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Spectacular Seasonal Shows Spread Christmas Cheer At The Epstein Theatre

LIVERPOOL'S Epstein Theatre reopens its doors in December 2021; and the much loved venue is promising audiences a season full of sparkling entertainment to mark its return.

The historic Hanover Street venue has been re-launched under new management, Epstein Entertainments Ltd, and is getting in the Christmas spirit with a series of shows which are guaranteed to be the perfect night out for those who want to kickstart the festive season in style.

The festivities begin on:- Friday, 3 December 2021, when The Martini Lounge brings its Christmas Cabaret to the stage. Liverpool's largest and longest running cabaret and burlesque show celebrates its 15th birthday in 2022, and ahead of that its mistress of ceremonies Millie Dollar is promising the very best in burlesque and variety from across the world in this sizzling slice of seasonal entertainment.

The Martini Lounge also returns on:- Saturday, 4 December 2021, for a very special workshop in the Epstein bar with Millie Dollar herself.

The fantastic David Knopov also appears at the Epstein Theatre on:- Saturday, 4 December with his Perfectly Frank; Swinging Sinatra Christmas Show. David is 1 of the world's most authentic and sought after performers of Frank Sinatra's timeless classics, and his audiences over his 30 year career have included:- Her Majesty the Queen and the King of Greece.

Now for 1 night only, Perfectly Frank and his swing quartet come to the Epstein for a Christmas celebration the Ol' Blue Eyes way. Special guest on the evening will be the amazing Connie Lush.

The late, great Gerry Marsden is recalled on:- Sunday, 5 December 2021, in:- I Like It; The Ultimate Tribute to Gerry Marsden and The Swingin' 60's.

Gary Murphy and his multi talented band are promising an evening packed with Pacemaker hits including Ferry Cross the Mersey, Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying, I Like It and the anthem You'll Never Walk Alone, along with 60's classics from fellow Merseybeat bands and some of the biggest stars of the decade.

On:- Wednesday, 8 December 2021, there's the chance to enjoy The Best of Queen at the venue. The UK's biggest Queen tribute band Majesty will take music fans on a magical journey through the band's iconic catalogue, celebrating the music and showmanship of Freddie, Brian, Roger and John.

Meanwhile Swedish superstars Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha and Anni Frid are celebrated in ABBA Forever, on:- Thursday, 9 December 2021. Attention to detail, dynamic choreography, great visuals and brilliant musicianship and vocal combine in 1 unmissable evening.

And on:- Friday, 10 December some of the current comedy circuit's funniest names come together for the Laughterhouse Comedy Christmas Show. Tom Stade, Mick Miller and Justin Moorhouse are lined up to appear on the Epstein stage and Laughterhouse's Chris Cairns will be your Christmas comedy compère.

If all that isn't enough to get you in the seasonal spirit, there is also the return of the popular Epstein panto.

Beauty and the Beast stars Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Footballers' Wives and West End star Ben Richards as the dastardly Gaston, appearing alongside a brilliant cast of panto performers including:- Lauren McCrory as Belle, Lewis Devine as French Frank and Jamie Greer as Potty Polly. Running from:- 16 December 2021 to 9 January 2022.

The Epstein is a 108 year old, 380 seat proscenium arch theatre. It was originally opened as Crane's Music Hall, in 1913, and was a popular location for recitals and performances. It was renamed Crane Theatre in 1938.

In 1967 the theatre was purchased by Liverpool Corporation, which decided that it should be run by local people for local people and was named the Neptune Theatre. The Neptune also became a comedy club and, after many years of uncertainty about the future of the theatre, it eventually closed in 2005.

In July 2011, a ₤1million refurbishment of the theatre was completed which saw the Hanover Street venue brought up to 21st Century standards and renamed The Epstein Theatre in honour of former Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

The venue is now under the management of Epstein Entertainments Ltd; a partnership between PR expert and theatre producer Bill Elms, and Chantelle Nolan and Jane Joseph of Regal Entertainments Ltd.

Bill Elms, Artistic and Communications Director at Epstein Entertainments Ltd, said:- "We're absolutely thrilled to be reopening the Epstein Theatre ahead of Christmas and with a really brilliant season of shows to take us towards the big day itself. Whether you're a fan of fantastic live music, comedy, or cabaret and burlesque, there's something on the programme you won't want to miss. It's an ideal opportunity to dress up, and join friends or family for a night out at a great live show. And not forgetting we also have our very special panto Beauty and the Beast. It's been another difficult year with the ongoing Pandemic, so families deserve to enjoy some festive fairytale magic; and that's certainly what we're promising here at the Epstein."

Follow the Epstein Theatre on social media channels:- Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.

Scientists develop single blood test to measure T-cell and antibody response to SARS-CoV-2

A test to measure both the T-cell and antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 in a single blood sample has been developed by scientists at Cardiff University. The unique approach can also be used to measure the immune response brought about by vaccination and previous infection. It was developed in collaboration with Wales based biotechnology company ImmunoServ Ltd and is outlined in a study published in the journal Immunology. If correct, this development will really help our fight against Covid19 and our ability overcome its effects far quicker than previously thought.

Dr Martin Scurr, a research associate, at Cardiff University's School of Medicine and lead author on the study, said:- "Covid19 infection rates remain alarmingly high; and it is clear infection even after vaccination is an issue. To help control future outbreaks and identify at risk individuals, it is important to understand the exact make up of the immune response to COVID. Our test accurately detects both the T-cell and antibody response to the virus in 1 blood sample. Together these indicators represent a powerful measure of immunity from Covid19. The test can be made widely available, is easy to employ and cost effective, and should play a very useful role in monitoring this Pandemic, for instance by identifying individuals at greater need of booster jabs."

Antibody testing was seen as crucial to easing lockdown during the Pandemic, but antibodies are just 1 arm of the body's immune response and in some individuals this response is weak and short lived. Scientists believe T-cell immunity plays a much greater role in protecting people from future infection, however large scale testing has proven more challenging.

In this study, the researchers took a small sample of blood from individuals of all ages, 68 with underlying cancer and 231 healthy donors. They stimulated T-cells with small pieces of the virus called peptides; the T-cells recognise these peptides if the individual has been previously infected (or vaccinated) and produce chemicals named cytokines which can be easily measured.

The study also monitored the size of the T-cell and antibody responses in a group of individuals tested before, during and after the UK's Covid19 vaccination campaign. While both vaccine doses were required to maximise the T-cell response against the virus, the study found previously infected individuals required only 1 dose to achieve comparable immune responses.

The test proved most useful in monitoring immune responses in patients considered more at risk from Covid19, even after vaccination. The study found the second vaccine dose was essential for cancer patients. Among cancer patients recruited from Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, 2 doses induced T-cell and antibody responses to equivalent levels as healthy donors.

However, it is clear that in some cancer patients there is a dramatic fall of in immune responses at 3 months, not seen in healthy controls, and highlights the importance of monitoring these responses.

Professor Andrew Godkin, co-senior author from Cardiff University and the University Hospital of Wales, said:- "Without this sort of information there is uncertainty around whether repeated booster vaccinations will be required in future, and who in particular will need them. This data is crucial for understanding how and when to offer re-vaccinations to different groups."

The research team will also monitor whether T-cell and antibody responses induced by vaccination can protect against SARS CoV-2 mutant variants, including the Delta variant that is currently the most prevalent in the UK.

Danny Altmann, Professor of Immunology at Imperial University, said:- "This study is important in both demonstrating the ease of measuring immune responses using a whole blood approach, but also the importance of monitoring susceptible individuals and healthy controls for differences in vaccine response and future potential loss of protection. Long term monitoring will be crucial to understand and quantify this problem."

The research was funded by UK Research and Innovation as part of its response to the Pandemic, along with the Medical Research Council and Cancer Research Wales. The study is available online here:- OnlineLibrary.Wiley.Com

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