Rallying call to keep visiting Liverpool arts venues in lockdown

Some of Liverpool’s largest arts organisations have come together to call on audiences to keeping visiting their venues.

Although all of the city’s theatres, art galleries and museums were closed for at least several months from the beginning of lockdown, many have since reopened.

All National Museums Liverpool venues, Bluecoat, FACT and Tate Liverpool are now welcoming the public, and the Philharmonic Hall launched a programme of socially-distanced concerts earlier this month.

The Liverpool Playhouse today announced it would be reopening in December with a production of A Christmas Carol.

But with Liverpool City Region now under Tier 3 restrictions, the arts leaders are keen to spread the message that their venues are open and covid-safe.

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Helen Legg, Tate Liverpool director, said: “We are open as usual with Covid-secure measures in place throughout and some incredible art for visitors to enjoy at Tate Liverpool.

“We know that engaging in culture is beneficial to mental health and hope that a visit can bring relief some small relief to visitors in what is a stressful and difficult time for everyone.”

Liverpool arts & culture

Mark Da Vanzo, Everyman & Playhouse chief executive, said: “We have not given up on Christmas and are looking forward to having a festive treat for the people of Liverpool at both the Everyman & Playhouse Theatres.

“We are delighted to be producing A Christmas Carol at the Playhouse and will be announcing our exciting plans for the Everyman over the coming weeks so watch this space.”

Safety measures include visitors wearing a mask in all venues, advance booking and timed entry slots.

Venues have also implemented enhanced cleaning regimes, hand sanitiser stations, one-way routes and socially distanced seating.

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Laura Pye, director of National Museums Liverpool, said: “While we’re all experiencing a great deal of change and restrictions in our lives, the accessibility of arts venues as a source of mental stimulation and wellbeing is more important than ever.

“Although the measures we’ve put in place to ensure people’s safety mean that visits aren’t entirely back to normal, a lot of thought and planning has gone into making sure visitors enjoy their experience with us as much as possible.

“Visiting now is an opportunity to appreciate our venues with more tranquillity, and to benefit from the escapism that arts and culture offers – something we all need at the moment.”

Events, shows and exhibitions taking place this autumn

  • Tate Liverpool’s Don McCullin show features images of conflict, famine and displacement around the world over his 60-year career.
  • At the Walker Art Gallery visitors can enjoy the Linda McCartney Retrospective which has been extended until January 10, 2021 and includes iconic images from the music scene of the 1960s and her family life.
  • At Bluecoat, Frances Disley: Pattern Buffer explores the potential of the gallery space to create a restorative environment, with relaxing film works combining with specially selected plants to create a welcoming setting focused on the wellbeing of the visitor.
  • FACT’s Augmented Empathy also considers wellbeing through Instagram filters, which can be accessed both in the space and at home, to explore how social media can be used as a space for exchange and more empathic connection.
  • Mikhail Karikis’s audio-visual installation Ferocious Love, at Tate Liverpool, focuses on emotional responses and the need for mutual care in the face of the climate crisis.
  • And Say the Animal Responded? at FACT creates a space for the voice of the animal in the midst of a rapidly changing climate.
  • Bluecoat and artist Sumuyya Khader celebrate Liverpool’s Black artists using billboard style pasting of artworks on the building’s façade.
  • Artist Shane D’Allessandro’s Contributions, an ode to the Windrush generation, will go on display at the International Slavery Museum in October.
  • There are multiple opportunities to watch Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra over the coming months with a programme that includes Beethoven, Stravinsky and Mozart as well as chief conductor designate Domingo Hindoyan leading his first concert of the season and a performance by superstar mezzo-soprano, Jennifer Johnston.
  • The Everyman theatre will reopen with a trio of shows for Homotopia Festival which features ground-breaking trans artist Mitchell Jay.
  • Liverpool’s Royal Court will stage The Happiness Show for the first Annual Doddy Day celebrating Sir Ken Dodd which features Les Dennis amongst the host of variety acts.
  • The Unity Theatre also has its doors open for the city’s artists to use as a workplace, offering free rehearsal, development and recording facilities to local creatives.

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