the Bluecoat – Announces Opening Programme

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Yoko Returns to Liverpool’s Bluecoat

The Bluecoat, the UK’s oldest arts space, announces its first programme in three years this week with a roll call of the most significant established and emerging artists.

Highlight of the opening season is the return of Yoko Ono, performing at the Bluecoat on 4 April 2008

She returns to the Bluecoat for the first time since she gave her first ever paid UK performance in the building in 1967.

The Bluecoat re-opens with a two-day weekend celebration on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 March 2008, at which the first exhibition NOW THEN, a group show featuring Alec Finlay, Janet Hodgson, Hew Locke, Paul Morrison and Yoko Ono, will be open to the public.

From 10am the galleries will be open, with taster events and free activities beginning from 12 Noon, the chance to try out the new restaurant-bar, Upstairs at the Bluecoat and to sample coffee, tea, cake and sandwiches from Espresso at the Bluecoat.

The events programme showcases artists with a strong connection to the Bluecoat, the cream of Liverpool’s emerging talent, new tenant artists and artists that will return in the coming months as part of the vibrant programme for ’08 and beyond.

There will be free performances all weekend for visitors to enjoy including:

Philip Jeck, a Liverpool based artist with an international reputation for his sound collages made from the grooves of ancient and forgotten records.

Sense of Sound, the Bluecoat’s resident acapella group, who will be bursting into song throughout the weekend.

Elle S’appelle, local power pop outfit and purveyors of hyperactive nursery rhymes.

Kinetic Fallacy, local blessed-out electronica outfit.

Lost Voices and LiverpoolJazz will each be putting on a selection of new ensembles and compositions over the two days.

Joby Burgess, virtuosic percussionist, will be dazzling audiences with a short concert in the garden.

Ch4pter, resident artists, provide the dance on the ground while Liverpool-based Wired Aerial dazzle with a presentation of bungee assisted dance.

Audiences throughout Saturday afternoon will be stunned by Rajni Shah’s 4 hour Live Art performace installation Mr Quiver, which they will be able to drop in and out of as they please.

At Liverpool Literature Live, a selection of the city’s most exciting writing and reading organizations, such as Mercy, Heartbeats and Writing on the Wall, will give short performances showcasing the range and vibrancy of literature groups currently working in the city.

There will be three ticketed performances during the weekend, beginning with leading literary stars JEANETTE WINTERSON (Saturday 15th March, 7.30pm) and TOM PAULIN (Sunday 16th March, 1pm).

STEVE REID ENSEMBLE, featuring KIERAN HEBDEN from FOUR TET (Sunday 16th, 8pm) provide explosive jazz.

Elsewhere in the building Amrit and Rabindra Kaur Singh as Twin Studio celebrate Liverpool’s vibrant year as European Capital of Culture in a painting specially commissioned by the Liverpool Culture Company.

A highlight of the opening season comes on 5 – 6 April – HAPPENSTANCE, a new festival of Live Art, takes over the building with two days of the most beautiful, bizarre, brilliant and beguiling in new live work from some of the leading performance artists working today. Franko BDon’t Leave Me This Way, Kira O’Reilly’s acclaimed performance, Inthewrongplaceness and Rajni Shah’s new performance installation Dinner With America. presents

Alastair Upton, Chief Executive at the Bluecoat, said: “The Bluecoat will be a living embodiment of all that we want it to be, where you can see creative talent on the cusp of national and international renown – the Turner Prize winners of tomorrow, leading new composers, choreographers, musicians, designers, writers, craftspeople and artists of all kinds.”

“Above all it will encourage, explain and endorse creativity. This is a building with a vision and its purpose is to make the process of art visible.”

Yoko Ono said, “I fell in love with Liverpool the first time I went there in 1967 as an artist. When I arrived in Liverpool, the first thing that caught my eyes was the beautiful, old elegance of the city by the water. Performing at the Bluecoat is an experience I have never forgotten.”

Full Listings & TICKETS available online at www.thebluecoat.org.uk

or phone 0151 702 5324

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