RISE: Artists in Residence



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Across 2019 and 2020 Almanac is working with RISE, commissioning and curating new work from ten ground-breaking Liverpool writers.

25th July 2020: The final of our RISE commissions… A moving and funny monologue from playwright LINDSAY RODDEN, written in response to A Portrait Of exhibition at Open Eye Gallery. Click here to read The Lightning Conductor.

'The Lightning Conductor' image, photo by Deividas Toleikis
Photo by Deividas Toleikis

17th July 2020: The finished recording of LIZZIE NUNNERY’s Finest Hour is here, along with a video from the recording process! The song was commissioned by RISE last year in response to Gaia at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. The track was recorded at Parr St Studios in Liverpool with Lizzie’s long time collaborator Vidar Norheim, and features strings from Hilary Browning and Kate Marsden of the Liverpool Philharmonic. 

19th Nov: The phenomenal LOUISA ROACH of She Drew the Gun wrote this killer song for us in response to the whole RISE programme. Here she is chatting to us about the writing process: WATCH the interview

WATCH the live video for ‘Russian Doll’    Video by Allan Melia 

Louisa Roach interview shot.png
Louisa Roach of She Drew the Gun

28th Oct: Acclaimed playwright and screenwriter ELLA GREENHILL has written a raw and compelling short film in response to ‘A Portrait of…’ exhibition at Open Eye Gallery Liverpool. It’s a deeply resonant and moving piece of work that we’re so proud to have commissioned it. WATCH A Portrait of a Mother HERE

'A Portrait of a Mother'

7th Oct: Award winning playwright CHLOE MOSS has written a short audio drama Lilith in response to Anita Corbyn’s First Women photography exhibition. Performed by Liverpool actor Helen Carter, it’s sharp, funny and relevant. LISTEN HERE

Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Lilith, as portrayed by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

30th Sept: Prose writer STEPHANIE GRAY has created 73 Seconds, a striking short story about teacher Christa McAuliffe who took part in the Challenger space mission in 1986. The piece was inspired by astronaut Helen Sharman’s talk at Anglican Cathedral as part of the RISE programme earlier this year.

Read the STORY HERE.   Read Stephanie’s BLOG HERE.

73 Seconds image, Christa McAuliffe
Astronaut Christa McAuliffe, 1986

17th Sept: Poet HELEN TOOKEY has collaborated with artist Sarah Hymas to create 30 limited edition poetry pamphlets in response to Shanghai Sacred exhibition at Victoria Gallery. The work focuses on Sudley Field in south Liverpool, a space sacred to Helen. 

The free booklets are hidden in special places around Liverpool… so keep a look  out. If you find one, please post a picture of yourself with it! @almanacarts

Read more about the creative process in Helen’s blog

Read the poems here

6th June: Poet JENNIFER LEE TSAI wrote a triptych of poems in response to Liz Hingley‘s photography exhibition, Shanghai Sacred. Jennifer read the work live at the launch at Victoria Gallery . Click to LISTEN to the poems.

Image by Liz Hingley, part of Shanghai Sacred Exhibition at Victoria Gallery May-Sept 2019
Image by Liz Hingley, part of Shanghai Sacred Exhibition at Victoria Gallery May-Sept 2019

31st May:  On Liverpool waterfront AMINA ATIQ performed her powerful spoken word piece, Rise, Women Rise, written in response to Yolart’s stunning installation, Reclaiming Babel. Amina has recorded her piece in collaboration with composer John Bligh/ Captain Kirkdale. LISTEN HERE. Amina has also written a great BLOG about the writing process.

Almanac’s Lizzie Nunnery and spoken word artist Amina Atiq, in front of Yolart’s ‘Reclaiming Babel’ installation.

29th May: LIZZIE NUNNERY created a song in response to Luke Gerram’s Earth- Gaia at Liverpool Cathedral. Lizzie performed Finest Hour underneath the installation , accompanied by musicians Vidar Norheim, Jess Holding and Vicky Reid.  LYRICS HERE. Recording to follow…

10th May: DEBORAH MORGAN has written Thin Air, a moving and evocative short story in response to Kinship exhibition at Open Eye Gallery. READ HERE 

'One Day Young', Photo by Jenny Lewis
Part of the Kinship exhibition at Open Eye Gallery, May 2019

About RISE

RISE is a season of extraordinary female artists, thinkers and leaders, produced and co-ordinated by Culture Liverpool across 2019,

Liverpool has a reputation for producing exceptional female leaders in the arts, sciences, business, sport and politics. In the year in which the city hosts the Netball World Cup, Culture Liverpool will pay homage to inspirational women at home and abroad. 

Featuring local and internationally renowned female producers, practitioners, artists, poets, musicians, choreographers, speakers and thinkers, RISE will provide a platform to create and share new commissions, exciting artworks and provocative interventions. Young emerging talent will collaborate with established pioneers. Local artists and companies will share skills and profile with global innovators. Brilliant women will take over the city and have their work showcased on a national and international stage. 

RISE programme

Almanac Artists in Residence:

To reflect on the RISE programme throughout 2019, Almanac Arts has commissioned ten female Liverpool writers to take up residence and write about the programme as it unfolds throughout 2019. Their poems, songs, stories and plays-in-miniature will pop up throughout the festival year, in film, print, online and in performance.  The writers are Lizzie Nunnery (Winner of Best New Play at UK Theatre awards 2017), acclaimed poets Helen Tookey (Best British Poetry 2014, Salt), Jennifer Lee Tsai (Ten: Poets of the New Generation, Bloodaxe 2017), playwright Lindsay Rodden (The Story Giant), Yemeni-Scouse performance poet Amina Atiq (BBC6 Music Festival), short story writer Stephanie Jane Gray (Writing on the Wall), acclaimed novelist and playwright Deborah Morgan, songwriter Louisa Roach (She Drew the Gun), script writer Ella Greenhill (Coronation St, Plastic Figurines) and playwright Chloe Moss (Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Winner).

It’s great to see different art forms working in harmony to create a performance that an audience can experience on so many levels.  The music that was created for the four plays in the event at the Cornerstone Festival was fantastic and really captured the essence of the work.

Ella Greenhill, playwright, collaborator on Liars.

 Almanac are supporting artists to create work in a way that is original and ambitious.  Because their expertise encompasses theatre and music they are in a exceptional position to be able to commission and programme work that bridges both disciplines and brings different artists together in this kind of unique collaboration.

Gemma Kerr, theatre director, collaborator on Liars.

Almanac have the power to tell stories in genuinely unique and unpredictable ways and each performance I have seen has been a freshly conceived live experience. 

Kellie Smith, playwright and audience member.