Tuesday 21st August 2018

Announcing our autumn/winter season!

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We’re thrilled to announce an exciting autumn/winter season of events and activities as part of the St Helens 150 celebrations. The programme, which runs from September – December, will round off a year of amazing events and artistic interventions !

This year’s headline events include: family friendly music event Sound City on the Farm, performances from St Helens son Frank Cottrell-Boyce, a brand new site specific production from multi award-winning theatre company ANU, a Northern premiere of veteran American performance troupe Split Britches’ Unexploded Ordnances, an extraordinary projection mapping experience from Simon McKeown, and a conversation with actress Maxine Peake.

We’re particularly excited to share the programme for this year’s Take Over Festival, in partnership with St.Helens Libraries through their Arts In Libraries programme Cultural Hubs. For eight thrilling weeks art, culture and pop-up performances will be igniting the streets and the spaces of St Helens. No location is off limits as we invite artists to showcase new and engaging work in libraries, shops, labour clubs and marketplaces.

St Helens 150’s edition of the festival examines the idea of identity. In a world where the only constant thing is change, what does that mean to our sense of self?

Tickets on sale from early September!

Watch this space!

Take Over Festival 2018 key highlights:

Son of St Helens and celebrated children’s writer, Frank Cottrell Boyce will deliver a series of readings and talks for children, families and everyone else.
11 and 13 October, Rainhill and Eccleston Libraries, FREE, booking required

Sound City on the Farm will see the festival decamp to the beautiful Inglenook Farm bringing with it a host of breakthrough Northwest bands, delicious food and drink and a host of family friendly activity.
16 September, 12pm – 7.30pm, Inglenook Farm, FREE, tickets on sale from 22nd August

Award-winning US performance troupe Split Britches will present a North of England debut of their show Unexploded Ordnances. Combining a Dr Strangelove-inspired performance with a daring forum for public conversation, Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) explores ageing, anxiety, hidden desires and how to look forward when the future is uncertain.
8 November, 7.30pm and location TBA

The critically lauded  Selina Thompson presents the multi-award winning Salt  – her visceral, vulnerable and beautiful one woman show retracing of the routes of the Transatlantic Slave Triangle – from the UK to Ghana to Jamaica, and back.
20 October, 7pm, Parr Library, £6, £5 (St Helens Library Card Holders, £3 (concessions)

A screening of Funny Cow, followed by a Q&A with the film’s lead actor Maxine Peake who stars as a mercurial female stand up in Adrian Shergold’s unflinching drama about the 70s northern club circuit.
12 November, 7pm, location TBA.

Digital specialist and DaDaFest Artist of the Year, Simon Mckeown is working with the local disabled community to present a fun, exciting and visually poetic spectacle inspired by the town. We Are Still Here will use the complex Victorian facade of St Helens Town Hall as its canvas. Featuring massive super-sized outdoor projectors, next-gen digital mapping software, and immersive soundscapes.
8 December, St Helens Town Hall, time TBA

Deaf artist Aaron Williamson will set up his new durational performance piece Stall of Warm Handshakes on market day. Inspired by the history of the greeting and in the context of Trump’s absurd, elaborate misuse of the handshake, Aaron will work with the public to objectify and explore the various techniques and meanings of handshaking.
Thursday 25th October, St Mary’s Square, time TBA.

And more to be announced!

Other exciting stuff happening this autumn:

Internationally acclaimed theatre company ANU present a brand new work for St Helens. TORCH will blur the edges between the real and imagined, tearing through St Helens town centre in a high octane, blistering unrelenting journey. Part of the Helen project.
Dates and locations in late November TBA

As part of the national Heritage Open Days artists Katie Musgrove and Alex Douglas are working closely with the local D/deaf community to explore how our identity, personality and sense of self is an exchange that relies on visual cues such as symbols, gestures and body language.

7-9 September, Deafness Resource Centre, times TBA

A brand new monthly night, I Heart Thursdays is a chance for audience to to meet artist, creatives to engage with communities. Expect talks, screenings, dinners and just about everything in between. The series kicks off with Heather Peak Morison, Studio Morison hosting a dinner with Dr Caroline Fuchs, The Design Museum, Munich as they discuss her new commission for St Helens, Bliss Park and her current commission in Munich, I’ll Be With You, Whatever. The second event will be a special scratch night of new performance work by some of the best local creative talent, curated and hosted by St Helens’ very own Kitty O’Shea.
Thursday 27 September and 25 October, exact time, location and tickets TBA