A CHARITY which runs choirs for homeless and marginalised people is holding its Big Spring Gig at St George’s Hall.

The Choir with No Name (CWNN) is a UK charity based in Liverpool were members come together each week to sing uplifting pop songs and enjoy a healthy, hot dinner. The group also perform regularly at a huge variety of venues across the country.

Taking place on Friday 27 April from 6.30pm-9.30pm, the Big Spring Gig, supported by Regenda Homes, will celebrate the work of CWNN and its members.

Attendees can expect renditions of many pop hits from Queen to the Supremes, and all things in between.

Ema Quinn, Choir Manager, said: “Everyone at The Choir with No Name is really excited for the Big Spring Gig.

“The event will see members, old and new, come together to perform for the audience.

“We have so many incredible stories within the choir and our members often say that performing has helped build their confidence and sills, along with making lasting friendships.

“Last year’s was a sell out and we are looking forward to performing to a packed out crowd again.”

The Choir with No Name provides a place for people who face a range of challenges, including mental health problems, bereavement and addiction, to come together and sing.

Tickets can be bought from Bluecoat, either online, over the phone or in person at the ticket desk. Tickets are £12 full price or £7 concession.


Images by Gareth Jones

MORECROFTS Solicitors has significantly strengthened its HR and employment law team with three senior appointments.

Highly experienced legal executive Nicola Brand, who has an extensive background of working on behalf of both employers and employees, has joined the Liverpool-headquartered firm from Hillyer McKeown.

Meanwhile, Angela Boscarino and Sarah-Jayne Maher have both arrived as employment law advisers after spending 14 and nine years respectively at the Advice, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

Charles Millett, employment law partner at Morecrofts Solicitors, said: “Angela, Sarah-Jayne and Nicola have an incredible breadth of shared experience in all aspects of HR and employment law and their arrival further reinforces our talented team.

“The current employment law landscape can be very confusing for employers and employees alike, so it’s important that all sides receive balanced, realistic and comprehensive advice.

“We have continued to expand the scope of our client work with businesses and individuals in recent years and our three new team members give us an exciting platform to take that growth to the next level.”


A NEW 500-word short story competition – with entries judged by best-selling author Philip Pullman – is being launched ahead of the 2018 Liverpool Literary Festival.

The China Stories competition is looking for submissions across a broad range of categories.  Winners will see their work published in a special anthology and take part in a writing session with the Royal Society of Literature, as well as receiving vouchers to spend as they wish.

Stories can be about anything, but to coincide with Liverpool’s China Dream season all entries should have a Chinese theme.

His Dark Materials author, Philip Pullman, will judge submissions and present the winning writers with their prizes at a special ceremony as part of Liverpool Literary Festival, which takes place from October 19-21 2018.

China Stories is looking for the best writers in each of the following categories:

  • Primary School students
  • Secondary School students
  • University of Liverpool students registered on full or part-time courses
  • XJTLU students

Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place in each category, with the winners announced at Liverpool Literary Festival.

There is no entry fee, but each writer can only enter one story.

There is a 500-word limit and all submissions must be written in English.

The deadline for entering is midnight on July 20 2018.

Dinah Birch, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Cultural Engagement and Professor of English Literature, said: “We are looking forward to reading dazzling stories from the talented, creative young people who will be the stars of the future!”

Returning for a second time in the autumn, the Liverpool Literary Festival features talks and workshops from an exciting line-up of writers, including actor, author and comedian, Sir Tony Robinson; crime writer, Val McDermid; playwright, novelist and poet, Sebastian Barry and 2017 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, Sally Rooney, among many others.

The University of Liverpool is an official partner of Liverpool’s China Dream season, which will see a host of events across the city, including the China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition at the World Museum.

Visit for all the details and the online submission form. The closing date is midnight on July 20 2018.


LJMU has been awarded £44,000 to expand an innovative chemistry outreach scheme to encourage young people from 11 schools across deprived areas of Liverpool City Region, to become the scientists of the future.

Funding for the ‘Shaping Futures with Chemistry’ scheme has been awarded through the Merseyside Collaborative Outreach Programme (MCOP).   It builds on LJMU’s  Royal Society-backed ‘Chemistry for All’ scheme, now in its fourth year.   

LJMU scientists and students will work with an additional five local schools in Knowsley, St Helens, Wirral and a new area – Halton – to provide engaging and enriching chemistry activities both in school and LJMU’s campus. 

The new funding  will also benefit an extra year group in two existing partner schools Bebington High School and All Saints Catholic High School as well as additional priority schools with sixth forms offering A-Level chemistry.

Liverpool was ranked amongst the most deprived areas according to the English Indices of Deprivation 2010 with just over half, 51 per cent, of all neighbourhoods classified in the most deprived category nationally.

This figure fell six percentage points according to the 2015 Index, which was comparatively small compared to other areas.

In addition, a report by the Campaign for Science and Engineering also highlighted that just 25 per cent of students entering higher education to study physical science in the academic year 2009/10 came from deprived areas.

‘Shaping Futures with Chemistry’ project lead and reader in Crystallisation Science Dr Linda Seton said: “We are delighted to have won this funding, building on our previous success in bringing the excitement of science to young people and inspiring them to consider university.

“The programme will let young people get hands on in a lab environment both in their own school and in our campus – activities are based on real-life situations that pupils find exciting and we will combine this with other skills in literacy and numeracy so they are equipped and confident in seeing themselves as the scientists of the future.” 

Pupils involved in the scheme will take part in fun activities including a ‘Chemistry at the Crime Scene’ day, which reflects the work of forensic chemists and the ‘Chemistry of Food’ where they perform analytical tests on food stuffs to determine the iron content and check that they do not contain unlawful colours.

Shaping Futures have also funded a full time project officer to work within the outreach team to deliver a brand new mentoring project with the aim of raising attainment and improving the level of progression into higher education.

A key objective of this project will be to support attainment in GCSE Maths and English.


By Andy Green

CURVE and Rose Theatre Productions have perfected the art of presenting Roald Dahl’s work on the stage. Previous productions of The Witches and The Twits were both superb and I’m happy to say that George’s Marvellous Medicine continues in the same vein.

George, played with gusto by Preston Nyman, (he could definitely have a parallel career as a children’s TV presenter) has an unbearable grandma – she’s awful, she needs fixing.

Lisa Howard plays the delightfully horrible grandma and if it wasn’t for the quality of the rest of the cast she would quite easily steal the show.

George’s mum is a nervy, frantic woman played with aplomb by LIPA-trained Catherine Morris while talented instrumentalist Justin Wilman plays the dad.

Chandni Mistry is the main reason why Lisa Howard doesn’t run away with all of the plaudits – her giant chicken has to be the best giant chicken I have ever witnessed. Yes, it’s that good.

This is a great show for kids and there’s loads of audience interaction – it’s particularly good in the second half when George seeks help in remembering what he put in the medicine.

This is a very funny, brilliantly designed show with very clever use of video that will appeal to all ages. It’s a glorious giggle but as the closing song emphasises – Don’t try this at home!

George’s Marvellous Medicine is at the Playhouse until Saturday 21 April.

A TALE of mystery, love and deceit will visit Liverpool from 24-28 April, as classic Agatha Christie tale Love from a Stranger heads to the Playhouse.

 A co-production by Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Fiery Angel, who worked alongside the Everyman & Playhouse on The Ladykillers in 2011, Love from a Stanger is an edge-of-the-seat thriller by one of the UK’s greatest crime-writers.

The story follows Cecily Harrington, as a whirlwind romance with a handsome and charming stranger sweeps her off her feet. She recklessly abandons her old life to settle in the remote and blissful surroundings of a country cottage, however Cecily’s newfound love is not all that he seems…

Full casting includes Justin Avoth (Nigel Lawrence), Helen Bradbury (Cecily Harrington), Sam Frenchum (Bruce Lovell), Alice Haig (Mavis Wilson), Molly Logan (Ethel), Crispin Redman (Dr Gribble), Nicola Sanderson (Louise Garrard) and Gareth Williams (Hodgson). 

Director Lucy Bailey said: “What attracted me was the dark undercurrents and how relevant it is, how we don’t know people and what erotic addiction and compulsion blinds us in our lives. The successful liar is what’s so fascinating to Christie.”

Love from a Stranger visits the Playhouse for eight performances at the Playhouse this April. Tickets are on sale now and available by calling Box Office on 0151 709 4776 or at:


Image by Gareth Jones

A TEAM of thirty doctors, nurses, radiographers, administrators and domestics from the Interventional Radiology team at Aintree University Hospital aim to climb Snowdon, the third highest mountain in the UK, on Saturday 8th September 2018 in aid of the HELP Appeal – the only charity in the country dedicated to funding hospital helipads.

Clare Grant, Interventional Radiology nurse, who contacted the charity, explains why so many are taking part: “We often work closely with the Trauma team who treat seriously ill patients, so we are aware of the importance of having Aintree University Hospital’s helipad right outside the door to our emergency department. By reducing the time it takes for a patient to arrive in the Trauma centre, we are able to give patients the very best possible chance of surviving life threatening injuries and illnesses.”

The team hopes to raise several hundreds of pounds which will go towards Aintree Hospital’s helipad, which was inspected by the Duke of Cambridge last year, and the construction or upgrade of another 50 hospital helipads all over the country including the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

A lot of hard work lies ahead in preparing the team for the climb. Whilst some staff have climbed Snowdon before, there are a wide range of ages and fitness levels in the team.  They plan to undertake a series of group hikes over the next few months, gradually increasing the distance and ascent.

Dr. Elizabeth O’Grady, Consultant Radiologist, adds: “None of us have ever faced the challenge of ensuring that a whole team make it up the highest mountain in Wales. It will be a great team building exercise and we should see a big improvement in the general fitness of our whole team.  As health care workers it is important for us to lead by example.”

Lesley Knight, HELP Appeal’s ambassador, who lost her only child in a road accident after he was airlifted to a hospital without a helipad. She explains what this fundraising means for the HELP Appeal:

“We were overwhelmed when we heard that 30 staff from Aintree Hospital were fundraising for the HELP Appeal. This recognition of how important hospital helipads are to saving patients’ lives is fantastic. We are extremely grateful to Clare and all her colleagues and hope the sun shines on the day for them all.

“Since July 2017, there have been many landings on Aintree Hospital’s helipad so we know how much of a difference is already being made. This fundraising will have a huge impact on our helipad appeal in Liverpool and beyond.”

To support the team and help raise vital funds for the HELP Appeal, you can donate through:


STUDENTS at St Francis Xavier’s College (SFX) are embarking on alternative music lessons thanks to DJ Mark Armstrong.

The weekly DJ workshops are open to all students as part of SFX’s dedicated extra-curricular activities programme.

Each week, students explore and practise the different techniques of blending and mixing music. The group has the opportunity to get to grips with the music department’s DJ set, as well as trying out Mark Armstrong’s very own decks which he brings to each class.

The budding DJs also use the department’s iMacs to create various beats on Logic-Pro, allowing them to produce their own remixes of well-known songs.

Mark Armstrong is a popular name on the Liverpool dance circuit and has worked at some of the biggest venues in the city, including Garlands, Circo and Alma de Cuba. He has also taken to the stage at Creamfields, playing to thousands of people.

Mark said:  “It’s fantastic to teach the students of SFX the basics of DJing. They’ve shown great promise and I’m extremely impressed with how far they’ve come. It would be amazing to see some of them following in my footsteps when they’re older and playing sets in venues around the city.”

Coordinator of music at SFX, David Stokes, commented:  “We feel it is important to offer students something different in terms of extra-curricular activities and as many of them are very into dance music, we thought they’d really benefit from learning how to create it themselves.

“It has been a really popular class and it is brilliant to see everyone so dedicated and eager to learn.”

For more information on St Francis Xavier’s College, visit:


The Old Blind School site to open as a floral fairy tale this month

The Florist, a contemporary new bar and restaurant has announced it will open in Liverpool on April 23, 2018.
Situated on the site of the former Old Blind School pub on Hardman Street, The Florist breathes new life into the Grade II listed building, once home to the Royal School for the Blind. 

With an abundance of flowers flowing throughout the beautiful venue, key features include a stunning entrance hall with two full-size in-bloom trees. There will also be a floral photo-wall, taking centre stage at the top of the grand staircase. Predicted to be the most photographed bar in Liverpool, the unique venue will be a complete transformation and unrecognisable from its previous self. 

Owners promise that from the moment visitors step into The Florist, they will be transported into a fairy tale, thanks to the impressive décor and artwork.
Contemporary artist Gemma Compton and graffiti artist Jody Thomas have also been hand-picked to create bespoke pieces for the new Liverpool site – thanks to the overwhelming reception their previous work received.

General Manager of The Florist, Joel Lee said “The Florist needs be seen to be believed how pretty and light the site has now become. We know it is going to become the place to be in Liverpool and we can’t wait to open.
“We have so much to offer, from the extensive cocktail menu inspired by the three key styles of floristry: English Summer Garden, Ikebana and Modern Contemporary, with herbal twists taken fresh from the garden. 60 hand-picked beers and a vibrant food menu, consisting of mouth-watering deli, rotisserie and grill-inspired dishes, with plenty of gluten free, dairy free and vegan options to cater for all. We will also be open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9.30am.

“For a really special experience, we are offering sensory enhancing masterclasses in the crafts of cocktails, floristry, gin and ale tastings.”

Rehearsal image

THE first female Othello in a major production will be brought to the Everyman stage this May, as Golda Rosheuvel performs in a challenging and timely adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays.

 Directed by Gemma Bodinetz, winner of Best Director at the 2017 UK Theatre Awards, the production is the third in a series of four plays by the Everyman Company in 2018. Using the original script the Company will explore themes of love, power, jealousy and deception synonymous with the Shakespearean tragedy.

This is the first major production where the role will be played by a woman in a mixed gender casting, as Gemma Bodinetz aims to bring the same electricity that audiences would have felt when the play was first performed in the early 17th century.

Alongside Rosheuvel in the role of the manipulative and villainous antagonist Iago is Patrick Brennan and Othello’s lover Desdemona is played by Emily Hughes. Both actors are performing in their second production of the Everyman Company 2018 season, following lead roles as Ben and Jennifer Rumson in Paint Your Wagon.

Everyman Company members Marc Elliott, Paul Duckworth, Cerith Flinn and Emma Bispham will play other key roles including Desdemona’s suitor Roderigo, Brabantio, Cassio and Emilia.

Gemma Bodinetz, artistic director of the Everyman & Playhouse said: “I wanted to direct something that’s resonant, that’s electrifying to the times we live in now as well as a beautiful portrayal of something that was written 400 years ago.

“The decision to cast Othello as a woman came from a desire to make the play as electric as it might have been to the very first audience who saw it. Wherever you set a Shakespeare, as a director, you’re always trying to make the audience feel as alive to it as that original audience was.”

Joining the Company for Othello is Young Everyman and Playhouse (YEP) actor Leah Gould who will play the role of Bianca, providing another opportunity for young actors to progress into roles through YEP.

Returning to work alongside Gemma is composer Peter Coyte, who previously worked on Shakespeare productions The Twelfth Night and Macbeth at the Everyman.

Jocelyn Meall, Molly Lacey Davies and Natalie Johnson have designed the stage for this adaptation, with Jocelyn and Molly creating and designing all stages for this year’s Company season. Supporting Gemma as assistant director is James Anders, who is part of the Young Everyman and Playhouse Directors programme.

Tickets for Othello and other company shows are on sale now.  A variety of prices are available across the season, with tickets priced at £10 to £40 – or £5 for young people – at all performances, as the Everyman & Playhouse continue to make their work accessible to all.

Captioned and Audio Described performances are available for all four productions. To support the visits of those attending with Access needs, the Everyman has increased the discount and continue to offer a companion seat where additional support is required.

Bookers have the opportunity to see multiple productions through subscription packages, from £38. To find out more about the prices available for all shows and to buy your tickets, visit:



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