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Weekend larks (Nov 5-Nov 8)

Yes, yes, yes, it's Bonfire night, but what other sparks in the next couple of days?

Published on November 4th 2010.

Weekend larks (Nov 5-Nov 8)
Forbidden planet

WE all know that the Everyman Theatre has an illustrious history. Only the other day, superstar actress Julie Walters was being interviewed by Mark Lawson on BBC4 (catch it on iPlayer) where she rolled out top anecdotes of the Alan Dosser/Matthew Kelly/Pete Postlethwaite/Bill Nighy era of the Hope St theatre.

We also know that by 1979 it had, bolted onto the back of the building, what would one day prove to be one of the most well-known youth theatres in the land.

David Morrissey, Ian Davies (aka Hart), Mark McGann, Stephen McGann are the popular names that trip off the tongue. The hangers-on are even more well known. And there are dozens more who have since led the way professionally, the performing arts and creative industries.

“It was a place for mad, bright, sparky, lippy teenagers,” says Angie Sammons, Liverpool Confidential's editor, who was a member then. “Kids from council estates, kids from very middle class grammar schools, many bullied for being different. They had never met anyone like themselves until they walked in those doors in Arrad Street, usually without any confidence whatsoever.

“At the EYT you learned how to act – not just on a stage - but you also found your people. It changed so many young lives, probably forever.”

One key member, Gerry Butler, now the accomplished performance poet Gerry Potter, received this photo booth snapshot, on Facebook, from the “girl” in the picture, Lyn Griffiths. He is the one at the back. It stirred a memory and he wrote an entire book of verse, Planet Young, based on the Everyman Youth Theatre 1979-1981, and growing up gay in Liverpool.

“It is about how heart warming and how sad the nostalgic process is,” he says. The other figure in the frame, by the way, being Brian King, the Liverpool actor, who died aged 31.

Gerry will be performing Planet Young at the Bluecoat this evening (Friday) as part of the Homotopia Festival.

You don't have to have been there in order to go along and enjoy it, this is not a “vanity poem” written for a clique.

Rather, it is crafted and recalled with such aplomb that anyone who was ever a teenager in Liverpool, or anywhere, will recall that they were once “there”, on Planet Young.
*Planet Young, an evening of mythmaking, autobiography and storytelling featuring Liverpool poet Gerry Potter & Jay Bernard. Friday Nov 5, 8.30pm. Tickets £5/£4 available at the Bluecoat or by calling 0151 702 5324.

Park up
LIVERPOOL people (that's you) are being invited to a family fun day to celebrate the completion of the £7m restoration of Sefton Park. And it's looking damned good.

The event, which includes a variety of games and activities, is being held at the park this Saturday (6 November) and there will be an opportunity to go on a guided walk of the park with the Ranger service.

Work on the park's restoration started in the middle of European Capital of Culture year, 2008.

Laurence Llewellyn Bowen had nothing on this controversial makeover which saw hundreds of trees felled and the lakes drained. The project included the complete refurbishment of the park's watercourses, renovation of rockeries, a new play area, extensive planting, some clearing of shrubs, improvements to paths and bridges and restoration of monuments.

At the time it looked like Armageddon. But not now.

Councillor Tim Moore, cabinet member for the environment, said: "Sefton Park is our biggest and most popular park and it has now been restored to its former glory.

"As well as new facilities, the spectacular views, which were part of the original vision for the park, have been restored and the lake and watercourses massively improved.”

The works were was funded by a £4.7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund with the City Council providing the remainder of the funding.

The final stages of the restoration has been a new boathouse kiosk by the lake and the refurbishment of the café building to increase its size with improved facilities , a community room and a new Ranger base for education and events.
*Refurbishment celebration day, Sefton Park, Liverpool L17. Saturday Nov 6, all day. Free.

Laughing all the way....
Can't cope with the X-Factor? Want to spend all of this Saturday night tweeting and posting on social network sites about how crap it is? Or are you going to go out and give you and us all a break?

If so, look no further than St George's Hall this weekend, when Neil Fitzmaurice and five of the best local comedians - Keith Carter as Nige, John Warburton, Adam Staunton,Danny Deegan and Phil Chapman as MC, get a-wisecracking as part of this....
*Roy Castle Lung Cancer FoundationComedy Night, Doors 7.00pm, show starts 8.00pm. St. George's Hall, St George's Place, Liverpool, L1 1JJ. Tickets £10 on the door.

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P. PanNovember 10th 2010.

Are they populating Sefton Park with peacocks again?

Peter PanNovember 10th 2010.

It looks a damned sight better than it did before. Absolutely beautiful. Bring on the peacocks

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