This site is easier to read in landscape format on mobiles.

Lancaster and Environs Arts Round-up from 26th April 2017

Peter Clarke
Lancaster and District Arts Round-Up

Revised 26th April 2017

To register reviews or future events, email


Behind the Wall

4 Mar 2017 to 30 Apr 2017


Poster advertising the Behind the Wall exhibition at Lancaster Museum
Behind the Wall

Lancaster City Museum Market Square Lancaster LA1 1HT

Behind The Wall is an exhibition exploring and revealing the fascinating history and everyday world of the awardwinning Standfast and Barracks site in Lancaster.

Mirador, a Lancaster-based arts and heritage company, has worked with some of the country's most creative minds to bring the site's hidden heritage to life - from its birth as a carriage and wagon works and its role as an internment camp in World War One to its nine decades as an international fabric printing company.

Admittannce Free
Lancaster City museum is closed every Monday


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 t heme of this exhibition."

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



Imagine Heaven Exhibition

4th to 29th April 2017


Imagine heaven, pictures forming part of this exhibition
Selection of pictures in the 'Imagine Heaven' exhibition

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

Imagine Heaven showcases work by artist Jill Bradley. It is a lyrical exhibition of words and images in mixed media on the themes of love, memory, regret and acceptance (and cats).

Jill said: 'I am a self-taught artist and photographer. This is my second move into combining art, words and photography and developing that into a book. My work reflects my love of natur e, beaches, travelling and love affairs. In this book I have also been inspired by other people's words and it contains the images I felt when I read or penned the words'.

Entrance Free



Blackout: Community Responses to Storm Desmond

Monday 10th April to Sunday 7th May 2017


Poster advertising the Blackout exhibition showing the effects of the Storm of 2015
Blackout, after the storm

The Dukes Gallery Moor Lane Lancaster LA1 1QE

Were you one of the 55,000 people in the Lancaster District affected when Storm Desmond caused a three-day power cut?

The Dukes needs your memories of the December 2015 floods and power cuts to help create a new play at the theatre this autumn.

Everyone in Lancaster, Morecambe and the surrounding area has a story to tell about how Storm Desmond affected them and The Dukes wants to hear yours.

Your tales of Storm Desmond will help The Dukes craft Blackout, a production telling the story of communities, families and individuals affected by the power outage and floods, which will be performed in October. This is your chance to contribute to and watch a show built from your memories and remember how one event devastated a city but united a community.

For a review of this exhibition see Reviews below



The Two Gentlemen of Verona

18th April 2017 - 29th April 2017


Poster advertising the production of Gentlemen of Verona
Gentlemen of Verona

Lancaster Castle Castle Parade Lancaster LA1 1YJ Telephone: 01524 64998 Two Gentlemen of Verona

Minimum age: 12
Entry price (public): Weekend £25 | Weekday £22.50 | Matinee £12.50

Shakespeare's first play is also his most wildly passionate. An exuberant comedy of love, charting the twists and turns of the faithful Valentine and the fickle Proteus as they pursue the ir dreams of love through town and country only to be thwarted by misadventures with bandits, banishment, amorous rivals and cross dressing lovers.

Performances are in the grand historic setting of the Shire Hall (entry around the rear of the castle, opposite the Priory church). The performances are promenade.

Doors open at 19:00 for a 19:30 start.

For Saturday matinees (22 April and 29 April) doors open 14:30 for 15:00 start.

Unfortunately, the performance is not suitable for wheelchair users.



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, Flor ence 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 exhibit ion brings together a vivid visual account of the Ruskin family travels.



Roar with us! 26th April - 3rd May 2017

Hear Me Roar! Even Louder
Lancaster's Feminist Festival

The full programme for Lancaster's third feminist arts festival is now online at

The festival includes headliners Bridget Christie & Liz Aggiss and the brand new Astonishing Vacuum Cleaner Adventure for 7 - 9 year olds and their grown ups!

Stand-up, film, dance, workshops and family theatre!. Whatever your interests might be, you are sure to find a Hear Me Roar event to suit your tastes. The festival takes place 26th April - 3rd May across various venues in Lancaster city centre and at Lancaster University.

Event listings

Wednesday 26th April
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Launch Lunch! The Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm Liz Aggiss in Slap & Tickle The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster

Thursday 27th April
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm Bridget Christie: Because You Demanded It The Dukes, Lancaster

Friday 28th April

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Made in Dagenham The Gregson Centre, Lancaster
9:00 pm - 1:00 am Queer Boots Yorkshire House, Lancaster

Saturday 29th April
10:00 am - 10:50 am Messy Gallery: Extraordinary Ordinary The Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster
11:15 am - 12:05 pm Messy Gallery: Extraordinary Ordinary The Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster
2:00 pm - 3:10 pm The Astonishing Vacuum Cleaner Adventure The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster
2:00 pm The Wall The Dukes, Lancaster
4:30 pm - 5:40 pm The Astonishing Vacuum Cleaner Adventure The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster

Sunday 30th April
11:30 am - 12:40 pm The Astonishing Vacuum Cleaner Adventure The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster
3:00 pm - 4:10 pm The Astonishing Vacuum Cleaner Adventure The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster

Tuesday 2nd May
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm Female Authors/Female Labours LICA CO1 Design Studio, Lancaster
2:30 pm - 5:00 pm Translating Women's Voices LICA CO1 Design Studio, Lancaster
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm I Exist Only As A Reflection The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster

Wednesday 3rd May
9:00 am - 12:00 pm The Dramaturgy of Monologues LICA Event Space A29, Lancaster



An Evening of Conversation with Award Winning Poet and Author Paul Farley

April 27 2017 at 19:00


Poster advertising the poet and author Paul Farley
Death of the Poets

Waterstones Bookshop 2-8 King Street Lancaster LA1 1JN tel: 01524 61477

Paul Farley will be discussing and reading from his latest book The Deaths of The Poets and chatting more widely on writing and his other works.

'In The Deaths Of The Poets' Farley and Symmons Roberts undertake a series of journeys, to the death places of poets of the past, in part as pilgrims, honouring inspirational writers, but also as investigators.

The result is a book that is, in turn, enlightening and provocative, eye-wateringly funny and powerfully moving.

This promises to be an evening of lively conversation with one of the most engaging and original authors writing today.



Robben Island: A Photographer's Playground

27th April to 6th May 2017


Photograph of the entrance to Robben Island
Robben Island

The Dukes Cafe bar Moor Lane Lancaster LA1 1QE

An exhibition of new and original photography, entitled Kwisiqithi, which accompanies The Island, a Dukes co-production with Chipping Norton Theatre.

The images are by Petre Smith, a photographer who spent childhood holidays on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. The exhibition coincides with The Dukes production of The Island, a striking and insightful account of apartheid era South Africa which opens on April 27.

Petre's father worked for the prison service on Robben Island and the photographer recently returned there with his own son. He has produced a unique insight into the place. "During my innocent days as a child, Robben Island was a place I associated with long summer holidays, freedom to roam and fond memories playing and exploring with my cousin," said Petre. "Those days are gone now but the island remains, a powerful metaphor of man's ability to instill a dark and ominous soul to an island."

Kwisiqithi is the Xhosa word for The Island, the tongue in which Nelson Mandela and the freedom fighters debated and designed the first constitution draft for a free South Africa while ta king respite from working in the hazardous chalk mine.

The Island, which runs at The Dukes until May 6, is a captivating and moving drama exploring friendship between two prisoners and its theme of protest and dissent is still relevant today.

To book tickets for The Island, contact the box office on 01524 598500 or visit



Nikki Pugh & Christopher Donaldson: By Dudden's Side

Thursday 27th April 2017 from 12:30 to 14:00


Exploration of the landscape following a river in Cumbria
By Duddens Side

Peter Scott Gallery Lancaster University, Arts Lancaster, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YW Phone:01524 594151

Standing in a cold river for an hour, nervous explorations underground, scrubbing a handmade kayak and listening to a waterfall from the inside: just some of the things artist Nikki Pugh found herself doing over the last few months as she investigated landscape, history and memory in a picturesque river valley running along the border between Cumbria and Lancaster.

Join Nikki, collaborator Christopher Donaldson (History, Lancaster University) and Jen Southern (Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts) for a discu ssion about the By Duddon's Side project and an opportunity to touch, listen to and teeter on elements from the resulting exhibition at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere.



Stories at the Storey

27 April 2017 from 19:00 to 20:00


Stories at the Storey poster

The Reading Room The Storey 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.

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

For a review of the March 23017 meeting, see Reviews below



Crafty Vintage Bank Holiday Weekender at Lancaster Castle

Saturday 29th April, 11:00amto Monday 1st May, 4:00pm

Lancaster Castle Castle Parade Lancaster LA1 1YJ Telephone: 01524 64998

Crafty Vintage arrives in Lancaster for the first time, bringing it's unique brand of exhibitors, crafters, artisans, artists and artistes.

Crafty Vintage is a regular social gathering where like minded folk can meet, socialise, share ideas and gather inspiration. We are purveyors of classic vintage, collectibles, retro wares , quirky handmade, fine foods and delectable cuisine. Come along and see a magnificent showcase of talent from the finest creators, collectors and artisans in the land. A pop up cocktail b ar, live music, entertainers, a magnificent magician, facepainting and lots of merriment ensures a wonderful weekend with something for all the family to enjoy. Regular monthly fairs are he ld throughout the year at stunning locations in Lancashire.

Admission: Varies Early bird tickets and offers available



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 an d 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



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



Blackout: Community Responses to Storm Desmond

Monday 10th April to Sunday 7th May 2017


Poster advertising the Blackout exhibition showing the effects of the Storm of 2015
Blackout, after the storm

The Dukes Gallery Moor Lane Lancaster LA1 1QE

This exhibition, located in the Dukes gallery, presents responses to the flooding and power cuts which resulted from storm Desmond. The exhibition coincides with the work in progress of the new Dukes production Blackout.

Within the gallery are 'Flood' and 'Road Closed' signs to set the atmosphere. There are sixteen photographs of local scenes following the floods arranged along one wall. These range from s tanding water covering roads and inundating property to the raging torrent of water beneath a bridge. There are images of desolatoin flooded interiors and queues of people within Lancaster. Yet for this reviewer the most effective image was the one with the least detail, just the light of a search helicopter in an otherwise black photograph.


Along the far wall are stories displayed on a notice board. Some of these are printed, some hand writtern, but all telling of the experiences of flood victoms. They include the tale of an emergency responder and that of an insurance worker having to reassure customers when she herself was living in a power blackout.

The final part of the exhibition is nine pieces of framed writing. These include the story of the WI supplying comfort and blankiets, the 100 lines of text, like school lines, about the need to protect the electicity substation and the horror of the young oin discovering a power cuts means no working Xbox.

Storm Desmond is hopefully a once in a lifetime event and it is good that the Dukes have found the space to celebrate the stories of people who experienced the flooding. Further stories are welcome.



Imagine Heaven: An Exhibition of Words and Art by Jill Bradley

April 4th to 29th 2017


Imagine heaven, pictures forming part of this exhibition
Selection of pictures in the 'Imagine Heaven' exhibition

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

Jill is a self taught artist and photographer, working mainly in acrylic though with a fondness for collage. The exhibition comprises 25 large images, each accompanied by one or more car ds which feature a prose poem that relates to the image.

There is an eclectic mix of work on offer here and the artist is equally capable as a writer as she is as an artist. Pictures range from the abstracts such as 'wide open spaces' which fe atu res a collection of pixellated blocks of colour reminiscent of a collection of hedges to the graphical mea culpa comprising 100 lines of the phrase 'mea culpa' written around an figure and an image of the cross.

Other works are figurative such as the cat images like 'White cat black hole', 'Cat with a pearl earing' and 'Cat on the Moon'. Yet other pieces reflect the orient such as 'Imagine Chin a' or include works inspired by a Christian theology like 'In the Beginning'. A favouite is 'Death comes Calling', featuring a set or rectangles, perhaps walls, or doors depicted in muted colours.

The artworks are for sale, with prices ranging from £45 to £130. Also the artist has two books of images with words 'Imagine Heaven' and 'Flowers he sent me' which are availabl e for purchase from the visitors centre.

This is a very creative and very original mix of text and images. Well worth a visit.



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 th at 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 Lancas ter 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 Lancas ter 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, advert ised 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 scri pts, 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 re al 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 dr awing 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 Jan et 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