The Arts Centre at Edge Hill University is bringing The Revolution to Ormskirk for its autumn/winter season, which has ground-breaking new-commissions and home-grown talent at its heart.
One of the most iconic musical figures of the 21st century, Gil-Scott Heron (1949-2011) will be celebrated in October with two Arts Centre commissions. Known as ‘The Godfather of Rap’, Gil’s lyrical content concerning social and political issues – including the composition The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – connected to the hearts of millions.
A showcase will feature friends and musical collaborators of Gil himself, including Washington D.C based pianist Kim Jordon who toured with Gil for 30 years, an ensemble drawn from Scott-Heron protégé and Liverpool poet Malik Al Nasir’s band – Malik & The O.Gs, joined by Canadian songstress Rita Carter. Fifteen Edge Hill students will work with the artists to record a brand new track inspired by the work and legacy of Gil Scott-Heron, to be released on an EP alongside Malik and the O.Gs.
A 24-hour red, black & white interdisciplinary happening by artist Alan Dunn reworks ‘The revolution will not be televised’. The two-day extravaganza will culminate in a music and performance finale, with Cavalier Song headlining with new and original performance by Edge Hill students.
The theme of revolution continues into November, with Music and Film at a time of Revolution, curated by Edge Hill Professor Steve Davismoon and sponsored by the Institute for Creative Enterprise (ICE). This series of events marking the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution will feature Russian electronic music pioneer Edouard Artemiev and Russian composer Yuri Kasparov who was awarded ‘Honoured Art Worker of Russia’ by order of the Russian President in 2007.
The Arts Centre have worked in partnership with Liverpool’s Bluecoat to bring London-based vocal and movement artist Elaine Mitchener to work alongside Liverpool’s IMMIX Ensemble on a brand new performance with Edge Hill University Performing Arts and Music Students. The residency will explore the art of free improvisation and movement art practice and will culminate in a performance in The Arts Centre’s Rose Theatre.
A large-scale art exhibition, CIVICS, will bring together a significant number of works by renowned visual and performance artist André Stitt, responding to the legacy of Britain’s New Towns and post-war brutalist architecture. The exhibition will include work made during 2016 and 2017, based on several research trips to the nearby new town of Skelmersdale and will be installed throughout the main building at Edge Hill University.
Also exploring a theme of place-making is award-winning theatre-maker Andy Smith (co-director of An Oak Tree with Tim Crouch) who presents a tale of one man and his place in the world, set against the turbulent backdrop of 80 years of socio-economic change in the north of England.
Home-grown talent will feature strongly in October with three diverse shows. Senior Lecturer in Drama and Performance Lisa Adams-Davey will produce and direct Red Carpet – a play tackling mental health issues and performed by Edge Hill alumni theatre company Confiança Collaborative – to mark World Mental Health Week.
Edge Hill PhD student James Burrows joins Frances Kay for an evening of experimental new performances bound together in a queering of the contemporary moment, and The Value of Nothing, written by Kim Wiltshire of Edge Hill’s Creative Writing department, and directed by Joyce Branagh, sister of Kenneth Branagh, will deliver an interactive performance tackling contemporary issues such as life on benefits.
This season will also see a new spoken word open mic night, Reverb, accompany the long-established Open Mic nights. Reverb’s launch evening on 16 October will feature Liverpool poet Gerry Potter, Manchester-based writer Tom Jenks and recent Edge Hill graduate Jessica Tillings. Other literary events will include an evening with acclaimed writer Jessie Greengrass, who won the Edge Hill Short Story Prize in 2016 and the launch of Atlantic Drift: An Anthology of Poetry and Poetics, the second title from Edge Hill University Press.
Continuing The Arts Centre’s long tradition of programming top music artists, the venue will host a very special one-off gig by Steve Pilgrim, drummer with Paul Weller’s band and an exceptional singer-songwriter in his own right, with folk legend Danny Thompson who has had a long career working with other notable artists such as John Martyn and Richard Thompson, and was one of the founding members of British folk-jazz band Pentangle.
Cathy Butterworth, Arts Manager at Edge Hill University said: “The revolution will not be televised – it will be live at The Arts Centre at Edge Hill University! Our whole venue, from the two theatre spaces to the gallery to the Red Bar, will be packed with exciting new interdisciplinary work, which will really engage and stretch our students. We will even be taking over the main building with visual art and live performances. As ever, audiences from outside the University are welcomed and encouraged to come along and experience this eclectic programme of events.”
For full listings and to book tickets, click here
Watch the Arts Centre’s Autumn/Winter season trailer: