A radical, relevant spring in Lancaster

Published: 26 January 2020
Reporter: David Upton

Lancaster Arts, the organisation that promotes events in and around Lancaster University but which are open to all, aims to stay radical and relevant this spring.

Their programme of performance, music and visual art includes the opportunity to also connect through post-show discussions, talks and workshops.

Fifty years ago, when People Show Cabaret toured the world, its four protagonists were dubbed “the Beatles of performance art”. They are now the longest-running experimental theatre company in Britain and have created devised performances in theatres, fields, telephone boxes, streets, even in water.

People Show 137: God Knows How Many brings founders Emil Wolk, George Khan, Mark Long and Bill Palmer together for a show which will take audiences precisely nowhere, via the troubadours of the Parisian boulevards of yesteryear and the global corporate domination of today.

Circus and family performances in February include award-winning company Nikki & JD with their production Knot. They use acrobatic skills to tell a story of love, commitment and self.

For younger audiences, Slot Machine Theatre offers “participation like no other” as they borrow the audience’s toys in Your Toys, featuring live music, puppetry and several surprises.

In the concert series, renowned early music vocal ensemble Stile Antico and oud player Rihab Azar explore themes of exile and migration. Meanwhile, Manchester Collective curates an immersive performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue of the Birds set against brand new music by Erland Cooper. It’s a love song to our bird population set against the dangers of climate change and loss of habitat.

Audience participation projects include planting an orchard with Peter Liversidge and cooking up a feast with Katie Etheridge and Simon Persighetti.

Lancaster Arts director Jocelyn Cunningham said, “this season plays with the idea of radical, addressing it through theatre, circus, dance, visual art, concerts and literature. We are looking forward to so many not-to-be-missed treats!”