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Celebrating the Arts in & around Neston, CH64

Published: 27th December 2008 10:20

Atelier @ Burton Manor

AtelierThe Atelier opened it's doors to the public in April, bringing a unique artists' community into the heart of CH64. In December, funding was secured that will allow for the restoration of the Walled Garden during 2009.

See our related article:

Atelier open to the public.


Artroom, Parkgate

Ian & Michelle from ArtroomArtroom, the contemporary fine art gallery on The Parade in Parkgate, began 2008 with Luce di Vita (Light from Life) from artist Peter Edge.

In August, Artroom was the only gallery in the area to be formally invited to connect their future exhibition ‘Modern Contemporary Creatives' with the Liverpool Biennial Independents 08.

Artroom's 3rd birthday celebrationsIn August in partnership with the Marsh Cat Restaurant, Artroom expanded its wall space to the restaurant walls, showing works by Mary Griffin, Carys Bryn and more recently changing to local artists Robert Flanagan, Roland Brandom and Jan Gardner.

On December 10th Artroom hosted its third Birthday celebration to say ‘thank you' to both clients and friends who have supported them.

Little Actors - CH64's lively and creative Theatre Company & Youth Theatre Group

Little Actors Theatre Company

For Citizens week in March, Little Actors Theatre Company teamed up with the CAN Group. With a group of children aged 8-12 we devised and performed a play about being young and living in Neston. The play looked at how it must have been to live in Neston in the past (Vikings and Victorians) right through to how the young people see living in Neston in 2008.

Little Actors' Samantha Giblin on Radio MerseysideThe play was received well at the final event at the climax of Citizens Week. In Nov LATC also ran a one off drama workshop for the CAN Groups family activities.

In the summer LATC were featured on an outside broadcast in Parkgate with Andy Ball on BBC Radio Merseyside. (The photo of Samantha Giblin with Andy Ball shows a very windy and rainy summer day in Parkgate in July!!!!!!!)

Little Actors at the Neston Village FairTheatre Club participated at the Neston Village Fair in July and the Neston Christmas Festival week on the 5th December. Theatre Club also moved venues to Neston Children's Centre so as to provide more space for the classes to grow. This group has now been open for 2 years.

Adult Dance - Although we concentrate on services for children, in 2008 we decided to approach the adults in Neston and Parkgate to see if there was interest in adult dance classes which concentrate on musical theatre and exploring different styles. As a result to an enthusiastic response to this our adult dance classes start in Jan 09 at the new NC&YC

Little Actors Youth Theatre

ILAYT - It Snowsn 2008 LAYT participated in the National Theatre's New Connections Programme. The National Theatre commissions writers to write new plays for young people to perform. We selected 'It Snows', a physical theatre piece by Bryony Lavery and Frantic Assembly. The play was performed at the Neston and Parkgate United Reformed Church Hall and subsequently transferred to Theatr Clwyd.

A director (Lindsay Turner) from the National Theatre came along to see the show and gave verbal feedback and a report was received her. She also gave LAYT a brief mention in an article she wrote about the New Connections scheme in The Guardian.

In an effort to improve facilities and local provision, LAYT moved venues to the new purpose built NC&YC. The group is now rehearsing another play for NT New Connections. 'A Handbag' is by Anthony Horowitz and will be performed at Neston High School on the 28th and 29th March and will transfer to The Lowry in Salford on the 9th May. The cast chose the play because it is both funny and fascinating, as mystery surrounds the background of the characters who are all in some sort of young offenders institution.

Neston Players - our resident thespians tread the boards once more

Neston Players - Memory of WaterIn April the Players presented "Memory of Water," designed and directed by Paul Kirkbright and Lucy Clements. The play told the story of three sisters meeting at their childhood home at a snow-bound English seaside on the eve of their mother's funeral.

For the production a new "cabaret-style" seating arrangement was introduced, allowing the audience to sit around tables and make full use of the bar facilities, which added enormously to the ambience.

All three performances were extremely well attended, breaking all recent box office records for the Players.

Neston Players Stars of stage and screen were notable for their absence at the not-quite-annual Neston Players' "DAFTA" Awards held at Burton Manor in June. A chance for the members of the society to let their hair down (those that have any left) and slap each other on the back all night long whilst quaffing copious amounts of alcohol.

During Neston Christmas Festival Week in December, Neston Players put on a suitably festive production - "Out of Focus" by Peter Gordon.

Neston Players - Out of FocusFast moving and outrageously funny, ‘Out of Focus' is set in a local church hall, where a series of over-bookings have occurred - Brownies, badminton players, table tennis, auditions for the church pantomime and an illustrated talk on steam trains all collide, each claiming their rightful place. (Any resemblance to real venues or people is entirely co-incidental!)

It was another very well attended set of performances, and the Players are now looking forward to their next production - "Once A Catholic" by Mary O'Malley, which will be taking place between April 1st-4th 2009.

Something missing?

We have tried to include as much as possible in our Review of 2008, but if you know of something we've missed, please let us know. You can either leave a comment below this article, or contact us by telephone on 0151 336 2734 or send us an email.

Related articles:

Taking pride in the achievements of the Neston, CH64 community

Key events in the Neston, CH64 calendar

The Young Ones - the achievements & activities of Primary Schools in and around Neston, CH64

Neston High School - serving the community for half a century

Read all about it! Neston Library's 2008 highlights.

Ness Gardens - the award-winning botanical gardens in CH64

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