Review: Yellow Breck Road at Royal Court

A lion, a tin man, and a scarecrow walk into Liverpool…

Yellow Breck Road, a unique Liverpudlian twist on the classic A Wizard of Oz that had a full Royal Court theatre almost on the floor with a classic evening of Scouse comedy.

The twist takes place with a lively Liverpudlian family, struggling to get by.  An evil landlord threatens to take away their home, as they’re about to go to Benidorm… the horror! Not only this, their young daughter Dot falls foul to Uncle Barry fiddling with the ‘leccy’.  Prepare for a plot twist as things aren’t all as they seem…

Expect great acting, and characters that are believable and enticing.  A special mention has to go to Grandma, who had a ‘Mrs. Browns Boys’ persona which was very funny, the audience would erupt into fits of laughter during her lines.

If you’re from Liverpool, you’re bound to be able to relate to the endless Scouse gags, and if you’re not it’s a great chance to learn!  All my friends agreed that the set was unbelievable, it was clear that there had been a lot of effort gone into the creation of the it and it definitely showed.

Overall we had a great laugh, and a cheap night out with our £5 tickets!

Yellow Breck Road runs until Saturday, March 2.

Georgia Chapman

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Why come to a Student Opportunities City Social?

We love our City Socials, and all the exciting things we get up to each week exploring Liverpool and all the things it has to offer for students. We love them so much that we thought we’d put together a little list of what students love about our events – and why, if you haven’t already, you should come along.

  • Meet new friends

One of the best things about university is the amount of different people you can bump into. Our City Socials provide a perfect place to meet new people, break the ice and enjoy a couple of hours entertainment. Loads of students that have come to City Socials on their own or in a small group have met other students, and made friendships that have lasted longer than just a trip up the Cathedral Tower!

  • It’s FREE

Okay, we know this is an important one. As we’re sure you’re all aware, the opportunities available to you from us are all exclusively free or discounted, which means that as an LJMU student you have access to some of the best things in the city without spending as much as you would have had to. But what’s even better, is that 100% of our City Social events are absolutely FREE. So even if in your Exclusive Offers booklet a show is listed as to pay for, if its a City Social you can come along without spending a penny! Good, right?

  • Make the most of Liverpool

We might be biased, we admit it, but we think that Liverpool is one of the best student cities there is. This is largely down to all the amazing things you can get up to when you’re taking time off from studying. Where do we start? The Royal Court for some classic Scouse comedy? Liverpool Philharmonic and its world famous orchestra? Sound City for one of the best festivals in the UK? We could go on…

  • It’s good for you

We do what we do because its proven that being culturally engaged can have a positive impact on your wellbeing, just like meeting new people and socialising can! So when you’re coming to a City Social, you’re actually looking after your mental health (even if you’ve had a few of our biscuits). You can look after your phsyical health as well, of course, with your FREE off-peak gym membership at Lifestyles.

Fancy coming along? We’d love to see you at our next event, which is YEP presents The Crowd at the Playhouse theatre this Wednesday 27th Feb.

YEP present crowd

If you can’t make it, don’t worry, we’ve got loads more going on this semester. The best way to keep up is on our Facebook page, where we have all our events or click the link here.

You can sign up to a City Social by emailing studentopportunities@ljmu.ac.uk or by messaging us on social media.

Queer Culture Crawl

Thanks so much for coming along on our Queer Culture Crawl! We will be heading towards the museum to see the Tale of Two Cities Exhibition, with some fun facts about the LGBTQI+ history of the city! Please feel free to tell us any of your favourite pieces of history as we go…

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Stanley Street

Britain’s first and only official gay quarter Stanley Street is also very much a focal point for Liverpool’s LGBT community and is home to a cluster of gay bars and clubs between Dale St and Victoria Street. Stanley Street is the most recognised and referenced street in the Stanley Street Quarter – which was the first UK area to display rainbow flags on street signs as a mark of the gay quarter.

The Lisbon

The longest established gay venue on the corner of Stanley Street/Victoria Street is ‘The Lisbon’, housed in a Grade II listed building, just below street level. Its unique ceiling is arguably its most admirable feature, and is often the first thing people notice when inside. The other bars on Stanley Street tend to be newer additions to the gay scene.

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Garlands:

Garlands has been open for 26 years, was shut down in 2015 but was so beloved that there were protests held outside and the bar was eventually reopened. The venue was named after Judy Garland who is a pretty big gay icon because her struggles with drink, drugs and personal relationships mirrored similar struggles among gay people who were forced to live in the closet at the time. Her role as Dorothy was the foundation stone of her iconic status, and she is often used in slang for example a good friend is often referred to as a good Judy, and when gay people used to want to identify each other they would ask ‘are you a friend of Dorothy?’.

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Castle Street

Every year there is Liverpool Pride which is usually the end July, to mark anniversary of Michael Causer – 18 year old from Whiston who was killed in 2008. A vigil was held for Michael, and the city took steps to ensure that it was a safer place for the LGBTQI+ community, including the council setting up Liverpool LGBT Network. Liverpool’s pride parade is now in it’s 9th year, and this street is along the route that the march takes, with a variety of bands and singers playing along Castle Street (last year Sophie Ellis Bexter).

 

Docks

After the second world war, Liverpool was titled the gay capital of north with the constant flow of passenger liners and a regular influx of gay stewards, sailors, soldiers and airmen choosing to spend time and money in the city. Cinemas also provided an alternative place where gay people could meet. The Liverpool News Theatre on Clayton Square and Tatler News Theatre on Church Street were known in gay circles as a meeting place for sex. Closer to the bars, the Playhouse Theatre also had a strong gay element and the gay community would often mix with members of the cast.

IMG_4660At the museum

The Tale of Two Cities exhibition was opened to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act which decriminalised ‘homosexual acts’ in private between two men, both of whom had to be 21 or above. The exhibition explores stories of Liverpool’s LGBTQI+ community between 1967-2017.

We hope you enjoy and would love any feedback you have. Also follow us on social media @LJMUStudentOpps and tag us in any gay photos from today.

Our Bad Valentines Stories & How to Avoid Them

Bad dates and how to avoid them with Valentines ideas in Liverpool for LJMU students

It’s mid-February and love is in the air… Valentines Day is here and whether you’re a single pringle or all coupled up, there’s something to enjoy. From live concerts to one of the most romantic views in Liverpool, or you can just laugh at our embarrassing date stories and revel in our shame. There’s some great date ideas too, to help you avoid dodgy dates like ours.

Student Opps Team Member A

When I was younger, a Hottie McTottie from my sixth form asked me on a date to the cinema, and I was so nervous I decided to go to the pub with my friend beforehand. After turning up a bit late (and a bit giddy), we made our way inside. Halfway through the film, I got up to go to the toilet and on my way back, trying not to disturb anyone, I picked up my popcorn and went to sit down. Only I forgot I needed to pull out the seat to sit down… To see what the loud noise was, my date shone their phone torch, only to find me lying on the floor in the fetus position with popcorn all over me. Even though I found it hilarious, I never heard back from Hottie McTottie.

Student Opps Team Member B

I met a lad in town once and agreed to go on a date with him the next day. As that day rolled around, I realised I wasn’t really that into him, but felt a bit sly and went on the date anyway, thinking I could leave after an hour or so. Within half an hour, my date had invited me back to his hometown in Venezuela to meet his mum (who he was certain would love me and approve of our relationship)! He also had some pretty interesting views on women in the workplace, and insisted he could support me as a stay at home wife in the future. All well and good mate, but that’s not what I want. I texted my friend to call with an “emergency”, but he insisted on coming with me. For some reason I let him walk me halfway home before having another fake emergency, which thankfully worked. I blocked his number and haven’t seen him since.

Student Opps Team Member C

I was supposed to be meeting up with my date in a bar at 7, but I was so nervous I cried all my makeup off beforehand. I turned up with mascara running down my cheeks, and insisted I was fine. Trying to show off, he ordered an expensive bottle of wine, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him I can’t stand it. A few glasses later, we headed to another bar, where I was desperately trying to avoid awkward silences when all of my school friends walked in. Delighted they’d broke the awkwardness of it all, I jumped up and hugged them all while my date sloped off to get some more drinks. I was telling my friends how badly the date was going when they all gave me a signal to stop talking. My date had been stood behind me the whole time. I still feel awful about it!

Student Opps Team Member D

In the summer I get pretty bad hayfever, and one summer evening I’d met up with my date and all was going well. However, about halfway through this date, I feel a sneeze coming and coming fast. I sneezed and ended up spraying snot directly onto the bar, right in front of my date. Turns out my date was a bit of a germaphobe and as I’m sure you’ve guessed, there was no second date.

liverpool philharmonic hall in the snow

Free Valentines Classics Concert at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

But rest assured, it doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom. There are some brill date ideas to be had in Liverpool this Valentines Day, including our FREE Valentines Classics concert – what’s better than a cheap date, after all? Expect live renditions of Hollywood’s most loved love songs, from Titanic to Romeo and Juliet. Oooh, dreamy.

view from liverpool cathedral tower showing liverpool skyline in evening

Liverpool’s Most Romantic View

Have you seen the view from the top of the Liverpool Cathedral? It’s one of the most romantic spots in the city, and LJMU students get free tickets to go to the top of the tower. Find times and dates on the Liverpool Cathedral website and message us to get your tickets.

tate liverpool gallery

Culture Date at the Tate

Located in Liverpool’s beautiful Royal Albert Docks, which is the perfect place for a picturesque stroll with your date, you’ll find the Tate Liverpool gallery, which LJMU students can access for free. Just flash your LJMU card and make your way through the floors of work from world famous artists, impressing your date with your artsy knowledge before stepping out along the Pier Head.

everyman theatre, liverpool

Laugh Together in one of Liverpool’s Coolest Venues

From Tuesday 19th February until Saturday 23rd February (so a belated Valentines), the Everyman Theatre is showing the hilarious Caroline’s Kitchen. Not only will you laugh your heads off , which is always a sign of a good date, but the Everyman is the perfect place for pre-show dinner and drinks. The best news is you can get your tickets for just £5 each when you tell the box office you’re an LJMU student. Just flash your student ID at the box office and away you go. If you don’t have a date to join you, why not come along to our city social on 19th February and you can go for free?

So now you have no excuses to avoid our terrible dating disasters, when there’s so many great date ideas to be had in Liverpool this Valentines Day. Enjoy!

For any information about the offers please contact studentopportunities@ljmu.ac.uk or check out our @LJMUStudentOpps social media pages and Exclusive Offers booklet.

Things to do with kids in Liverpool at February Half Term 2019!

Got kids, babysitting or being a fantastic auntie/uncle this half term? As a student at LJMU you are not only entitled to free and discounted exclusive offers but can also get kids involved too. There’s nothing worse than having to cope with bored little ones running around, so here’s a few tips on how to keep them entertained and make your life a hell of alot easier.

Why not keep the kids active this February half term and head to your local Lifestyles centre where there’s a range of fun activities for children aged 8+ (ages may vary according to centre rules).

Most activities run from Monday 18th to Friday 22nd February so go along and enjoy the fun! Activ8 membership is for 8 -17 year olds and for only £10 a month (approx. £2/day) there’s a range of activities from inflatable pool days, dodgeball, gymnastics, bubble football to good old tug-a-war. To find out more and sign up, check out what’s happening at a centre near you. Please note that activities and booking rules will vary across centres. The following centres are running activities: Alsop, Austin Rawlinson, Ellergreen, Garston and Peter Lloyd.

Don’t forget you can use all the Lifestyles facilities while the kids are having fun and if go before 4pm you can get active also by use your FREE LJMU Lifestyles gym pass!

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Want to start the Half Term off with a bang and treat the kids to a trip to the Playhouse to watch a performance of the Dr. Seuss’s classic children’s story The Cat in the Hat? Then why not use your LJMU student card to get £5 discounted tickets plus your discounted family ticket for any under 16’s you bring along (subject to availability).

Also on at The Everyman this half term is Drama Week: Spring half term [For Key Stage 2] The award winning building will be opening its doors to give 7 to 11 year olds a jam packed week of games and a chance to create a performance. It’s a great way for children to explore their creativity, develop skills and make new friends. This comes with a cost £100 for the week so if you’ve got the money and need a rest from the kids then it looks like a great investment.

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Not been to the top of the tower yet to see some of the best views of the city?, then why don’t you share the experience with a little one and get your FREE LJMU ticket which allows two people access to the Tower Experience, saving you about £10. You can even try spot where you live or see the Welsh mountains on a clear day. To get your ticket email studentopportunities@ljmu.ac.uk

Also on Monday 20th February, the cathedral are hosting Half Term Family Fun, a free art and crafts day to discover your heroes with Derby Mouse himself. Save even more money by going the café and getting a free kids meal with every adult meal.

Cathedral

Take the family for a stroll down to the Albert Dock to the famous family friendly Tate Liverpool. Whether children choose to go and play in the Clore Learning Centre or pick up a rocket backpack and explore the wonders of The Tate, there will be something that will cater for all ages. LJMU students get FREE access to all exhibitions and so do children under age of 12 years. There is also an event GET CREATIVE WITH FAMILY COLLECTIVE on Sunday 24th February (1pm – 3pm), where families of all ages can try out hands-on activities, learn new techniques, explore artworks from Tate’s displays and generally have the best time ever.

Also children (aged 12 or under) eat free at the Tate Café with any adult purchase of a main meal which can save those pennies of what is seen to be one expensive week. LJMU students also receive a 20% discount off the café and 10% of the shop when presenting a valid LJMU card.

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Check out other fun events and things to do during half term in the Echo by clicking here.

For any information about the offers please contact studentopportunities@ljmu.ac.uk or check out our @LJMUStudentOpps social media pages and Exclusive Offers booklet.

LJMU Student Opportunities: Disability/Accessibility Information and Events

The Student Opportunities offers are for everyone at LJMU and in case you weren’t aware, you can find some information below for accessible venues and events along with the offers available to you as an LJMU student. If you need any further information then please let us know or click on the links of each of the organisation below for their webpages:

  • Everyman and Playhouse – £5 theatre tickets, free pre-show events and free workshops. 10% off food and drink.

Audio Description performances
BSL (British Sign Language) Performances
Captioning
Relaxed Performances

  • Liverpool Philharmonic – two free tickets to a selection of Royal Orchestra concerts, film screenings and selected events. 

Relaxed Concert: Meet The Orchestra – Sunday 26 May
The Orchestra will be presenting our first ever relaxed concert. This fun and accessible event is for all the family, offering high quality music and entertainment, in a safe and supported environment for audiences with a range of access requirements.

Yellow Breck Road
BSL performance is on Tuesday 12 February (interpreter Andy Higgins). 
Audio described performance is on Wednesday 20 February (describer Anne Hornsby).

Brick Up 2
BSL performance is on Tuesday 19 March (interpreter Karl Llorca).  Audio described performance is on Wednesday 20 March (describer Anne Hornsby).

My Fairfield Lady
BSL performance is on Tuesday 7 May (interpreter Andy Higgins).  Audio described performance is on Wednesday 8 May (describer Anne Hornsby). 

Smiggers Wrecked Head
BSL performance is on Tuesday 18 June (interpreter Karl Llorca).  Audio described performance is on Wednesday 19 June (describer Anne Hornsby).

  • Tate Liverpool –  Free entry to paid exhibitions as many times as you like. Get 10% off the shop and 20% off the café. 

Five wheelchairs are available to borrow during your gallery visit. You can book one in advance or ask a member of staff for one on your arrival.
Tate Liverpool welcomes guide dogs and hearing dogs.
An accessible guide to the gallery is available from the front desk.
Ear defenders can be borrowed from the front desk.
Quiet Hour between 10.00–11.00 on the first Saturday of every month.

Making all our offers accessible to all is something we are aiming for, so if you have any ideas then please let us know. Also, check out our booklet for a list of all the exclusive events available to you as an LJMU student by clicking here.

Laughter is the best medicine

We all like to have a laugh; spread the banter; sew the oats of hilarity into our every day lives; but not many of us realise how powerful the impact of comedy can be for improving our mental health.

To follow on from Wellbeing Week and to promote our upcoming Give It A Go – Open Mic Night , we want to open up conversations around mental health, and get people talking.

The thing is, there is no blanket approach to discussing mental well-being, and what works for some might not work for other people. Some of us may feel excluded from conversations surrounding mental well-being simply because we find it hard to open up, or maybe we don’t know what tone we should be using.

Well, here is something that I’ve learnt over the last year – there is no one tone you should be using. When approaching mental health, the more creative you are with the way you tackle these issues, the more likely you’ll find a way to suit you, and those around you.

In a boss Roscoe Lecture last semester, John Bishop told us all that laughter is the best medicine, and he explained how in the same breath that comedy can be used to enhance your mood, it can also be used to lift people up, and talk about difficult subjects in an open and honest way. Comedians like Hannah Gatsby and Rhod Gilbert regularly discuss their own mental well-being, and the side effects of this – such as shyness and low self worth.

Discussing wellbeing in an upbeat manner can create a really safe environment for people to talk without fear of judgement, and can help people relate to others in ways they may not previously have considered.

If you’d like to find more ways to utilise comedy to talk about your mental health, or if you just fancy a laugh – come along to our Comedy workshop and open mic this! The workshop will focus on using comedy as a way to discuss the heavier subjects, and our intern Marcy will be the Compère so, if anything, just come along to laugh at her!

And don’t forget all of the fabulously funny things you can do in and around Liverpool completely free! From the multitudes of scouse puns at the Royal Court, to the many touring productions visiting the Everyman and Playhouse this semester – have a look at our booklet to see what’s on offer.

Whats on in Liverpool this Chinese New Year

In 2019, Liverpool will celebrate the Year of the Pig with a three day celebration from Friday 8 – Sunday 10 February in Chinatown and across the city.

Taking part across the weekend, Chinese New Year 2019 will merge the city’s Chinese cultural history with a contemporary twist, bringing together the always popular projections and closing with a pyrotechnic display on Sunday evening.

Following on from 2018, the projections will follow the story of Jingwei and Piggy on their travels to the West.

Here are just some of the events on this Chinese New Year in the city:

The Quest for the Arch Projections & Pyrotechnics

Friday 8th and Saturday 9th February 7pm – 7.45pm, Sunday 6pm – 6.45pm.

Following on from the last 2 years projection events and to celebrate the Year of the Pig, the 20th Anniversary of the Twinning of Shanghai and Liverpool and the gifting of the Chinese Arch to Liverpool, this year’s story follows little Jingwei and her friend Piggy as they venture to the west. The Lumiere Show will be accompanied by live performance from Everyman Playhouse/Confucius Institute student and pyrotechnics and a newly commissioned soundtrack by award-winning musician and composer, Jah Wobble.

Traditional Lion & Dragon Dance – The Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu Friendship Association

Friday 8th February 7pm – 7.15pm.

The traditional Lion and Dragon Dance symbolising good luck and good fortune and banishing the winter monster to welcome the Spring. Featuring LED lit costumes it will be an amazing spectacle!

Traditional Chinese Lion, Dragon & Unicorn Dance

Sunday 10th February 11:30am – 6:30pm

Join the fun as the celebrations start when the Dragon and Lion arrive outside The Black-E and the Unicorn on Nelson Street to greet the community.

The traditional celebrations will take place in Great George Square on Sunday 10th February with a series of street performances, family workshops, art installations, parades and of course the popular Chinese market on George Street selling gifts, souvenirs and mouth watering food! You can find the full list of events on the Culture Liverpool website.

Top tip: “Gong hei fat choy” is the most common Chinese New Year greeting in Cantonese, which is spoken in parts of southern China and Hong Kong. It directly translates to “wishing you great happiness and prosperity.” In Mandarin, the same greeting is “gong xi fa cai” (pronounced gong she fa tsai).