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The Show Must Go On!

It takes a lot more than a global pandemic to stop our performers, poets and artists getting creative! This month you can enjoy Wirral Met’s Degree Show, Oxton’s Virtual Gardens, VE Day commemorations and two poetry events, all from the comfort of your own couch! Children are also invited to take part in a 'School Uniform Day' at home, to help raise money for Wirral Hospice St John's.

DON'T MISS

1. Wirral Met’s Degree Show is online! 'Diverse Directions' is their 25th annual BA (Hons) Fine Art Exhibition and explores themes such as nature, landscape, social values and human behaviour, alongside visual and poetic responses to the world around us. The show was due to be hosted at Williamson Art Gallery. If you enjoy the exhibition, why not make a donation to the college’s chosen charity, Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.

2. Although Wirral’s theatres are closed at the moment, new shows are still being booked for when the lockdown is over and not many as exciting as this... the world’s greatest living explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes will be bringing his tour ‘Living Dangerously’ to the Floral Pavilion on Fri 19 March 2021. This will be a popular event so buy tickets now. Also announced this month at the Floral are Dirty Dusting (Oct 28), Kings of Country (Oct 29), Luther - A Tribute to Luther Vandross (Nov 13), Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice (Mar 16, 2021) and Rapunzel (Apr 8, 2021).

Don't miss ‘Holding a Candle to the World’ on Sun 16 Aug at Gladstone Theatre. The show tells the story of how Price’s Candles put Bromborough on the world map as the largest candle manufacturer in the world! Gladstone Theatre also has tickets on sale for ‘A Christmas Carol - Ballet Theatre’ (Nov 27), The Houghton Weavers (Dec 29) and many more.

3. Residents across Wirral are being encouraged to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Fri 8 May by throwing a ‘stay-at-home street party’. You can learn how to make homemade bunting, make a 40s themed picnic and research your family connections to this momentous event. As well as the Two Minute Silence at 11am, there will be a national sing-along at 9pm in which the nation is invited to sing Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ to give thanks to our veterans and remember our loved ones.

Girlguiding Wirral are inviting children to take part in a VE Day Virtual Flypast! Girls are asked to create something that flies or video themselves in their uniform flying from right to left, then submit to the Girlguiding Wirral Facebook page by noon on Sat 9 May. A video montage will then be created of Wirral’s very own flypast.

4. Secret Gardens of Oxton are going virtual this year! Oxton’s Virtual Gardens Facebook page will feature photos and videos from participating gardens, as well as entertainment, music and art. To take part, simply search for ‘Oxton’s Virtual Gardens’ - but not until 10am on Sunday 10 May, when the page will be made public. For more details about this exciting event, make sure you read our feature later this week.

5. Poetry lovers are spoilt for choice this month. Guided by local poet Paul Harris, Wirral poets are invited to a 'Poetry Picnic’ on May 24. Those attending the free Zoom chat will get a video walk-through of Birkenhead Priory before being invited to write their own poem about the building. The poems will be read out on Wirral Wave radio - for an announcement on when, keep your eyes peeled on the ‘Words on Wirral’ poetry Facebook page.

Wirral’s poets have contributed to ‘The World in Lockdown People’s Poem’, a patchwork style poem that documents the mood of the borough during self-isolation. Submissions ranged from laureate level poets to passionate beginners, creating a stirring ‘poem of the people’. The final piece is set to be launched on May 11 on the ‘World In Lockdown’ Facebook page.

If you love art, make sure you check this out. As part of the ‘Museums in Quarantine’ series, BBC gained access to the Tate Modern for a look at the work of the pioneer of pop-art, Andy Warhol.

And here are a few more ideas to keep you busy:

  • Visit the My Child Can Facebook page for a weekly timetable of activities for you and your little ones to try at home, including storytime and silly socks matching!
  • Charlie Chaplin, George Formby and Morecambe & Wise all performed at Birkenhead’s Argyle Theatre - and now you can step back in time thanks to Williamson Art Gallery’s ‘Argyle Theatre Remembered’ Facebook page.
  • If you find yourself craving exercise while being stuck at home, the Invigor8 fitness team are posting regular free online fitness classes on their Facebook page. These range from high-intensity cardio classes and ‘Legs Tums & Bums’, to yoga and chair-based exercises. Let’s get physical! 
  • Convenience Gallery & The Open Door Centre are looking to encourage creativity with their ‘Horizons Community Arts Project. Artists of all abilities can get involved with a range of challenges to keep your creative mind buzzing. 
  • Every Tuesday evening at 7.30pm the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra are screening videos of contemporary artists who regularly perform at the magnificent Art Deco concert hall, including The Real Thing, Irish Sea Sessions and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.
  • Every Friday you can take part in a crafty tutorial with ‘Crafternoons with Claire’. There is a class aimed at adults or older children at 2pm, as well as a Kiddies Craft Club at 11am.
  • You can see Wirral musicians such as In Cahoots, Tennessee Waltz and Bexi Owen at the 'Music on Wirral' Facebook page
  • Save Heebie Jeebies Lockdown Festival on Fri 8 May will feature music from Decay, Sister Sister, The Jackobins and many more local musicians. A minimum donation of £5 will get you a code to watch the live stream.
  • Tune in to the ‘The Shows Must Go On’ Youtube channel and enjoy an evening of theatre from your living room every Friday at 7pm. You can also enjoy recordings from previous shows which include The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
  • Enjoy a National Theatre show from your home every Thursday at 7pm. Recent shows have included Twelfth Night starring Tamsin Greig and Frankenstein, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle.
  • Museums might be closed to the public for now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore them from the comfort of your own home! The National Museum have put together a blog about all of the ways you can still enjoy the museum, from virtual tours around their Egyptian gallery, podcasts and free learning resources for 3-16 year olds - like how Egyptian mummies were made!
  • The online edition of the Williamson Open Art & Photography Exhibition 2020 is still available featuring talented local artists using a range of media.
  • Wirral Author Charles Lea is running a series of online creative writing courses for children and adults. The children’s courses lasts three weeks, costing £24 per household, and the theme is the year 2050. The adult course (beginners or intermediates) is six weeks and costs £60. To book your place email Charles@readnowwritenow.org.uk

And finally: 

Wirral school children are being asked to take part in a School Uniform Day to raise money for Wirral Hospice St John’s! Heswall Primary School came up with the idea, flipping the concept of a non-uniform day on its head, but any children can take part. Donations help support Wirral Hospice St John’s, which has been enormously affected by the closure of its charity shops during the coronavirus pandemic.