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Through the Looking Glass: performances to watch and be part of

View Through the Looking Glass documentation 

Join some of the UK’s most original artists in performances and interactions taking place across St Helens. Guided tours, impossible dreams, imaginary animals, bench conversations, and a night of showbiz and vanguard variety…your weekend starts here.

A Heart of Glass initiative developed by LADA for St. Helens

Most events are free but please reserves places on

Download the programme (pdf)

Download Mary Paterson’s response to Through the Looking Glass (pdf)


Twenty First Century Music Hall 
– showbiz and vanguard variety
Friday 20 November, 8pm til late
The Citadel, Waterloo St

A night of showbiz and vanguard variety as Mistress of Melody Miss Amy Lamé plays pure pop, rock’n’roll and northern soul and introduces a hit parade of performances by Ursula Martinez, George Chakravarthi, Debs Gatenby, Joshua Hubbard, Kitty O’Shea, Sue Hewlett, Steve Nice, Katy Baird, and Sam Reynolds.

Duckie are a bunch of benders, trenders and gender offenders from a village called Vauxhall and award winning purveyors of progressive working class entertainment.


Marcia Farquhar
A Song for St Helens – an alternative tour through the legendary, the lost and the living histories of St Helens
Saturday 21 November from 12 noon to 4pm
Meeting point: 12 noon at The Hotties, Sankey Canal

This outsider’s journey through the psycho geographical, the symbolic, the actual, and the residual will start with some fishing in England’s first canal, The Hotties, at noon, move on to Hunt + Darton Café for hot drinks, then to Darwin’s Guitar Shop at 1.15pm for a musical interlude, to the legendary local pub The George at 2pm, and then journeying though Victoria Square at 2.30pm to arrive at the famous former music hall, The Citadel, at around 3pm for an experimental turn or two. Take part in the whole tour or join Marcia at sites along the route.

Marcia Farquhar works in performance, installation, video and object making, and much of her practice revolves around the stories and interactions of everyday life.


Susannah Hewlett and Steve Nice
Pedigree Chums – the world’s weirdest pet show
Saturday 21 November, from 12noon to 1.30pm
Location: Family Art Club, St Mary’s Market

Renowned psychozoologist and disciplinarian, Madame Bona and her best friend Strokey the dog, invite you to take part in a workshop like no other! Kids are invited to transform a friend, family member or even a complete stranger into the pet they’ve always dreamed of and win a coveted rosette! It’s RuPaul’s Drag Race meets Crufts!

Susannah Hewlett and Steve Nice create darkly humorous works across a number of genres, including live art, comedy, cabaret, theatre, dance and video.


The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home
Manifestoval – On The Bench
Saturday 21 November, 11am
Location: Across St Helens

On The Bench sees the famous family of activists from Liverpool carrying a bench through the Hardshaw Centre, Church Square and other locations across St Helens town centre from 11am and inviting locals to take a seat and have a chat about the things that are important to them and their town.

The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home are a family of artist-activists (aged between 43 and 2) based in the North West, and committed to social justice for all ages, races, creeds and colours.


Joshua Sofaer and Karen Christopher 
This Will Never Happen – imagining impossible ideas for St Helens
Saturday 21 November, 4.30pm
Location: Old Beechams Building

For five weeks a group of artists have been working with Joshua Sofaer and Karen Christopher to dream up impossible artworks for St Helens, transforming the place and its people. Come and see them reveal their inspired ideas for your town in this entertaining whirlwind of presentations.

Joshua Sofaer is an artist concerned with ideas of public participation and collaboration, whose recent work Your Name Here in St Helens, invited people to nominate someone to become the name of a new park, and in the process build a portrait of the citizens of the town.

Karen Christopher is a collaborative performance maker, performer, and teacher. Her practice includes listening for the unnoticed, the almost invisible, and the very quiet



HEART OF GLASS is a new arts programme making work with, for and about St Helens people and place. Funded through Arts council England’s Creative People and Places programme, HOG have a ten year vision to support the creation and presentation of great art in St Helens.

Banner image credit:

The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home’s Manifestoval – On The Bench


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