It is a battle cry but not one that is steeped in any political agenda, it is an urge to remember that once upon a time we cared for all in society, for it used to be that a whole village was responsible for the upbringing of a single child, the care of one is the care of all. Yet somehow we have become beleaguered, convinced that it is the right thing to do to ignore all the bad aspects of society, to not care about the homeless, the sick, those we perceive to be living a life of feckless abandon; it is a society that is on a tightrope, precariously balancing between keeping head held high and toeing the line eagerly signposted by many politicians or falling into the void themselves.
The relationship between musician and producer can be one of fraught power struggles or one of harmonious honesty and collaborative heaven, either way some of the finest music to ever come out of the studio hangs on the ability to get the best out of both sets of people. Whether it is from the side of the demanding and musical square bashing, the lyrical drip feed of art based torture or the gentle persuasion and coaxing available, the sweet smile of getting the maximum job done with the full throttle approach, it only matters in the end if it goes badly, when it goes well, when the music sounds like the finest well oiled machine, that’s when it’s so smooth it practically sings with the range of an angel handing out chocolate.
Homelessness and the spectre of being too poor to even afford food and the basics of life in Britain in the 21st Century is on the scale of being a national disgrace. Yet with each passing day those supposedly in charge of the nation’s welfare are to be seen as taking a view of moral disgust at the people who find themselves in such positions rather than the root cause of the issue, that of greed and corruption, of allowing Capitalism to smash the lives down of ordinary people in the ever increasing hunt for the spare pound note. It is an attitude that does the Government no good at all and can be seen to further sever the ties between the haves and have nots in society.
Many a student from Liverpool has found their way up to Edinburgh for the Fringe at one point or another, whether to support a show, to support a friend or just natural curiosity at just how expansive and overwhelmingly complex the entire planning of going from one show to another on a daily basis can be.
The Fringe though is arguably the one event in the year which is truly seen as remarkable and it is no small wonder that any student involved in drama or who has a keen interest in comedy should make their way to Scotland’s capital in search of broadening their horizons.
The Everyman Theatre on Hope Street is home to many ideas, many moments of inspiration and suggestions that in its short period of time since its re-emergence from the ground upwards, it has become one of Liverpool’s brightest stars. It is fitting then to meet one of the city’s finest artists, who is fluent in poetry, music and scriptwriting in equal and abundant measure, inside the halls that have the feel of the hallowed seeping out of them.
In a year when the most powerful nation on Earth finally saw sense and changed what it meant to be seen as an equal, Grin Theatre’s Queertet makes its fourth foray into the world of theatre with four new stories that tell of hope, love and even the element of danger at the Unity Theatre over three nights from Wednesday 22nd to Friday 24th July.
Queertet has been described as the jewel in the crown of Grin Theatre’s output, a rare company that talks the talk when it comes to delivering stories of a L.G.B.T. nature and a company that really sings with pride of all it has achieved in the city.
Natasia Bullock sits in F.A.C.T. on Wood Street and surveys the passing stream of people going through the day, like ghosts passing through time, the vapour trail they leave is one that is coloured and magical. The smile on her face never wavers as the assured pleasantries and the usual conversation pieces of two people who know each other well enough to be comfortable in each other’s company, not matter what side of the question they come from.
Nicola Hardman cuts an impressive, unique figure as she sits opposite me in the Garden Café at F.A.C.T. The young musician/actor has been busy recording some new music and her latest song, Little Fish, is a tremendous listen. It is one of those songs where underneath the sound of a catchy tune, wriggles the idea that there is so much going on under the surface, so much unseen, that like all interesting people, those with so much to tell, you cannot but want to meet them and try and find out more.
The British Pantomime it seems is not just for Christmas, it is possible to have this truly British theatrical institution played all year round, or at least at seminal moments in the yearly calendar at least. In recent years the theatre night in which the whole family can enjoy has taken on greater resonance, especially over the Easter or spring bank holidays.
The Unity Theatre in Liverpool isn’t just a creative space for the use of local and touring theatre companies. Within its walls is another heartbeat, a twin spirit of occupation, a breathing fortitude of echoing guitar sounds, exotic drum and cello performed always by a commander of the bow, resides and has firmly taken root over the last few years. A gig here and there throughout the year, bookended by the abundance of theatre, but nevertheless important and the acoustic evenings they put on are fully looked forward to.