|7th April – 10th May||Dreamthinkspeak – One Step Forward One Step Back
A world premiere commissioned by the Liverpool Culture Company for European Capital of Culture 2008. One Step Forward, One Step Back is a major new site-specific work specially created for Liverpool’s magnificent Anglican Cathedral. Inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, the piece will respond uniquely to the cathedrals’ awe-inspiring interior, while also looking out to the city of Liverpool beyond, asking the question: What is Paradise?
One Step Forward, One Step Back will weave a magical journey for intimately sized groups through areas of the cathedral previously unseen by the public. Throughout, the company’s visual language of film, music, installation, models and live performance will interlink and echo to create a vivid and rich voyage through this remarkable building.
The production will be created in collaboration with local designers and technicians and performed by a company of Liverpool-based multi-disciplinary performers, drawn from a variety of communities throughout the city.
|Liverpool Anglican Cathedral|
|12th & 13th April||Viennese Balls
Commissioned by the Liverpool Culture Company, a weekend of Viennese balls with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra playing live at St George’s Hall.
In the preceding 4-6 weeks there will be workshops and rehearsals in community settings, with ballroom dancers teaching people basic steps.
|St George’s Hall|
|17th & 18th April||Into The Little Hill
UK premiere presented by the Liverpool Culture Company as part of the European Capital of Culture 2008. George Benjamin’s ‘Into the Little Hill’ is a political updating of the Pied Piper story, with a libretto by the playwright Martin Crimp, in which a minister tries to reassure a restless voting public by commissioning an extermination of rats.
It’s a tale with many dark and sinister implications, as the ‘rats’ – a possible metaphor for immigrant workers – are spirited away by the ghostly stranger hired by the minister. Nobody claims responsibility for their vanishing, but when the latter refuses to pay up; the stranger abducts his baby and takes him into ‘the little hill’. An economical, yet, perfectly formed opera, this ‘Simple, small, enchanting and underyour- skin’ production is a must-see for any serious opera lover, according to the critics.
Commissioned by the Festival d’Automne à Paris in association with the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, the Opéra National de Paris, the Ensemble Moderntogether with the Forberg Schneider Foundation.
|Pacific Road Arts Centre|
|17th to 29th April||Variable Capital
International artists explore the diverse ways in which artists respond to contemporary cultures of commodity. Common Culture select artists who look beyond the seductive allure of commodity and cultures of excess. Artists include Santiago Sierra, Andy Warhol, Op de Beek and Ken Probst.
|18th April – 10th August||Art in the Age of Steam
Featuring artists such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Edward Hopper, Art in the Age of Steam will explore the fear and excitement of early train travel as it captures the artist’s response to the advent of the steam locomotion.
|Walker Art Gallery|
|21st April||People Show 119: Ghost Sonata
Co-commissioned by Liverpool Culture Company for European Capital of Culture 2008, Sefton Park Palm House and the Arts Council of England with support from LIPA and Unity Theatre.
An epic promenade performance that moves the audience outside and inside the iconic Palm House at Sefton Park, inspired by the play ‘The Ghost Sonata’ by August Strindberg. A classic simple fairy story of a beautiful dying Princess living in a decaying household, awaiting the kiss of her Prince. A piece of vaudevillian anarchy underpinned by the moral tale of ageism in the form of vested interests.
Employing, then betraying and ultimately destroying the utopian ideals of youth. Featuring live music, imagery and text with performers from Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Hope St, Merseyside Dance Initiative and People Show. Directed by Josette Bushall-Mingo, with original music by Mike Figgis and lighting by Chahine Yavroyan.
|Sefton Park Palm House|
|23rd April||Shakespeare 24
Shakespeare 24 invites young people from around the world to participate in a 24-hour Shakespeare performance event on Shakespeare’s birthday (April 23) with productions happening at 7pm across all time zones beginning in New Zealand, passing through Liverpool 2008, and ending in Hawaii.
|24th April||An Audience with Shankly
A Liverpool Commission, commissioned by the Liverpool Culture Company for European Capital of Culture 2008. One actor, 45 minutes each way – first half in black and white with half time oranges, then second half in colour – a live television event in a theatre.
Shankly is a new piece of interactive multimedia documentary theatre, using digital recording technology and giant projection screens – a cross between a personal audience with Bill Shankly, the legend and the myth and an in depth documentary about Liverpool and Match of the Day.
This is not just a play about Bill Shankly – but also about an age, a city and its people. Never before have a football club, a television company and a production combined with the community in such a way. This production is a new representation of Liverpool’s cultural identity on a map of the world drawn by football and popular culture.
Shankly gave football a significance beyond itself, an influence which reverberates to this day. But this production goes far beyond football and seeks to
|Liverpool Olympia, West Derby
|26th April to 13th May||Plethora
An evolving, multiple genre programme aimed at promoting shared awareness and responsibilities in the improvement of public health inspired by the concept of intrinsic control and synchrony found within blood. This university of Liverpool programme partnered with Liverpool Biennial in 2006 with Inherent Acoustics and the Liverpool Culture company in 2007 with Waiting: rhythms 1 and 11.
In 2008 the new partnership will be with the Bluecoat Display Centre on Trois Couleur Rouge. this will be a three site exhibition between 26th April to 31st May at the Bluecoat Display centre, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Roald Dahl Centre at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
|April||Special Effects: On the Edge of Reality
FACT and Picturehouse present a special programme of films and events celebrating developments in special effects and computer generated images in film. The weekend will also see premiere of two films made by the winners of Young Liverpool Film Night 2007 at FACT. The new films were made possible by a grant from First Light Movies.
|Launches in April||Wet & Sea
A Liverpool Commission, commissioned by the Liverpool Culture Company for European Capital of Culture 2008. Wet & sea, by artists Jacques Chauchat and Ben Parry is a giant wind and water powered environmental sculpture, exploring the importance of water to survival in the 21st century and celebrating Liverpool’s maritime history.
|Docks – exact location TBC|
|April – September||Out of the Shadows
A city-wide reminiscence project recording the experiences of older people with a range of physical and mental disabilities.
The project will trace their stories – from childhood institutionalisation, attitudes of ‘normal people’, sexuality and relationships – to their treatment by society today.
|St George’s Hall|
|April – September||Around the City in Eighty Pints
A city wide celebration of Liverpool’s unique pubs and pub culture.
|Exact dates tbc – two dates in
Spring and two in Autumn
A Liverpool Commission, commissioned by the Liverpool Culture Company as part of Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008. The Hive Collective has been at the forefront of developing innovative electronic music and audiovisual performance in Liverpool since it was first established in 2003.
Hive Twilight City will be a series of four high profile audiovisual performances over the course of 2008 in tribute to a potentially overlooked part of Liverpool’s essence: its industrial and business buildings, its bricks and plate glass; the iconic and the mundane, the city centre and the suburb.
Culminating with a CD and publication, each audiovisual performance will work as a celebration of existing city structures as the city itself moves onwards, a snapshot prior to mutation: familiar sounds reworked, familiar sights distorted.
|Launches in April||Rotunda Pavillion
Pavilions specially commissioned for and by their communities will ensure that residents in Vauxhall, Garston and Kensington will show their creativity in awe-inspiring structures built by international artists and architects.
Community engagement is a key element of the 2008 public art programme and, like the Winter Light series, will be led by the Big Table partner organisations across the city; Rotunda College in the north, Metal in the east and Garston Cultural Village in the south.
The Pavilions will be inspirational and create a sustainable connection between the city centre and the neighbourhoods and act as catalysts for interaction and engagement with the local community. All three sites have been selected as representing a focus for transformation and change for those areas and all three commissions are specific to those areas needs and character.
The involvement of the pavilion designs in the three areas will re-introduce the local residents to existing underused space with which events and cultural exchange for community cohesion will be programmed for throughout 2008. (Part of public art programme, commissioned from Liverpool Biennial by the Liverpool Culture Company)