liverpool gathers at important moments in its history, whether for celebration or sorrow. I know that people will come from far and wide in huge numbers to see the Weeping Window, particularly around Remembrance Sunday.

“We will be working in partnership with other organisations to run a community education programme focused around the history of WW1 and encourage personal remembrance and reflection.”

The Weeping Window and Wave are from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces. The original poppies concept was created by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper.  It was originally at the Tower of London from August to November 2014 where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one to honour every death in the British and Colonial forces of the First World War.

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said: “14-18 NOW are thrilled to be taking the poppies to Liverpool, and we are pleased to announced that Weeping Window will be in St George’s Hall for Armistice Day 2015.  This is the latest in a number of commissions with the city that have opened new perspectives on the First World War, including the Giants, Dazzle Ship and the Dazzle Ferry, and we look forward to working with them on this exciting project.”

The two sculptures, which together have more than 10,000 poppies, have been saved for the nation by the Backstage Trust and the Clore Duffield Foundation, and gifted to 14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museums. Financial support for the presentations has been received from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and fundraising for the presentations is ongoing.

There will be free access to the poppies for the public to view the work, and it will be supported with an educational programme.

Secretary of State John Whittingdale said: “It is fantastic that there will be new ceramic poppy installations in different parts of the country. This is art at its most powerful and it is only right that everyone should have the chance to see them. The London installation had a huge impact on all those who saw it and the new installations will do the same. This is an another important opportunity for us to remember and pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the First World War.”

For the latest information visit www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/poppies or www.1418Now.org.uk/poppies. On Twitter follow @CultureLpool or @1418NOW #PoppiesTour

The poppies installation by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, in the dry moat of the Tower of London marks 100 years since the start of the First World War. Volunteers will continue to plant 888,246 ceramic poppies the moat, one for each British and Colonial fatality during the First World War. The last one will be planted on Armistice Day, 11th November 2014.©Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces

The poppies installation by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, in the dry moat of the Tower of London marks 100 years since the start of the First World War. Volunteers will continue to plant 888,246 ceramic poppies the moat, one for each British and Colonial fatality during the First World War. The last one will be planted on Armistice Day, 11th November 2014.

©Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces

Good news for the Bombed Out Church

Picture by kind permission of Ian Ramsay

Picture by kind permission of Ian Ramsay

URGENT work to repair the crumbling stonework of St Luke’s Church is to start in September

Liverpool City Council has announced a £150k project – funded by Liverpool City Council and Heritage England – as the first step in safeguarding the future of the much-loved Liverpool landmark, the Bombed Out Church.

The work will involve repairing and replacing heavy stonework, meaning the site will be closed to protect public health and safety. It was postponed earlier this year to allow the summer events programme to go ahead.

Meanwhile, a major consultation exercise is to get underway, asking people their views on the role St Luke’s should play in the life of the city.

Ambrose Reynolds, who has been running St Luke’s as a public space, said: “It has been more than a decade since I became involved in St Luke’s re-opening it to the public, it’s been amazing to see the profound effect that it has on all different kinds of people, both as a testament to  history and its connection to our present lives.

“St Luke’s is a place for everyone and that is the essence of the existing programme – to commemorate the past and celebrate the future.

“We welcome this wonderful opportunity to preserve the Bombed Out Church for the future wellbeing of the city and the people.”

The consultation will be open to residents, community groups, existing Friends of St Luke’s and any other interested parties in the city.

It will gauge views on how the Bombed Out Church can be preserved as a living war memorial, the type of events that should be held there and what further facilities or works should be carried out.

The results of the consultation will be used as the basis for decisions to be made in relation to the future of St Luke’s Church and the Council will formally invite expressions of interest.

The successful party must be able to demonstrate that they can offer a viable future for St Luke’s which is in line with the results of the public consultation.

Details of the consultation will be released in the near future. Watch this space…

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time is getting rave reviews in Liverpool!

dog1

“Can I give this more than five stars? Oh, I’ll just ask Christopher. He’ll work out a way” ★★★★★
Liverpool Echo 

Joshua Jenkins gives a tour de force performance that captures the full range of human experience- journeying from elation to despair and back again.”
Click Liverpool 

“The production, directed by Marianne Elliott, was funny, clever, gripping and emotional, really drawing on the actors’ skills.”
Daily Post North Wales


The National Theatre’s multi award-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time opened at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre last night, and brought the entire auditorium to its feet receiving a roaring standing ovation.

The production showing in Liverpool until Saturday 25 July as part of a nationwide tour of UK and Ireland.

The entire cast of Curious Incident were thrilled with the audience reaction and are looking forward to seeing the sights in Liverpool during their week in the City.  Joshua Jenkins, who plays Christopher, and is a huge fan of the Beatles has already been in a Magical Mystery tour of Liverpool with fellow company members.

Lucas Hare, who writes a blog called The Blog in the Night-Time about the Curious Incident tour has just completed an entry about their first night in Liverpool.  The blog includes an interview with Joshua Jenkins as his character Christopher Boone talking about his impressions of Liverpool. 

Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel, which received seven Olivier Awards in 2013, including Best New Play, Best Director, Best Lighting Designand Best Sound Design, opened to rave reviews which all praise the spectacular performances from the cast including Joshua Jenkins who plays the central role of Christopher.

The New York production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has also been nominated for six prestigious Tony Awards, including Best New Play, Best Direction of a Play and Best Scenic Design of a Play.

The show tells the story of 15-year-old Christopher Boone. He stands beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog, which has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in a book he is writing to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington. He has an extraordinary brain, and is exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.

The central role of Christopher is played by Joshua Jenkins with Geraldine Alexander as his teacher Siobhan, Roberta Kerr as Mrs Alexander, Stuart Laing as his father Ed.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is directed by Marianne Elliott, who co-directed the National Theatre’s record-breaking production of War Horse. The production is designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting by Paule Constable, video design by Finn Ross, movement by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is open now at Liverpool Empire Theatre until Saturday 25 July.


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