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Issue:- 10 January 2013

Liverpool Hope's Capstone Theatre Plays Host to the 1st International Jazz Festival 2013

SINCE opening its doors in March 2010, The Capstone Theatre has delighted audiences with its mix of both classical and innovative performances; encompassing dance, drama, and music across all genres. Always a venue looking to push creative boundaries, giving both established artists and student newcomers a stage to showcase their talents, this Spring 2013 looks to be no exception. A thrilling variety of music awaits audiences from contemporary, to an Indian Music series, to the much anticipated Jazz Festival. Not only this, but a wealth of dance and theatrical performances also feature in what is sure to be The Capstone's most exciting Spring Season to date. February kicks off with what promises to be an unforgettable performance from Joe Stilgoe. This talented jazz singer and pianist has carved up a successful career; following on from his selling out show at the Edinburgh Fringe, Joe's recent album 'We Look To The Stars', went straight to the top of the jazz chart, gaining critical and widespread acclaim. This is closely followed by the dulcet tones of the legendary and multi-talented Ethan Johns, and an energetic extravaganza from the Juan Martin Flamenco Dance Ensemble, bringing some exotic Spanish savour to the North West venue. The Spring Season also features a number of series performances including the Mind and Soul Indian Music Concert Series, celebrating the brightest stars of Indian music, the Monday Lunchtime Concert Series, offering audiences a free 40 minute classical performance, and ending with the Capstone World Cinema Series, showing a variety of classic films and culminating in a broadcast of both original films and music from the students of Liverpool Hope University. Widely seen to be the highlight of the Spring calendar is the 1st ever Liverpool International Jazz Festival running from Thursday, 28 February 2013 to Sunday, 3 March 2013. This long weekend showcases the immense talents of performers such as Roller Trio, Led Bib, Robert Mitchell, Kit Downes Quintet, Denys Baptiste's Triumvirate and all under one roof. The festival will culminate in a closing performance from Courtney Pine, a jazz icon who helped to launch the Capstone's jazz programme to sell out audiences back in 2010. Offering a mixture of free and ticketed events, the festival looks to cater for both devoted fans and newcomers, keen to see the best jazz Britain has to showcase. March will see a number of diverse and original performances, beginning with the Merseyside Dance Initiative and their mesmerizing Leap '13 contemporary dance series, celebrating their 21st birthday in a suitably mesmerizing fashion. This is followed by a double bill of theatrical treats, in the form of Fighting Fit's June Brides; a hilarious 'wedding cabaret', and Sell A Door's A Midsummer Night's Dream; a faithful retelling of a comedy classic. Continuing the theme of high quality music The Capstone is famed for delivering, comes a spellbinding performance from June Tabor. Last year named BBC Folk Awards Singer of the Year for the second time this century, 2013 marks her return to the 'chamber' format that suits her haunting style so perfectly. April rounds off a successful Spring with another double bill of captivating and refreshing performers. Manu Delago Handmade, fresh from playing both the drums and hang, a UFO-like hand-played sound sculpture, Delago comes to The Capstone with 3 bandmates to share his unique talent for creating individual sounds. Our final performer, Marius Neset, rounds off the season's focus on jazz, as one of the most talked about newcomers to the scene brings his 5 star sell-out show to the theatre for a gig that promises to be unmissable. So grab your tickets, take your seats and let The Capstone deliver you a Spring Season that is sure to be a sellout.

New year, new road!

SMITHDOWN Road, in South Liverpool is set to get a major upgrade for the New Year, thanks to a partnership between the City Council and Scottish Power.  Work starts on Monday, 14 January 2013, to deliver a brand new carriageway, along the length of Smithdown Road, from Lodge Lane to Gainsborough Road.  The £1 million scheme, which will take 10 weeks to complete, has been made possible thanks to an agreement between the utility company and the Council.  Scottish Power upgraded its supply in the autumn, with the installation of a 33kV cable along the length of the road. The work caused damage to the carriageway, which was already in poor condition.  Following negotiations with the City Council, Scottish Power agreed to contribute £180,000 towards the cost of repairing the road. The Council is investing a further £820,000, to enable the £1 million works; which will see the carriageway completely replaced, instead of simply patched-up - to take place.

Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, Councillor Tim Moore, said:- "This is a really important scheme, which will bring Smithdown Road up to an excellent standard, bringing major benefits to motorists, cyclists, residents and businesses. I'm really pleased that we have been able to agree this partnership with Scottish Power to fund the works, which have been needed for a number of years. We do of course apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused while this work is carried out. We will be doing everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum, but we believe that local people will recognise that the short term delays will be worth it when they see the delivery of a brand new carriageway, which will last for many years."

A contractor, Hanson, has now been appointed, with the work phased as follows:-

Phase 1 - Woodcroft Road to Salisbury Road, 14 January to 27 January 2013.

Phase 1a - Gainsborough Road to Woodcroft Road – (works carried out over 4 successive weekends). 19 January to 20 January, 26 January to 27 January, 3 February to 4 February and 10 February to 11 February 2012

Phase 2
- Salisbury Road to Underley Street – 5 February to 18 February 2013

Phase 3 - Underley Street to Lodge Lane – 19 February to 20 March 2013.

The 10 week scheme will be carried out under extensive traffic management. Smithdown Road will be reduced to one lane in each direction for the duration of the works. Motorists are asked to consider using an alternative route while the works are on-going, to avoid delays.  The City Council is now notifying residents and business of the work through a letter drop. Highways officers will also be calling in personally to businesses along the route to explain the impact of the traffic management and agree any alternative access arrangements when the works are in the vicinity of their premises.  The City's network of variable message signs will also be activated in the New Year to advise people about the works.

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