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Cornerstone Festival celebrates 15th year with free public programme and new John Godber play

Poles apart 150x150 Tuesday 15 September 2015

The 2015 Cornerstone Festival is to celebrate its 15th year by offering a completely free public programme including the Liverpool premiere of John Godber’s new comedy Poles Apart

Godber’s play explores what happens when a group of thespians clashes with a team of builders during a theatre renovation. The play will have its Liverpool premiere at the Capstone Theatre on Tuesday, 24th November 2015. Godber, who is also the writer of Bouncers and Up n’ Under, is currently a Visiting Professor at Liverpool Hope University, which organises and hosts the festival.

Other high profile acts confirmed for this year’s festival include renowned contemporary dancer and performance artist Liz Aggiss (November 20th), and Grand Band (November 25th) - six of New York City’s top pianists (Vicky Chow, David Friend, Paul Kerekes, Blair McMillen, Lisa Moore, and Isabelle O’Connell).

Pianist Clare Hammond, recently selected as BBC Music Magazine's ‘Rising Star’, will present the world premiere of two works for piano and film - Hände, by Liverpudlian composer Ken Hesketh, and The Nose, by Ed Hughes, both of which use silent films as their backdrop – on November 23rd.

In Tales that Time Forgot (November 24th), children aged 5-11 can follow the adventures of Roberta Price, who lives in a world where libraries and books have been forgotten. Excited by the discovery of an abandoned library, Roberta begins to read, and as she turns the pages, rouses characters including Matilda, The Mad Hatter, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and more. Starting at 5pm and free to attend, this is a great after-school activity delivered by Take A Hint Theatre Company.

Fallen Angels Dance Theatre, set up by former Scottish Ballet principal dancer Paul Bayes Kitcher, will present Upon Awakening on November 21st,  exploring real life stories of adversity and recovery from addiction. On November 25th, the Cornerstone Graduate Dance Company will present their show UNIT, which has recently toured the UK. UNIT tells the story of the derelict 1920s town of VillainVille where crime is the only way to survive. Inspired by comic strips, the 1920's, jazz and superheroes and villains, the comedic piece is structured around and fuses together contemporary, physical theatre and elements of drama to tell the story.

The French Tooth+Nail Theatre Company bring Parlour Games, their inventive, funny, playful and disturbing work of physical theatre to Liverpool on November 26th. Born of classic Gothic novels and visually inspired by early silent films, Parlour Games is set in 1927 on a dark and stormy night. Alone in a crumbling manor, four children play a delightfully dark, frightfully funny game, where the shadows ring with laughter and buried secrets threaten to spoil the fun. Founded in 2014 at the École Jacques Lecoq in Paris, Tooth+Nail Theatre Company tell original, devised stories that combine humour and darkness in a visually rich and highly physical style. 

On November 26th, actor and art historian Paul O'Keeffe will recreate John Ruskin's celebrated ‘Behold the Light of Nature’ lecture as it was first delivered at the Philosopher's Hall, Edinburgh in 1853.  O’Keefe has previously played Ruskin at the Edinburgh festival and the National Portrait Gallery, where he was praised by Edinburgh Spotlight for his “smart, bombastic” portrayal of the painter. Throughout the festival, audiences can also view artist and curator Andrew Bick’s latest exhibition. Bick will also lead a panel on the topic of conversation as a means of making exhibitions (date to be announced).

On the eve of the last day of the festival, audiences can enjoy an evening of music from around the globe featuring all the artists in residence at the 2015 Cornerstone Arts Festival: the string orchestra Gli Archi del Cherubino from L'Aquila, Italy, St Paul's Chapel Choir from Nairobi, Kenya, and the jazz musicians Craig Hamilton and Sim Flora from Ouachita Baptist University, USA.

The 2015 Festival will close with a relaxing afternoon of Indian music, presented by Milapfest, from two incredibly skilled and creative artists. A prime disciple of Ustad Vilayat Khan and Ustad Amir Khan, Ramprapanna Bhattacharaya is renowned for his captivating, energetic and vibrant sitar performances. As a next generation sitar virtuoso, he is representative of the younger generation of the Etawah Gharana. He will be accompanied by the Internationally renowned tabla Maestro, Kousic Sen as part of Milapfest's 'Music for the Mind & Soul' concert series.

This year’s festival will run across both Liverpool Hope Campuses – the Creative Campus in Everton, and Hope Park in Childwall. Daytime events and series of fringe performances will also be announced. 

Visit the Capstone Theatre website at for the latest news on the festival, including fringe events. All events are free – no need to book. 


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