Culture Diary w/c 18-12-2023

It's A Wonderful Life @ Liverpool Philharmonic

Our pick of this week’s arts, design, film and music events from across Liverpool and beyond…

Monday – Elf 6.30pm @ FACT Liverpool – £8/£6

“Son of a nutcracker!” While there’s no doubt that Elf rarely treads into It’s a Wonderful Life Territory, it has certainly entered the revolving line-up of films to watch in the countdown to Christmas. And it’s earned that place. Confirming Will Ferrell as a star and showcasing the vocal talent of a pre-She & Him Zooey Deschanel, Buddy the Elf’s journey of self-realisation raises a smile and tugs on the odd heart string or two.

The Woman in Black 7.30pm @ Liverpool Playhouse – £21-£36

As the nights draw in and refreshing morning dew turns to a bed of crisp, crystalline frost, thoughts turn to that classic of the season, the Christmas ghost story. They don’t come much more nerve-jangling or chilling than Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black, a tale of a spirit seeking vengeance from beyond. Terrifyingly perfect stuff. Until 30 December.


Tuesday – The Wind in the Willows 12.30pm @ Shakespeare North Playhouse, Prescot – £3-£30

Ah, Toad, Ratty, Mole and Badger – this Toby Hulse adaptation of the Kenneth Grahame classic serves up a generous slice of nostalgia, no doubt charming and warming the cockles of audiences old and new.

Wednesday – Dementia Friendly Screening: It’s a Wonderful Life 12pm @ FACT Liverpool – £4.30

Officially part of the Christmas ritual, this classic of the season is guaranteed to make you laugh, weep and cherish the person sat next to you.

Thursday – Tokyo Godfathers 8pm @ FACT Liverpool – £8/£6

The anime classic, in which a trio of homeless people stumble upon an abandoned newborn baby on Christmas Eve, marks its twentieth anniversary.

Friday – Last Chance To See: The New Light Prize @ Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, Birkenhead – FREE

The New Light Prize, which celebrates and promotes Northern art, comes to the end of its run at the Williamson. A showcase for both established and emerging artists, the exhibition – including work by the likes of Anna Ketskemety, Jen Orpin, Mandy Payne and Narbi Price – tours next year to London’s Bankside Gallery, The Gallery at Rheged in Penrith, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle and The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate.

Greg and Roxy, Glasgow

Saturday – Last Chance To See: Marc Davenant: Outsiders @ Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, Birkenhead – FREE

In his Outsiders project, documentary photographer Marc Davenant has trained his lens on homelessness in modern Britain, capturing a snapshot of what some have recently termed, sickeningly and heartlessly, a “lifestyle choice”. His stark images bring focus to an urgent issue affecting people in cities across the UK, including London, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Brighton, Kent, Hertfordshire and Norwich.

Last Chance To See: Nothing’s Gonna Keep You  Here @ Oakland Gallery, New Brighton – FREE

Nothing’s Gonna Keep You Here – curated by Clare Chinnery – showcases work by seven artists from, or currently living in New Brighton, Wirral. From ink on paper works by Mike Carney to the curator’s own oil and spray paintings, and collages by Martin Carr, the exhibition comes to a close today.

Sunday – It’s a Wonderful Life 3pm @ Liverpool Philharmonic £17/£13/£10

Officially part of the Christmas ritual, this classic of the season is guaranteed to make you laugh, weep and cherish the person sat next to you. It’s not just that the film is fantastic, it’s the welcome provided by the Phil that makes it so special. Housing the only working Walturdaw Cinema screen in the world, as it rises from the stage, music is provided by resident organist Dave Nicholas. Fabulous.

Mike Pinnington

Images, media, from top: still, It’s a Wonderful Life; production shot, The Woman in Black; trailer, Tokyo Godfathers; Greg and Roxy, Glasgow © Marc Davenant

Posted on 18/12/2023 by thedoublenegative