Liverpool Playwright To Perform World Premiere Of New Commission Inspired By The Mersey Sound Poet Adrian Henri.


‘The city is alive. Wandering the streets, The Child, The Poet and Death trace memories and map dreams onto a landscape shifting under the spell of time.

Lizzie Nunnery, a Liverpool-based singer and award-winning playwright will perform her new collaborative piece Horny Handed Tons of Soil alongside musicians Martin Heslop, Martin Smith and Vidar Norheim on Thursday 13th – Saturday 15th July 2017.

The work was originally commissioned by national poetry organisation Phrased & Confused to create a brand new work inspired by Liverpool, and in particular influential artist and poet Adrian Henri.

Adrian Henri came to prominence as a writer alongside Roger McGough and Brian Patten in the ground-breaking and irreverently contemporary Penguin anthology The Mersey Sound (1967), one of the best-selling poetry books of all time (over a quarter of a million copies to date). A celebrated performer, he was also a painter, playwright, novelist and librettist.

Horny Handed Tons of Soil will explore through spoken word, live music and film, what’s been lost and found in the re-sculpting of the Liverpool landscape over the past 50 years. Fifteen minutes from the piece premiered at the Liverpool Philharmonic Music Rooms in 2016 as part of the Liverpool Acoustic Festival.

Now the fully realised piece will make its world premiere at the newly refurbished Unity Theatre on Thursday 13th July, 8pm and run until Saturday 15th July, as part of the city-wide festival 50 Summers of Love, before touring a condensed version of the production to venues including St. Helens Libraries, Bury Met, York Theatre Royal and London’s South Bank Centre.

The production also celebrations a unique collaboration on Hope Street, with Unity Theatre, Liverpool Everyman and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall all presenting work by the Liverpool Poets during the 50 Summers of Love festival. Brain Pattern’s The Story Giant was part of the repertoire Liverpool Everyman’s rep company and Roger McGough with Ensemble 10/10 return to the Phil on 16th July after two sold out performances of Summer with Monika.

Lizzie Nunnery said, “For a long time I’ve been performing live as a musician and incorporating spoken word in to my set, but the length of this piece means I’ve been able to go much further in crafting a narrative, drawing together images and themes, sparking off the Mersey poets’ renderings of Liverpool. It’s been wonderful working with composers Vidar Norheim, Martin Heslop and Martin Smith alongside videographer Tim Brunsden and designer Laura Lomax to push the piece beyond a poem set to music, turning it in to a proper show that hopefully uses visuals and audio in a surprising way. It seems fitting that the work of Adrian Henri is the main reference for the piece: I like to think he’d approve of the experiment!”

Tickets for Horny Handed Tons of Soil are priced at £14 with concessions available at £12. Tickets can be purchased by ringing the Unity Theatre Box office on 0151 7094988 or purchasing online at