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Lancaster and Environs Arts Round-up


Part of the art installation A Squall in the Distance
A Squall in the Distance
Peter Clarke
Lancaster and District Arts Round-Up

Revised 10th May 2017

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Two forthcoming events that mark the beginning of the summer are the plays Pride and Prejudice and The Emperors New Clothes both being held in the Williamson park at the end of May. Also on a summer theme we have the annual Lunesdale Art trail towards the end of the month. The latter is based in the countryside outside of Lancaster but is well worth the effort to attend.


Arts Round-up


Inspired by Journeys

1st April to 30th June 2017


The Link Gallery, Carnforth Station Heritage Centre, Carnforth, LA5 9TR

Journeys is an exhibition featuring a variety of images by photographers Graham Dean, R. Simon Dalton & Johnny Bean who are based at Morecambe and Heysham. This trio of photographers with very different styles have joined forces again for this exhibition:

Johnny's photographs were all taken for a 40th Birthday Party held at Carnforth Station. With its 40's theme the party and the photos take us on a journey back in time, to wartime Britain, reminding us of evacuee children and refugees.

Simon's were taken in the autumn of 2015 on a trip to New York: "I went specifically to photograph some of the people of this great city and these five images seemed appropriate to the theme of this exhibition."

Graham's are a less coherent collection - with colour being an important element in his five images.



Coming of Age: Ruskin's Drawings from the 1840-41 Tour

24 April to 1 September 2017


Ruskins sketch of the Glacier des Bois
Glacier des Bois


Ruskin Library, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4YH

Ruskin travelled with his parents through France and Italy on a tour between autumn and winter 1840 and June of 1841. Working their way along the coast of Italy through Genoa, Lucca, Florence and Pisa they spent December in Rome before moving on to Naples early in January 1841. The return journey took them via Rome in March and Florence, Venice, Milan, Geneva and through France to Calais and home. This exhibition brings together a vivid visual account of the Ruskin family travels.



A Squall in the Distance Exhibition

2nd May to 13th May 2017

An Exhibition by Marta Zawadzki and Jenny McCabe, Artist & Printmaker


Poster advertising the Squall in the Distance exhibition
Bird on blue background


Thomas Storey Gallery The Storey Meeting House Ln Lancaster LA1 1TH

Celebration evening 5-7pm 11th May (all welcome)

Marta Zawadzki is an Art and Design student at Kendal college. As part of her work experience she worked with local artist Jenny McCabe in her studio seeing how Jenny makes her artwork and trying out drawing and screen-printing techniques. Over a short period together they developed this installation based on Marta's original drawings, every bird on the wall has been screen-printed by hand to create this energetic flock of birds.

Free Entry



Five Ways of Seeing

9th to 12th May 2017


Photograph of The Storey in Lancaster
The Storey, Lancaster


Storey Gallery The Storey Meeting House Ln Lancaster LA1 1TH

Five Ways of Seeing - a photographic exhibition from five emerging artists:

  • Daniel Scanlin
  • Jenna Louise Bond
  • Lucy-Jane Mayers
  • Karen Mathison
  • Mikey Boardman

Admission Free



John Doyle in concert

15th May 2017 @ 19:30


The Auditorium The Storey Meeting House Ln Lancaster LA1 1TH

John is a world renowned guitarist & singer-songwriter. A Grammy nominee who has performed for President Obama at the White House & has also been lauded with every accolade imaginable in Irish music.

Widely considered the finest Irish guitarist performing today his talents have made him one of the most in demand artists in Irish, Bluegrass, Americana & Folk over the last 20 years.

Tickets £12 from Lancaster Visitor Information Centre in the Storey - 01524 582394 or online at




19th May 2017 from 19:00 to 22:00


The Auditorium The Storey Meeting House Ln Lancaster LA1 1TH

Lancaster`s Literary Salon - live cabaret, comedy and poetry

Open 7 - 10pm, Open Mic 7.15 - 7.45pm

£5 / £3 students/unwaged/concessions



Lunesdale Arts Trail

Saturday and Sunday 20th-21st May, Sunday and Spring Bank Holiday 27th-29th


Studio of an artist taking part in the Lunsdale Art Trail
Artist studio in Lunesdale

The next Trail opening will be in May 2017, with studios open on Saturday & Sunday 20th-21st, and on Saturday, Sunday & Spring Bank Holiday Monday 27th-29th.

The Studio Trail was conceived in 1997, so that anyone can come into the Vale and be guided to see creativity at work. Travelling through the pretty stone-built hamlets with the rough moorlands of the Pennine hills in the distance, (a joyous experience in itself) it is possible to meet the individual artists in their different studios and settings. Insights can be gained into how a particular artist works and there is opportunity to buy high quality art and craft directly from them.

From the old Methodist Chapel in Bentham to barn and farm studios in remote locations with stunning gardens, this is a wonderful opportunity to experience Lunesdale's finest artistic talent.

For more information and a map, visit




Stories at the Storey

Thursday 25 May 2017 from 19:00 to 20:00


Poster advertising the Stories at the Storey reading event
Stories at the Storey


The Storey Music Room, First Floor Meeting House Ln, Lancaster, LA1 1TH

Join us as 5-7 storytellers share their true stories. Stories at the Storey is a free true story open mic night by Lancaster University Graduate College.

Everyone welcome

Email for more information or a 3-5 minute slot.

Light refreshments will be served

Cost: Free

Dress: Casual

Sponsored by Lancaster University's Grad College, Stories at the Storey is a BBC Get Creative Event



Pride and Prejudice

Sunday 28th May 2017


Ashton Memorial at Williamson Park Lancaster
Ashton Memorial


Williamson Park Quernmore Road Lancaster Lancashire LA1 1UX

Outdoor theatre comes to Williamson Park

In a social whirlwind of balls, dinners and very eligible officers, Lizzie Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy stand alone as the only sane people - and they hate each other! Or do they? Can she see beyond his pride, and can he overcome her prejudice, in order to achieve their mutual happiness?

If your idea of Jane Austen is costume-drama, empire-lines and tea-parties, then this sparkling adaptation, based entirely on the original novel, is something to make you change your mind.


Bring a picnic and have a ball as the irrepressible Illyria sharpen their claws to bring you Jane Austen at her vibrant, pacey, forthright, bitchy best!

The performance starts at 7.30pm (gates open at 7pm) and is suitable for adults and children age five years and over. Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes including 20 minute interval

Tickets available from




The Emperor's New Clothes

Monday 29th May 2017

Williamson Park Quernmore Road Lancaster Lancashire LA1 1UX


Ashton Memorial at Williamson Park Lancaster
Ashton Memorial

Outdoor theatre comes to Williamson Park

Enjoy watching an adaptation of the timeless Hans Christian Andersen story, The Emperor’s New Clothes.

The Emperor is a lovely man, but he’s not the best judge of character, and is often surrounded by idiots. What keeps him sane is the monthly Grand Parade at which he wears his newest outfit. When two swindlers spin a yarn and everyone is taken in, what price will he have to pay? Will the new clothes they make really enable him to weed out the idiots in his palace? Or will he end up losing his crown jewels? All will be revealed in Illyria’s cheekiest ever show with larger-than-life characters, lots and lots to join in with – and an ending that will leave you helpless with laughter!

The performance starts at 3pm (gates open at 2.30pm) and is perfect for children aged 5 + and their families. Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes including 20 minute interval.

Tickets available from




A Squall in the Distance Exhibition

2nd May to 13th May 2017

An Exhibition by Marta Zawadzki and Jenny McCabe, Artist & Printmaker


Part of the art installation A Squall in the Distance
A Squall in the Distance

The exhibition is being held at

Thomas Storey Gallery The Storey Meeting House Ln Lancaster LA1 1TH

The exhibition comprises a flock of images of birds made from screen-prints and collage. The work is the product of artists Martha Zawadzki and Jenny McCabe. Marta is an arts and design student at Kendal and she worked with Lancaster based artist Jenny McCabe who combines the techniques of drawings, collage and printmaking. The result of their collaboration is an installation of well over a hundred bird images arranged in a flock about three of the walls of the Thomas Storey Gallery in The Storey. The bulk of the images are in black and white, though a few on the near wall have colour, particularly where parts of a map have been used to develop the images by collage. Some of the birds are cut-outs, others on large sheets of paper. The birds cluster along the length of the room, rising over a door and as the flock extends, so the birds get closer together and, from a distance, the individual images merge. making a more dynamic abstract design. The birds are of different species, all with wings outstretched, and the later images are or the larger bird types including owls and a crow or raven.

The exhibit, seen as a whole, is reminiscent of a scene from Hitchcock's 'The Birds', though more eerie than threatening. This is a fine example of what can be achieved by taking a simple idea, a bird design, and developing it to its full potential of a awesome flock.

Reviewed on 9th May 2017.



Stories at the Storey: Monthly open mic night

Review of the meeting held on the 30th March 2017
Start 19:00


Poster advertising the Stories at the Storey reading event
Stories at the Storey


The Storey Music Room, First Floor Meeting House Ln, Lancaster, LA1 1TH

The room has sufficient seating to cater for an audience of about forty people, and was just over half full on the night of the review.

Imagine spending an evening in Lancaster in the company of amateur writers and established authors who present readings of their work based on a given theme. Say the event was free and that complementary snacks and soft drinks were provided. Imagine you could either listen or present your own work in a three to five minutes slot before a small but supportive and enthusiastic audience.

This is the premise of the Stories at the Storey Open Microphone Night. This event is now a well established part of the Lancaster scene. It was launched back in 2014 by a group of Lancaster University Postgraduates and was named as Lancaster University Student's Union Community Project of the Year 2015. It is a BBC Get Creative Event that continues to be supported by Lancaster University's Grad College.

The hosts for the meetings are Yvonne Battle-Felton and Naomi Kruger, well known figures who provide continuity and much of the enthusiasm for the readings. Each month has a theme, advertised in advance and true stories are sought that relate, however loosely, to the set theme. The topic for the March meeting was Love.

A dozen speakers chose to read during the evening. Some had registered their intention to present beforehand. Others presented more on the spur of the moment. Most speakers read from scripts, others from phones and tablets and a few just spoke from the heart without prompting. The readings included:

  • A love of literature and growing up in a religious household
  • Life and love in Scarborough
  • The decline of a loving relationship using the analogy of wallpaper
  • Part of a novel exploring a relationship between unidentified people
  • Loves of a lifetime, filial, romantic and spiritual
  • Love of science fiction
  • Love for a deceased son
  • Love between friends
  • Learning to love oneself
  • Mythology about love of ones mother
  • Juggling a career and its impact on ones children
  • Reflections about fracking

The readings ranged from interest to humour to real heartbreak. A common theme, other than the subject matter, was the quality of the writings, the passion with which they were delivered and the enthusiasm or sympathy with which they were received. Some speakers come across as being very confident, and many are regulars at this event. Others are more diffident, displaying real emotion as they relate their tale. Yet many of the audience are frequent attenders and the atmosphere was one of being with friends with a common love of storytelling rather than reading before a group of strangers.

The formal part of the evening closed at half past eight. However the discussion continued informally at the Merchants Public House, easy walking distance from the Storey.

The topic for the April presentation is 'Truth or Fiction'. For a chance to listen to, or participate in, an excellent evenings story telling: email for more information or a 3-5 minute slot.




Art Classes at Halton

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 10:00 to 12:30

Halton Mill, Mill Lane, Halton LA2 6ND

Tuesdays, Wednesdays + Thursdays 10am - 12.30pm on Tuesday + Wednesday mornings. New members welcome at any point. There are also classes on Thursdays 6pm - 9pm. Improve your skills in drawing and painting and explore a variety of media and techniques. Work in a professional artists' studio. Small and friendly group. All abilities welcome including complete beginners. The class is taught by local artist Janet Mary Robinson. Her website can be seen at 6 weeks for £66. Booking essential. Please contact Janet to book at, or by telephoning 07786 868783.


Art Classes in Morecambe

Thursday - 13:00 to 15:00 St Christophers Church Hall, St Christopher's Way, Morecambe

Art classes led by the contemporary mixed media artist Lynne Shaw. Classes cover a variety of subjects in a flexible, friendly and relaxed manner. They run in a series of blocks (usually 6 weeks) and offer topics such as acrylics, drawing and watercolour. They don't cover oils or pastels.

Classes are aimed at beginner/intermediate level but can cater for an advanced level where necessary.
Workshops are aimed at an intermediate/advanced level but can cater for the beginner where necessary.
Tel; 0791 395 9054