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WITH temperatures set to soar this bank holiday weekend, we are predicting a Blooming great Easter at The Florist! 
Join us this Easter Bank Holiday weekend (Thursday 18th April-Monday 22nd April) for a cracking line up of DJ’s, Bubbles & Brunch (bottomless available) and also our Feast & Fizz – the ultimate roast with added fizz.
Easter Eggs are not your only treats this weekend, we have some brand new cocktails to tantalise your taste buds as well.

BUBBLES AND BRUNCH
Available Good Friday and Easter Monday
Hatch a plan to make Easter weekend is a memorable one with Bubbles and Brunch, served from 10am-12pm.
Celebrate in style and add bottomless Prosecco for just £10 pp

Choose from our fabulous Brunch menu, which includes, a Florist dairy free full English £8.95, a vegan English £8.95, homemade pistachio and cranberry granola £5.95 or a 3-egg omelette with cheese from £5.95.
For the full Brunch menu please click on this link:-  https://theflorist.uk.com/locations/liverpool/menus/easter

You could always try our Easter special cocktail – The Honey Bunny, £7.50

FEAST AND FIZZ
Available Easter Sunday

The ultimate Florist roast with added fizz.  Enjoy a delicious 2 or 3 course Sunday menu with bottomless Prosecco, Bloody Mary Mary’s or Tribal Ale for +£10 per person.
Hop to it, tables are filling up fast.   Enjoy rotisserie-roasted dishes, fresh produce and flavoursome delights alongside bottomless drinks! 
2 course @ £18.50 per person or 3 courses @£22.50 per person – Bottomless drinks +£10 per person (valid on Prosecco, Bloody Mary’s or Tribal Ale)

For full menu please follow the following link:-  https://theflorist.uk.com/locations/liverpool/menus/easter

FLORIST LIVE MUSIC

Live music will be available Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8pm
Thanks to our favourite Pomeranian, Oscar, who certainly got into the Easter spirit of things when he joined us  – check him out on Instagram @oscarthe_pom        

 

HAPPY EASTER from everyone at THE FLORIST

Four Liverpool students are set to star in a brand new Warner Bros biopic.
The quartet, who are in their final year at LMA (Liverpool Media Academy), studying Acting (BA), will voice the The Beatles in BB Forever, which is set to hit screens later this year

Mikey Latham and Liam Powell-Berry, from Bootle; Jordan Barkley, from Prescot; and Josh Ennis, from Halewood, have recorded their vocals for the Polish film, which gives audiences an insight into the highs and lows of Hollywood icon Brigitte Bardot’s life. 

Taking on the Fab Four’s voices during their famous Sergeant Pepper era, the students will be included in several scenes throughout the movie, having been chosen by Warner Bros’ head of re-languaging, Ray Gillon.

Mike, head of acting at LMA, who put the students forward for the roles, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the boys and their dedication to their roles, in what was a very tight turnaround – they had just 24 hours to learn their lines and prep for the telephone audition and they took it completely in their stride.

“At LMA, we always talk about the importance of getting hands-on experience and this opportunity was one we simply couldn’t pass up.

“It was also a pleasure to host Ray at LMA. We are privileged enough to have industry-standard facilities in-house, allowing us to deliver the highest quality of production, so it was great to be able to do the recording right here on home soil.”

Liam Powell-Berry, 24, said: “It’s been a whirlwind few days! It was such an amazing experience to work with my course mates on such a major production and to try our hands at something we might not have given a go before.

“I can’t quite believe that we’ll be voice actors in a Warner Bros. production and playing The Beatles!

Based across two campuses at Hope Street and Duke Street, LMA offers BA Honours degree courses and BTEC courses in Acting, Digital Film & TV Production, Games Art & Animation, Music Performance & Industry and Musical Theatre.

Mike added: “Having studied together for a number of years at LMA, the boys have formed a really strong bond and I think this massively helped them land such prestigious roles, as their group dynamic is incredibly unique.

“They’ve worked extremely hard and we can’t wait to see – and hear – the film!”

Photo: Marc Brenner


By Nigel Smith

THE story of Sweeney Todd is a grim tale about desperate people living through desperate times. Director Nick Bagnall clearly felt that its themes of social deprivation and abuses of both personal and political power speak to our time as much as to the Victorian London of its original setting.

Bagnall has a preference for stripping work back to its bare bones and highlighting the gritty heart of it, and Sondheim’s treatment of the story offers plenty of opportunity for this approach. Working together with musical director Tarek Merchant, they have scaled the production down to a cast of nine and a four-piece band. In the programme note, Merchant explains that he has steered away from putting a stamp on the production, instead aiming to strip away the gloss.

Where the film adaptation swelled Jonathan Tunick’s original arrangements for 26 musicians to a full scale symphonic orchestration, Merchant has gone in the opposite direction, distilling everything down to its raw musical essence. It’s a technique that he favours because it highlights the edginess of the musical writing and pushes the sharp dialogue to the fore.

The Everyman stage has once more been set in the round, with Michael Vale’s design taking the form of a circular steel mesh grid that serves as a revolve occupying much of the stage area. Lighting designer Mark Jonathan told me that Vale had given him a huge gift here, enabling him to flood the action with light from beneath the stage, adding grotesque contrast and shadows to the already stark appearance.

The focus in casting appears to have been finding actors who can sing, rather than going all out for big voices. The vocal performances have a rawness to them that fits with Tarek Merchant’s intentionally glossless approach to the score. Meanwhile Nick Bagnall has drawn larger than life characterisations from them all.

Kacey Ainsworth is deliciously manipulative as Mrs Lovett, the pie-maker who wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at the supermarket horsemeat scandal. It’s hard not to draw parallels with Lady Macbeth as she wheedles Benjamin Barker (alias Sweeney Todd) into her way of thinking. Liam Tobin gives a deeply tragic reading of Barker/Todd, as we watch him spiral through loss and despair into an ultimately fatal life of crime.

Theirs is not the only good double-act on stage – there are quite a few. Shiv Rabheru is gleefully innocent as the simpleton Tobias Ragg, working opposite his master, the second-rate barber Pirelli, who is played with characteristic athleticism by Dean Nolan. Keziah Joseph offers more childish innocence than teenage charm in her Johanna, Barker’s estranged daughter, who is the love interest for Anthony Hope. Anthony is played here by Bryan Parry, who arguably delivers the strongest vocal performance of the evening.

Another strong pairing is Paul Duckworth’s slimy, sneering Judge Turpin and his easily led cohort Beadle Bamford, played with considerable wit by Mark Rice-Oxley. Wandering alone among these twosomes is Emma Dears as the Beggar Woman, who seems to know Benjamin barker from somewhere before. She too is in fine voice, and ultimately leads the story to its tragic, corpse-strewn conclusion.

Merchant’s lean, nimble arrangement of the score is mostly played out from one corner of the stage but the individual instrumentalists occasionally mingle with the cast, bolstering out the chorus scenes, especially in the recurrent Ballad of Sweeney Todd that moves the narrative on from scene to scene.

This production certainly hits its avowed target in terms of grit and social comment, but it still manages to entertain too, and the deceptively small cast succeed in building some big dramatic and musical climaxes in all the right places, giving the show a satisfying emotional shape.

If you want to attend the Tale of Sweeney Todd, then it’s playing at the Everyman until 18th May.

 

GUESTS from across the region came out in style last Friday to honour Granada Reports legend Lucy Meacock at a special ‘Audience With….’ charity luncheon.
The event, which was hosted at the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool, celebrated Lucy’s thirty-year anniversary presenting Granada Reports.
More than 270 guests enjoyed lunch in the beautifully dressed Grace Suite which had been decked out in a sumptuous spring theme courtesy of the Festive Events Company.  
A host of local dignitaries and celebrities including Lucy’s co-host Tony Morris, Andy Cooke, Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Steve Rotheram, Colin McKeown, Rebecca Ferguson, Liz McLarnon, Gillian Kearney and Tina Malone enjoyed the afternoon with entertainment from The Voice’s Holly Ellison and a candid interview with the lady herself.
Speaking  to Pete Price, Lucy shared some fascinating insights from her thirty years at Granada Reports and paid homage to some of the more sensitive Liverpool based stories she had worked on over the years, including Denise Fergus and Marie McCourt who also joined Lucy for her special day.
The event, which was organised by Carolyn Hughes PR also raised over £15,000 for Radio City’s Cash For Kids charity, with generous gifts and donations from a number of local businesses including a £1,000 Blossom Pendant from Boodles, bespoke artwork by John McCelland, EFC and LFC signed shirts and luxury goodie bags and vouchers courtesy of Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar and Electric Hair.
Lucy said “I cannot believe it has been 30 year’s.  Those years have flashed by in the blink of an eye.  It is wonderful to share such a special occasion today with so many of my favourite people and to remember some memorable moments.  I am grateful to everyone in the North West for inviting me into their homes for over three decades”
Carolyn Hughes, CHPR said: “I knew Lucy would be a perfect ‘Audience with’ but she has exceeded everyone’s expectations.  Thanks to the Festive Events Company for making Lucy’s Lunch look absolutely memorable and to the Hilton team for fantastic food and service.  
“Thanks to Carole Clare and the team at Cash for Kids and to everyone who supported the event on the day”

THERE will be free activities for all of the family to enjoy in Prescot town centre this Easter.

With craft workshops, an egg hunt and the opportunity to say hello to some friendly rabbits, there will be plenty of fun going on.

You can join in the Easter celebrations on Saturday 20 April 11am – 3pm on Eccleston Street.

And while you’re there, why not stop for a bite to eat, a cake or a drink or pick up your last minute Easter gifts and shopping.

Find out about further events at LovePrescot.co.uk

The event has been organised by Knowsley Council, Geraud Markets, Imaginarium and Prescot business club.


By Nigel Smith

IF you’re looking for someone who speaks with passion about subjects close to his heart, you need look no further than Mark Thomas. He has developed a now familiar style of documentary theatre to unpack a whole Pandora’s box on whatever topic he turns his mind to.

Check Up, subtitled Our NHS at 70, turns Thomas’s spotlight (or is that interrogation light?) on the institution that gets the emotions going at the very mention of its name. Whether it is as the hero that waits in the wings ready to spring to our aid, the object of vilification when things go wrong or a political football for every party or politician to make cynical mileage out of, the mere mention of the NHS is bound to get people’s temperatures soaring in any debate.

What Mark Thomas very cleverly does here is paint a very balanced picture whilst raising a rallying call to the service’s defence. He spent time in diligent research, interviewing numerous individuals, some working at the front line of healthcare delivery, others in the corridors of power that regulate its activities, management or funding. He also spent residencies in various hospital departments, from major trauma to bariatric surgery, collecting first-hand experience to illustrate his narrative.

What’s also clever about the structure of this impassioned monologue is Thomas’s theatrical framing device. He keeps coming back to episodes in a consultation he had with a GP, who gave him a rundown of all the things that could go wrong with his body between this moment and death.

It’s a sobering list of potential ailments and organ failures, from which the only escape would seem to be obliteration in a road accident, with one of the doctor’s personal preferences being struck on the head from behind by the wing mirror of a bus (because you don’t even see that coming).

Surely I wasn’t the only one in the audience hoping that the Playhouse had a defibrillator on hand in case Thomas had a heart attack on stage, as his delivery right from the outset is beyond punchy, and there are moments when we are willing him to pause for a breath. Meanwhile some of the stories he tells bring the theatre to a chilled standstill as he hits us with moments of unexpected tragedy.

Nobody (well, almost nobody) is totally vilified in the 75 concentrated minutes of the show, but nobody gets off the hook either. Showing footage of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, he reminds us of the folly of blind belief in this jewel in our crown as a world leading service. He delivers a litany of statistics showing how far down world league tables we are in certain types of illness. We are, he says, the Jedward of Cancer. He also points to a breakdown in social care as one of the key factors in overburdening the health service and pushing it to breaking point.

In the final analysis, if you love something you have to see it warts and all, and this is one of the most powerful messages we take away from the evening. The NHS is not perfect but it is amazing, and most of its success comes from the sheer goodwill, determination and dedication of the people who provide the care. He offers no solutions but reminds us that we cannot have our cake and eat it. Not only will the sugar probably kill us, but so might the blind faith that we can continue to rely on that goodwill without putting hard cash behind it.

You will laugh, you will cry and you will reel at the barrage of statistics, but only if you can get a ticket. Mark Thomas’s Edinburgh Fringe First award winning Check Up is currently on tour and is at Liverpool’s Playhouse for just two nights.

 

LIVERPOOL’S biggest-ever cruise season starts tomorrow with the arrival of luxury liner the Costa Mediterranea as she makes her first voyage down the Mersey.

The annual cavalcade of cruise ships lasts seven months and the city’s multi-award winning cruise terminal will welcome a record-breaking 86 ships carrying an estimated 165,000 passengers and crew.

Now in its 12th year of operation, the cruise terminal generated more than £7m for the city’s local economy last year, this year that figure is expected to almost double to £12m.

The Costa Mediterranea is one of 11 newcomers to the terminal this season. It will be bringing more than 2,000 passengers to Liverpool en route from Dublin to Belfast.

The ship will dock at approximately 7.30am tomorrow, with a Liverpool Town Crier welcoming passengers onto dry land at 8am.

Later in the day (4pm) Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Christine Banks will exchange ceremonial plaques with the ship’s captain before it is waved off at 6pm.

Other inaugural visits to Liverpool this year will come from Celebrity Reflection, the Viking Jupiter and the Norwegian Spirit, which will visit three times.

Other highlights of the season include the arrival of two Cunard ships throughout the season – Queen Victoria on 12 June and August 19 and Queen Mary 2 on 16 July.

The Disney Magic cruise liner will make its fifth return journey to the city on 13 September.

Liverpool City Council’s Director of Culture, Claire McColgan, said: “Liverpool has firmly secured its status as one of the favourite destinations for many of the big cruise liners.

“This is because of the amazing work of everyone involved with the terminal and the warm welcome passengers get when they visit our city. The fact that so many ships will be coming to Liverpool this year is a testament to the success of the terminal and it is something that everyone in our city should be really proud of.

“Cruise season in Liverpool is always an exciting time and this year I am sure it will surpass expectations.”

Jackie Wiliams

THE Women’s Organisation has been recognised by the European Commission for its part in helping more people from disadvantaged backgrounds take their first steps on the road to business success.

The Liverpool-based social enterprise which has supported more than 55,000 women over 23 years with their business start-up plans, was the UK representative among five different European nations developing new ways to help budding entrepreneurs across the continent achieve their ambitions.

The aim of the scheme was to solve two main problems: High unemployment of people, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds; and low participation of adults in life-long learning.

It was decided that the most likely solution was to improve the skills of adult educators working with disadvantaged learners by providing innovative methods to deliver learning activities for prospective business start-ups.

This involved developing innovative and attractive training material and ICT (information and communications technology) tools for the adult educators.

The project created a curriculum for adult educators – ‘Promotion of Lifestyle Entrepreneurship for Disadvantaged Learners’ – using specially-developed materials and ICT tools that covered five modules which were used to assess the success of the training for learners.

The Europe-wide project was funded by Erasmus+ – the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport.

Following its conclusion, it was selected as a “success story” by a panel of experts from the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission.

In a letter to The Women’s Organisation, the panel explained: “Success stories are finalised projects that have distinguished themselves by their impact, contribution to policy-making, innovative results and/or creative approach and can be a source of inspiration for others.

“The project results contributed to implementation of the flagship initiatives: ‘An Agenda for New Skills and Jobs’ – to increase employment rate by 75%, and ‘European Platform Against Poverty’ – to reduce the poverty, social exclusion through the employment, active participation in public life and learning process.”

As a ‘success story’ the European Commission said: “Visibility and acknowledgement will be given to your project, for instance on our websites, social media, and when preparing documentation for conferences or other events.”

The Women’s Organisation enterprise director, Jackie Williams, was their key representative on the project.

She said it was extremely interesting, for her and The Women’s Organisation, to take part in the Europe-wide programme.

Jackie added: “It was really interesting for us taking part in this programme and seeing that how, no matter which of the five countries people lived in or how diverse their ideas, they tended to face similar challenges.”

She believes that such cross-border collaborations are to the benefit of everyone involved: “Pooling the expertise of organisations from across the EU through Erasmus+ projects like this means that we can share best practice and ensure our services are evolving in line with client need.”

And she said that being chosen as a ‘success story’ by experts from the European Commission validated everything The Women’s Organisation is working for, as well as showcasing their enterprise expertise on the wider European stage.

THIS year’s Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards has a new category – ‘Hidden Gem’ – and it’s produced an interesting and diverse shortlist.

In the first round the public were asked to nominate their favourite ‘must see’ gem across the city region, as long it was off the main tourism trail. It could be a tucked away bar or restaurant, attraction, tour or natural asset.

After receiving over 400 nominations, independent judges have drawn up a shortlist of ten:

Birkenhead Priory, Wirral

The oldest standing building in the city region, which comprises of a chapel, museum and refectory.

Bluecoat Gardens, Liverpool

Behind the Bluecoat Arts Centre the gardens have space for outdoor performances alongside a woodland area.

Friends of Williamson Tunnels, Liverpool

A labyrinth of tunnels and underground caverns in Edge Hill and preserved by this group of volunteers.

Hobo Kiosk, Liverpool

Small friendly pub in the Baltic Quarter with selected local beers, unique design and warm atmosphere.

L20 Restaurant, Sefton

Created by Hugh Baird College in 2013, the restaurant is part of their L20 Hotel School which provides training, work experience and inspiration for students taking their first steps into the catering industry.

Old Dock Tour, Liverpool

Liverpool’s Old Dock – the world’s first commercial enclosed wet dock – has been carefully preserved under Liverpool One and has free tours available.

Red Brick Hangar, Liverpool

An independent market in the Baltic Quarter with over 50 businesses under one roof – it also supports local artists and start-ups. 

Squash Café, Liverpool

An eco-friendly community led food space in Toxteth, which incorporates a food shop, café and catering space.

St Peters Church, Liverpool

An Anglican Church in Woolton Village with strong links to the early days of The Beatles.

Zap Graffiti Arts, Liverpool

A unique graffiti art focused venue providing classes, workshops for schools and custom artwork.


The general public have three weeks to vote for their favourite hidden gem and can vote here www.liverpoollep.org/awards-landing-page/hidden-gem/. Voting closes on Thursday 25 April 2019.

This year’s awards take place on 16 May at Liverpool Cathedral. The 17 award categories cover accommodation, attractions, food and drink, events and entertainment venues – amongst many others.

Sponsoring the ‘Hidden Gem’ category is Marketing Liverpool. Chris Brown, Director at Marketing Liverpool, said: “We are delighted to again be a part of these prestigious awards. This category has given people a chance to champion their own favourite tourism asset and put the spotlight on something a little more unusual across our city region.”

Tickets for the ceremony are available from Ticket Quarter – click here for details.

 

EGG facts, Tiger Trail, Baboon Jungle, White Rhinos, Californian Sea Lions, rides, and Safari Drive are just some of the experiences you can enjoy on a family day out to Knowsley Safari Park this Easter – whilst helping to protect endangered species at the same time.

See lions basking in the springtime sun, white rhinos rolling in the mud and tiny fawns hiding around the safari drive. Head deep into the baboon jungle on the Baboon Bus and get really close to the cheeky monkeys, while learning fab facts from the knowledgeable guides.

Walk the Amur Tiger Trail and see if you can spot the tigers in their Russian-inspired habitat and learn more about how your visit is helping to save these endangered animals. Brave it in the Bat Forest and delight at the Californian Sea Lions sunbathing in their large outdoor pool.

If you’re still ‘egg-cited’ for more, spot the selfie boards across the safari for some amazing facts about eggs, have a thrilling time on the amusement rides, take in an animal talk and fuel the family fun in the fabulous Oasis Restaurant.

Knowsley Safari’s offering 20% off online ticket bookings until 21st April. Adult tickets £14 instead of £17.50, children £10.80 instead of £13.50 and a family ticket (2 x adults, 2 x children) down from £59 to £47.20.

https://www.knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk/20-off-online-easter/

 

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WITH temperatures set to soar this bank holiday weekend, we are predicting a Blooming great Easter at The Florist! Join us this Easter Bank Holiday...

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Four Liverpool students are set to star in a brand new Warner Bros biopic.The quartet, who are in their final year at LMA (Liverpool...