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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 206

Date:- 19  June 2005

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THEATRE IN THE PARK

ACTORS use grassy parks as a stage. Dozens of people experiencing theatre for the first time. KNOWSLEY people are taking to the stage in a performance, which is open to the elements as well as to the public! Professional actors from Spike Theatre Company and enthusiastic amateurs have joined forces to produce a fantastic performance of Jason and the Argonauts. But it's at a venue with a difference, in Stadt Moers Park from June 17-19. 

The drama, funded by the Liverpool Culture Company and Knowsley Borough Council - to mark the capital of Culture themed year Sea Liverpool 2005 - will unfold across the grassy areas of the park, with the audience at times following the actors. The performance will move to Liverpool's Otterspool Park the following weekend (June 24-26). 

Councillor Warren Bradley, Liverpool City Council's executive member for culture, said:- "The region has some beautiful and award-winning parks and it's great that they are being used in this innovative way. And of course, asking everyone to get involved, no matter what their theatrical ability really fosters a sense of community and creativity." 

Cllr Eddie Connor, Knowsley Council's cabinet member for leisure, community and culture, said:- "Outdoor theatre like this creates a unique atmosphere, the audience are close to the actors and feel part of the performance. These parks provide a perfect setting for a summer night's entertainment."

Tickets for this Spike Theatre production, funded by the Liverpool Culture Company, are available from the Philharmonic Box office on 0151 709 3789 for just £4.

The Capital of Culture themed year, Sea Liverpool 2005, supports a national series of events, SeaBritain 2005, held to celebrate Britain's maritime heritage, centred on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. 

Raisins research should be treated with caution says dental charity

THE UK's leading oral health charity is warning the public that new research claiming raisins could improve your oral health should be treated with caution. The British Dental Health Foundation spoke out after scientists claimed that despite being sticky and containing sugar, raisins can help prevent tooth decay.

However the Foundation, a completely independent public information charity, says that the research is inconclusive, while the fact that it was funded by the
California Raisin Marketing Board further detracts from the studies credence.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Foundation, commented:- "Like any industry funded research this study should be treated with caution. Although the scientists found that raisins may contain chemicals that aid your oral health they failed to disprove the well-known fact that they are also very sticky and contain sugar - meaning that they are still highly likely to cause tooth decay. Like all dried out fruit, raisins contain high levels of sugar and as they stick to the teeth the acid attack that results goes on for longer, and it is this that leads to decay. It is clear that extensive controlled studies from an independent body would be needed before these findings could be taken seriously and I would urge members of the public to stick with accepted healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, cheese and crackers in the meantime."

To help maintain good oral health the Foundation recommends brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, cutting down on the frequency of sugary foods and drinks and visiting the dentist regularly.

OPEN AIR GALLERY AT DOCK IS PIER-FECT

LIVERPOOL’S historic Albert Dock is being turned into an open-air art gallery for a unique, time defying photographic exhibition this summer.  A series of 54 large-scale photographic, 360 degree, time lapsed panoramas depicting day trippers at all of England's remaining seaside pleasure piers will adorn the Dock from Friday, June 17 to Friday, ...continued... 

...continued...   ..... July 15. The exhibition, entitled Time and Tide, is the brainchild of Liverpool-born photographic artist Lawrence George Giles who set out to encapsulate the nation's favourite day out in one image. His work is now set to be a major highlight of the Capital of Culture themed year - Sea Liverpool 2005.

Inspired by memories of visiting Blackpool with his grandmother in the 1960's and that Piers had dwindled by 50% in the last century; Lawrence began a tour to capture the nation's piers in late 2000.

Starting in the northeast and going clockwise around the country finishing at Fleetwood on the Fylde Coast, it took 4 years for Lawrence to photograph and complete his work.  At each pier he would spend 5-6 hours taking more than a 1,000 photographs before returning to his studio, to spend thousands of hours knitting them together by hand to produce one of the world's longest photography exhibitions.

Lawrence, 44, said:- ''I wanted to explore the place seaside pleasure piers hold in our childhood and in our collective memories.  As a nation of islanders we have a great affinity for the sea. We feel drawn to it and piers are a huge part of that.  Piers are magical places - they allow us to walk on water. And as well as their social and historical value they have a unique function as a catalyst in the creation and sharing of early and formative memory.''

As individual artworks, the photographs defy time - on occasions figures re-appear in different parts of the image, and the changing of the light, building of sandcastles, a stroll along the beach or a football game are parts of the recorded experience.

Lawrence, who describes the images as more akin to a family album, said:- ''I wanted to capture a true depiction of what happened in the time I was there. So much happens when you go to the pier. These panoramas extend time. They are a narrative more than a sound bite of a moment, they allow a greater sense of naturalism to filter through.''

The series of beautiful and seamless large-scale photographic time-scapes have already won critical acclaim when exhibited in Brighton and have attracted thousands of visitors to his website:- www.timeandtide.info.   Lawrence, once a BT engineer and now a lecturer in Graphic Design, added:- "We totally underestimate our own coastline. As a nation we have perhaps for too long looked out beyond our own shores for signs of culture and have failed to realise the richness of what lies on our own doorstep.  Ideally I hope these images help rekindle memories for those who view them and encourage people to revisit these or similar sites which may hold poignant memories for themselves.''

Lawrence moved out of Merseyside having grown up around the city centre before living in Fazakerely, Kirkby and on the Wirral, to study photography at Manchester University.

The installation of his biggest exhibition was funded by the Liverpool Culture Company. Lawrence said the exhibition will be one of his proudest moments as an artist.  The former Maricourt High School pupil added:- ''You can really feel the affinity for the sea in Liverpool, with its maritime history. It's a great thrill to be exhibiting back home during the year the city celebrates Sea Liverpool. It's important to me to bring my work back to my hometown. In a way it's where Time and Tide all began.''

Councillor Warren Bradley, Liverpool city council's executive member for Culture, said:- ''This exhibition is like no other I've ever seen. It's a fantastic addition to our Sea Liverpool celebrations and gives the Albert Dock a completely new cultural dimension. The images are stunning, they really draw you in. It's a testament to Lawrence's skill that he has captured the magnetism of the sea.''

Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company, said:- ''The city has been celebrating the sea all year and its fantastic that a Liverpool artist is giving us all such a fresh perspective to something so familiar. I think everyone who sees Time and Tide will recognise a part of their own family history in these pictures.''

Sea Liverpool 2005, supports a national series of events, SeaBritain 2005, held to celebrate Britain's maritime heritage, centred on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

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