Whats On In Liverpool

Capstone New Season Springs Into Life

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New and classic drama, Liverpool International Jazz Festival, 

and return of Cornerstone Festival

Liverpool’s Capstone Theatre springs into 2017 with classical and contemporary music, the crème de la crème of jazz and work from Liverpool’s best and newest playwrights.

The new season includes more than 20 free performances and the return of two of the city’s most popular arts festivals – The Liverpool International Jazz Festival (23rd-26th February) and the Cornerstone Festival, which has moved from November to March.

Neil Campbell, Capstone Theatre Manager said: “2017 sees our most packed programme yet. Our reputation as a venue means that we are attracting more international artists and world premieres. We are especially delighted to welcome Ian Salmon’s new play, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize. Our Jazz Festival and the Cornerstone Festival are now firmly established in the City’s calendar, and we look forward to welcoming the public to more than 20 free performances throughout the season. Encouraging as many people as possible to enjoy the arts is at the heart of what we do.”

The season kicks off on Wednesday 25th January with Mandala Theatre’s stirring play Night Light (7.30pm), which tells the story of two teenage asylum seekers, alone and trying to find their place in the world (£13.50, £11.50).

On Saturday 28th January, Indian arts organisation Milapfest presents the first in its free Saturday lunchtime concert series, Music For the Mind and Soul, with Prabhat Rao (1pm). The series continues with Balkan Jazz meets Indian Music on Saturday 25th February, Roopa Panesar on Saturday 25th March, and Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya on 29th April.

On Tuesday 31st January, dance fans can enjoy Upon Awakening (7.30pm, £9.50, £6.50), by the acclaimed Fallen Angels Theatre Group. Upon Awakening depicts the real life journeys for and about people in recovery. The company is led by ex-Birmingham Royal Ballet principal dancer Paul Bayes Kitcher. On Friday 3rd February, Malta’s Zfinmalta Dance Ensemble present a double bill of HOME and Kick the Bucket, both of which explore the human journey in new and moving ways (7.30pm, £10, £8). On Tuesday 2nd May (7.30pm, £9.50, £7.50) Sakoyo Onishi performs two major dance pieces – Animal Science and Primavera Siciliana (Sicilian Spring), which won first prize in the Die Platze Contemporary Dance Festival in Tokyo.

Classical music lovers can enjoy three concerts from Liverpool Mozart Orchestra: Elgar’s Cello Concerto on Saturday 11thFebruary, Grieg’s Piano Concerto on Saturday 25th March and Haydn’s First & Last on Saturday 20th May (all 7.30pm, £15, £13.50, £5).

Liverpool International Jazz Festival celebrates its fifth year in the city with another stellar line up of international headliners, free shows and workshops. The 2017 festival

opens on Thursday 23rd February at 7pm, with a set from MOBO award-winners Sons of Kemet (7pm, £11.50). Other top names include Manchester-based quartet Mammal Hands (Friday 24th February, 7pm, £11.50), The David Helbock Trio(Saturday 25th February, 7.30pm, £11.50) and The Neil Cowley Trio (Sunday 26th February, 7.30pm, £11.50). Neil contributed to Adele’s global chart toppers, 19 and 21. Saxophonist and composer Iain Bellamy will deliver a free saxophone workshop on 26th February (11am), followed by a performance with pianist Huw Warren (1pm, £11.50). For the full programme visit http://www.thecapstonetheatre.com/jazzfestival/

Liverpool Hope University’s free public arts festival, the Cornerstone Festival, runs at The Capstone from Monday 6th-Saturday 11th March. Highlights include the premiere of Anfield Wrap writer Ian Salmon’s comedy The Comeback Special (Saturday 11th March, 5pm), which was shortlisted for the 2015 Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize. The hilarious new play tells the story of young Scouse lad Robbie, whose life is thrown into disarray when a reincarnation of Elvis Presley takes over. Theatre lovers can also enjoy Negative Space by Reckless Sleepers (6th March, 7.30pm), a performance of Willy Russell’s Educating Rita(7th March, 5pm) and a new stage adaptation of Moby Dick which will close the festival on Saturday 11th March (7.30pm).

Music lovers are in for a treat with an eclectic festival programme. On Tuesday 7th March (7.30pm), The Ensemble of St Luke’swill perform brand new pieces from Craig Wakerley and Ian Percy, Stephen Pratt’s Aphrodite’s Rock and Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major. On Wednesday 8th March (5pm), Ensemble Alter Klang: London, the Cosmopolitan recreates the music of the capital city in the 18th century. On Thursday 9th March (7.30pm), male soprano Radu Marian and pianist Svetlana Pekarskaya will explore romances by great Russian and Italian opera composers. On Friday 10th March (5pm), Emma Haughton presents ‘Brahms the Progressive’ or ‘Where’s the Progression Going?’ taking the audience on a journey to explore issues of ‘progressivism’ in the clarinet repertoire during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. ‘Among the finest klezmer ensembles on the planet’ (The Australian), She’Koyokh is a Yiddish word roughly translating as ‘Nice one!’ On Friday 10th March (7.30pm), musicians hailing from the UK, Serbia, Sweden and Turkey will perform virtuosic, toe-tapping klezmer, Gypsy music, soulful songs and the best Balkan dance tunes.

International dance comes to the festival in the form of world famous flamenco dancers Marco Vargas and Chloé Brûlé, who present In the Room on 8th March (7.30pm), with pieces ranging from the minimalist to the exuberant and inspired by their favourite dance duos. On 9th March (5pm), VERVE, the postgraduate performance company of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD), presents an exhilarating double bill of work performed by a company of eleven dancers trained at some of the world’s leading conservatoires. The festival will also see an exhibition of paintings by Michael Stubbs from FACT. Free Cornerstone Festival tickets will be released soon – visit http://www.thecapstonetheatre.com/ for updates. 

Contemporary music continues with composer, musician and record producer Andrew Poppy who brings his mix of acoustic sounds and digital technology to The Capstone on Wednesday 29th March. The concert will include pieces performed at The Rest is Noise Festival in London and festivals in Turin and Porto (£15, 7.30pm).

Allerton Brass bring their annual Spring performance to the Capstone on 13th May (7.30pm, £10, £8) – this year’s concert, Rock of Ages, comprises a journey through rock and pop classics from the 1950s to the 1990s.

On Thursday 18th May, Writing on the Wall (WoW) presents a new interpretation of Estuary, originally performed in 2015, based on Seán Street’s poetry of tides, rivers and harbours, with musical settings by Neil Campbell and featuring vocalist Perri Alleyne-Hughes. This new version is produced in collaboration with acclaimed choreographer and dancer, Rachel Sweeney, and visual realisations by photographer/filmmaker/fine artist Peter Dover, creating a totally unique fusion of words, music, movement and stunning imagery.

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Jade Ainsworth Gossip