A TYPICAL Friday night out in Liverpool - you leave the house feeling a million dollars and return your own poor relation. And that's how it is for the motley crew in Dead Heavy Fantastic as they lurch their way from tentative first drinks to apocalyptic sunrise sure in the knowledge that they're pretty likely to do it all again next week.
Blood Brothers favourite Con O'Neill returns to the Liverpool stage for the first time in more than 20 years as Vince, the compelling borderline sociopath who's great for a pint but you wouldn't want him living next door.
IF YOU'RE looking for a peaceful way of protesting against government arts funding cuts then you could get yourself along to Theatre Uncut's Liverpool event at the Everyman on Saturday evening.
Part of the national event, Drawlight Productions is presenting new work at a free showcase. Rehearsed readings by actors from across the region will take place at 10pm, after the evening performance of Dead Heavy Fantastic, the Everyman's current show.
Writers Mark Ravenhill, Dennis Kelly and Lucy Kirkwood have all donated their work rights free for the event.
STEPHEN KING's amazing images of Lewis's hidden fifth floor, which were displayed at the National Conservation Centre in 2009, are going on display at the Orange Dot Gallery in Bloomsbury, London. They give a snapshot of a lost way of life - when shopping was an real experience rather than a push and shove contest.
He records the beautiful old-fashioned lifts, hair salons complete with those funny space-age bubble hairdryers and a room filled with pink Christmas trees. It's deliciously kitsch and leaves you nostalgic for an era beyond your own lifetime.
As the Liverpool department store is now closed, these photographs have become even more historically significant - a rare snapshot of a proud shopping emporium that kept its doors open for 150 years despite Luftwaffe bombings, radically changing lifestyles and tough trading conditions.
Lewis's Fifth Floor: A Department Story runs from March 18 to April 23, 2011.
OVER the last forty years and without fanfare, David Lewis has assembled a rather impressive private collection of European art from the 16th century onwards. The Schorr Collection numbers over 400 paintings and many have been loaned anonymously to museums and galleries across the UK. Now for the first time, an exhibition of 64 paintings at the Walker Art Gallery brings together highlights of the collection publicly.
The collection has developed according to somewhat unusual criteria. A potential purchase must meet two out of three characteristics: aesthetic appeal, emotional impact and intellectual fascination or historical interest. This seems an intensely personal approach to collecting; Lewis appears to be the anti-Saatchi and has no wish to become a celebrity collector.
THIS amazing image is part of an exhibition of rare photographs depicting the influence of Italian style on film opening at FACT today.
Co-curated by celebrated photographer Rankin and fashion commentator Anna Battista, the exhibition will explore the relationship between Italian fashion design and its continual influence on film making, image making and characterisation.
LIVEREAD, the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo's online literature festival, starts tomorrow and ironically it's been so busy that I haven't had time to read any books lately. I found the same thing when I was studying for my MA in art history and working full time so barely had a spare moment to visit a gallery (obviously I wasn't doing this job then).
But I tend to think that some things are worth putting yourself out for, and fortunately so does the newspapers' web team who have spent the past few weeks filming author readings, interviews with curators and creating picture galleries while I've been working on the rest of the festival.
LDP ARTS guest blogger Jamie Bowman went to see Miles Jupp's show Fibber in the Heat - A Cricket Story at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool
BETTER known to adults as Nigel from BBC show Rev and children as The Inventor from Balamory, Miles Jupp's charming one-man-show, Fibber In The Heat tells the true story of Jupp's attempts to con his way onto the England Cricket Team's touring party by posing as a sports journalist.
Armed with a sheet of headed note paper from a friend at BBC Scotland and the vague promise of exclusive access to Cardiff's Simon Jones from a Welsh newspaper, Jupp soon finds himself on a plane to India, only to find out Jones is injured and his contact in Scotland is on long term sick leave.
IT'S an intriguing concept - the story of an Elvis Costello fan so obsessed that she changes her name to Elsie and starts believing his past is her own. Her descent into madness is told through the Shipbuilding singer's poetic lyrics sung live on stage.
And with a celebrated performer of his work at the show's centre and talented musicians on support it surely can't go wrong. But it does, sort of. Or at least it never quite goes right.
A SOLID black banqueting table appears to be the only thing of substance in Sophocles's Ancient Greek whodunnit, retold by Steven Berkoff to compelling effect.
Kings metamorphosise into vagabonds then slaves and then back to kings again, while sons transform into husbands and wives into mothers.
The truth slips mercurially from one shape to another and divine intervention battles it out with free will in a war with no clear winner.
I'M VISITING London this weekend to see Tate Britain's Watercolour exhibition so was interested to see this video about Callum Innes, who is pushing paint to its limits.