Art, music, comedy and fireworks make it a November to remember

FILM LOCATIONS OF LIVERPOOL | Everyman Bistro | Thursday 1 November

Liverpool’s Reel Tours specialise in film-themed walking tours of the city, but this sit-down version in the Everyman Bistro’s cosy confines promises all the film geek info without all the walking. Discover Liverpool’s enduring relationship with the silver screen – from flickering black-and-white through to the latest Hollywood blockbusters – with soup and a sarnie thrown in. Sensible walking shoes not required. 

Everyman Bistro, Everyman Theatre, Hope Street, L1 9BH (1.30pm; tickets £15, including soup and a sandwich, at 

LEAP DANCE FESTIVAL | Various venues | 2-12 November

This year’s LEAP festival marks the centenary of votes for women by building its programme round the theme of suffrage. In practice, this means every production features female protagonists – from Liz Lea’s ‘elusive, fractious and fabulous’ Red (at Hope University’s Warehouse Studio) to the ‘superhuman dancing’ of the Rosie Kay Dance Company’s MK Ultra (at the Capstone Theatre) and plenty more in between. 

Various venues, times and ticket prices. Find out more at the festival website

2018 10 17 Leap Festival 2 Mk Ultra
MK Ultra will perform at LEAP

50 YEARS OF TROJAN RECORDS | Brick Street | Saturday 3 November

For this half-century celebration, the legendary Trojan Sound System is joined by Radio Riddler Productions with their live reggae remix of Prince’s Purple Rain. Yep, you read that right. DJs from Liverpool’s wonderful Positive Vibration festival will also be in attendance. The moonstomping begins in the early afternoon, with the Baltic Triangle bass bins booming well into the small hours.

Brick Street, 44 Brick Street, L1 0BN (2pm-2am; tickets £22.25 full price/£11.25 for students at

RIVER OF LIGHT | River Mersey | Sunday 4 November

After last year’s explosive Bommy Night success, it’s no surprise that Titanium Fireworks have been brought back to orchestrate the River of Light spectacle once again. Designed to light up skies on both sides of the Mersey, fireworks will be launched from the water’s edge and from huge barges on the river, with music and art installations helping to create a fiercely fizzing festive atmosphere.

This event can be viewed for free from Liverpool waterfront and New Brighton (entertainment from 5pm, main displays at 6.30pm; more information at the event website)

2018 10 17 River Of Light
River of Light can be viewed for free along the Mersey

WW1 POETS AND MUSIC | St George’s Hall Concert Room | Wednesday 7 November

Just a few days before the centenary of the 1918 Armistice, Roger McGough remembers the First World War’s lost generation as captured in the famous poems of Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves. He will be accompanied by pianist Ian Buckle playing the music of Ravel and his wartime contemporaries, with the aim of creating a uniquely intimate commemoration of that world-shattering event.

St George’s Hall Concert Room, St George’s Place, L1 1JJ (7.30pm; tickets £25 at

WELSH NATIONAL OPERA | Empire Theatre | 7-9 November

Welsh National Opera bring two shows to the Empire this season. Verdi’s La Traviata plays on the Wednesday and Friday of their three-night stay, with the story of thwarted love promising sumptuous settings, traditional styling and an uproarious rendition of its famous drinking song, Brindisi. On Thursday, they present La Cenerentola, a retelling of the Cinderella story by Rossini.

Empire Theatre, Lime Street, L1 1JE (7.15pm; tickets from £12 at

2018 10 17 Welsh National Opera La Traviata
Welsh National Opera are bringing 'La Traviata' to the Empire

JOHN WATERS: THIS FILTHY WORLD | Philharmonic Hall | Saturday 10 November

John Waters was once described as ‘the Pope of Trash’, and his sixteen films – including Pink Flamingos, with its memorable strapline, ‘an exercise in poor taste’ – have been grossing out audiences since the early 1970s. In this one-man show – his only live UK performance this year – Waters talks about his early influences and love of true crime, exploitation films, fashion lunacy and artistic extremes. 

Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, L1 9BP (7.30pm; tickets from £27.50 at

CHRISTMAS ICE FESTIVAL | Pier Head | 10 November – 6 January 2019

As global warming consumes us, at least we can rely on the annual Ice Festival to cool us down and give us a few festive shivers. It may be a bit early to be getting proper Christmassy just yet, but with its covered skating rink, ice slide (Liverpool’s biggest ever apparently) and après skate specialities, at least you can have a bit of frosty fun while you wait for the official December countdown to begin.

Pier Head, L3 1DP (various timed sessions each day; tickets from £10 at

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There'll be frosty fun aplenty at the annual Ice Festival

CLOSER | Hope Street Theatre | 14-17 November

The new Hope Street Theatre has hosted a variety of fringe companies since launching a few months ago, but Patrick Marber’s Closer is its first in-house production. It’s 21 years since the play premiered at the National Theatre, examining the finer points of mid-nineties love and attraction. This revival is a great chance to see whether Marber’s observations still stack up in the 21st century. 

Hope Street Theatre, 22 Hope Street, L1 9BY (7.30pm; tickets from £10 at

WATT HZ? | Invisible Wind Factory Substation | Friday 16 November

From the glory days of Voodoo through to the likes of Abandon Silence and 303, Liverpool has had its fair share of blinding techno-tinged nights. Watt Hz?, with its awkwardly placed question mark, is one of the latest. This time round, France’s Shlømo joins VSK and Tapefeed in the Invisible Wind Factory’s suitably atmospheric basement venue. If you like it dark, plug yourself in.

Invisible Wind Factory, 3 Regent Road, L3 7DS (from 10pm; tickets from £12 at

2018 10 17 Watt Hz 2 Shlomo
Shlømo will be playing Watt Hz?

ART SCHOOLS OF NORTH WEST ENGLAND | Bluecoat | 17 November – 10 March 2019

Something of the magic of the art schools seemed to evaporate when they were largely absorbed into the nation’s polytechnics – now johnny-come-lately universities – during the 1970s. But this exhibition celebrates and reflects on their role as ‘more than just a place to study art’ – and, this being Liverpool, there’s an artist’s cap doffed to John Lennon, who ‘made being an art student seem like an essential step on the road to the creative life’. 

Bluecoat, 8 School Lane, L1 3BT (11am-6pm; free)

ROB NEWMAN: TOTAL ECLIPSE OF DESCARTES | Epstein Theatre | Thursday 22 November

Rob Newman has long been renowned as a purveyor of a brainier brand of comedy, and his latest tour asks ‘in a world gone crazy, can philosophy help?’ In the show, Newman sifts through 3000 years of thought, ‘from Pythagoras to artificial intelligence by way of Pavlov’s dogs, Jane Goodall’s chimps and Frankie Howerd’s trousers’. 

Epstein Theatre, 85 Hanover Street, L1 3DZ (7.30pm; tickets from £13 at

2018 10 17 Rob Newman
Rob Newman is bringing his latest show to Epstein Theatre

PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION | Philharmonic Hall | Thursday 22 November

Although there’s still plenty of time to catch Vasily Petrenkno conducting the RLPO before he steps down from his chief conductor’s role in 2021, it’s still worth making the most of every opportunity. On this occasion, he brings the ‘pure fairytale magic’ of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition to life. Though let’s hope it’s not a Banksy exhibition. The sound of the shredder might drown out the violins. 

Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, L1 9BP (7.30pm; tickets from £15 at 

ALEX KATZ | Tate Liverpool | 23 November – 17 March 2019

At first glance, the paintings of Alex Katz can seem disarmingly simple, but there’s a calmness and elegance in his work that repays a little quiet contemplation. Born in the US in 1927, he is particularly known for his portraits of the New York intelligentsia of the 1960s, but this exhibition gives visitors chance to lose themselves in some of his flower paintings and marine landscapes.

Tate Liverpool, Albert Dock, L3 4BB (10am-6pm daily; free)

2018 10 17 Alex Katz 2
The paintings of Alex Katz can seem disarmingly simple

THE REAL THING | Philharmonic Hall | Saturday 24 November

Following the sad death of lead singer Eddy Amoo earlier this year, it’s good to see that The Real Thing’s journey from 1970s soul sensations to living Liverpool legends continues. Chris Amoo and Dave Smith are carrying on as a duo backed by The Real Thing band, and this performance is sure to include all their hits including You to Me Are Everything and Can You Feel the Force? 

Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, L1 9BP (7.30pm; tickets from £25 at