Lancaster is the place to be on September 6 if you want to start your weekend with an eclectic mix of theatre, dance, art, music and storytelling.
For these are all on the menu this First Friday thanks to the Lancaster Arts Partners initiative which is rapidly growing momentum.
Among the theatrical highlights to enjoy on September 6 are a free season showcase at The Dukes including a production preview and plenty of backstage gossip about the forthcoming romantic comedy No Fat Juliets from 6.30pm(reservations advised); a final chance to catch the comic play Cissie and Ada – An Hysterical Rectomy featuring Coronation Street favourites Steven Arnold(Ashley Peacock) and Eric Potts(Diggory Compton) at The Grand Theatre(tickets £15/£13) at 7.30pm; and Uncanny Corner, a silent, movement-based piece, at The Gregson from 8pm(tickets £5/£3).
Morecambe’s not missing out this First Friday either as from 7.30pm, Morecambe Warblers youth productions present Bugsy Malone at The Platform(tickets £10/£8).
The family fun continues with Wonderlore’s Travelling Story Shop calling into Lancaster Library from 4-6pm. Presented by Litfest, this is a free drop-in storymaking activity for families led by Miss Wonderlore and her blue suitcase full of tales.
Music fans are spoilt for choice with free gigs by the Groove Cutters at the Stonewell Tavern and President Roots at The Penny Bank both from 9.30pm; the Jazz Mansion opens its doors again at Forrest Hills from 8pm(tickets £15); and you can even enjoy The Art of Wine at the Robert Gillow from 7.30pm featuring music by Boogie Bill Roberts plus introductions to winemaking and viticulture for £13.50.
Exhibitions by an emerging artist and another chosen to show her work at the 2012 Olympic Games are both open on First Friday too.
The first ever exhibition devoted to innovative local portrait artist Becky Mann featuring paintings of criminals, office workers and famous activists takes place at The Lord Ashton from 7pm while Christine Rooney’s exhibition at The Storey Institute features a colourful mix of her local scenes, her Olympic paintings and her ‘happy’ paintings from 5pm. Both exhibitions are free.
And if all this art puts a spring in your step, why not join the Silent Disco Walk back by popular demand from 7.30pm. Be part of the latest dance craze and join the 30 minute Silent Disco around Lancaster followed by a half hour silent boogie in the Ludus Dance studio. This is a free event, all you need is headphones, something to play your favourite tunes and comfy shoes.
First Fridays are organised by Lancaster Arts Partners and take place every month. They offer special events, most of them free, to encourage more people to experience the wide variety of arts activities available in the district. First Fridays also promote Lancaster Arts City.
For more information on Lancaster Arts City, First Fridays and the free ‘what’s on’ app, visit www.artscity.co.uk