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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 199

Date:- 01 May 2005

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Big Wooden Horse presents...


Theatre for Children, written and performed by Adam Bampton-Smith

ANOUTHER innovative theatre production arrives at Southport Arts Centre this coming weekend. In 'The Legend of Perseus' one talented performer recreates a world of gods, heroes and monsters in this exciting mythical adventure for families and young people aged 6+.

This Greek myth follows the story of our young hero Perseus, son of Zeus, who is sent on a quest to kill a hideous monster called Medusa. She has snakes instead of hair, horrible claws and tusks, and can turn a man to stone with one look! Along the way he frees the winged horse Pegasus, defeats Atlas and vies with Poseidon for the hand of beautiful Andromeda. One performer, playing twenty-six characters, recreates this ancient time with the use of simple props, story-telling, music and a variety of eccentric and comic characters .

Adam Bampton-Smith (writer and performer) has worked with numerous children's theatre companies including The Unicorn, The Belgrade Theatre, The Nuffield Theatre and Tall Stories. For Tall Stories he co-devised and performed in their ground-breaking production of Snow White which toured the UK, USA and Canada including The Barbican Theatre, The National Theatre and The New Victory Theatre on Broadway

" ...  an engrossing, funny, and exceptionally well-acted pleasure." (New York Times) 

He has just finished filming a new series for Sky One set in ancient Rome to be screened in Spring 2005.

Juliet Forster (director) has worked extensively with the Belgrade Theatre and Wolverhampton Grand and was Education Associate at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre for three years. She is currently Artistic Director of Custard Factory Theatre Company, for whom she has directed national tours of A Doll's House, The Pastoral Symphony, The Gloop Monster, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has recently been directing workshop performaces for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Saturday 7 May, 2pm. Tickets:- £5 adults, £4 children and are available on the day or in advance from the Arts Centre box office on 01704 540011

Report by Dr John Turner

MANY residents of Formby and district will remember the 'nodding donkey' oil pump that operated a mile or two east of Formby on Downholland Moss Lane. The well was developed during Britain's hunt for petroleum in the run up to the Second World War, and the site was chosen because of local oily tar seepages known for several hundred years. Several exploratory boreholes were drilled at the time but only one site was viable. During the period 1939 until 1966, when production was halted, oil to the value of about £3.5 million at today's value was extracted at a slow but steady rate.

Geologist Dr Richard Worden will talk on 'The Formby Oilfield', to the Formby Civic Society, at 8 pm on Friday 22 April at the Ravenmeols Community Centre, Formby (visitors welcome). He will explain how oil in the Formby oilfield was originally derived from deeply buried Carboniferous rocks at a depth of about 2,000 meters. Some of this oil migrated up from these deep strata into overlying Triassic sandstones close to the surface but was trapped by a cap of post-glacial boulder clay. This oil sat only a few tens of meters below the surface, immediately below the clay, and imperfections in the seal led to the famous Formby oil 'seepage'. Dr Worden will describe how recent satellite imagery of the area, using European Space Agency data, shows exactly where oil seeps have occurred because the leaking oil affects the health of vegetation. Dr Worden believes that satellite image analysis has now shown that there may be a number of other hitherto undetected subsurface oil accumulations in the Formby area that may be ripe for exploitation. This could have dramatic effects on the economy of the district, as well as important environmental consequences. 

Dr Worden will also discuss the relationship between the 1939 to 1966 Formby oilfield and Hamilton Oil's Liverpool Bay development, and the gas-and oil-rigs visible from the Formby foreshore.

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