ART AT THE HEART OF THE BLUECOAT | Bluecoat | 28 January - 9 April
The UK’s oldest art centre, Bluecoat astonishingly celebrates its 300th anniversary this year. This marks the first in a series of tricentenary exhibitions throughout 2017; exploring its origins in eighteenth century philanthropy and, later, its use as a school for architects, home for radical exhibitions and bohemian cabaret. Art at the Heart of the Bluecoat concentrates on the central role of art at the historic building, something which began over a century ago. Launch night this Friday (3 Februrary), 6pm.
Bluecoat, School Lane, L1 3BX (10am-6pm Mon-Sat, 11am-6pm Sun; free).
VICTORIAN TREASURES | Walker Art Gallery | Until 7 May
With more than 60 outstanding paintings and watercolours from the art collections of National Museums Liverpool, Victorian Treasures explores a pivotal time in the history of art: when imagination became key and themes of legend and mythology overtook the everyday. Nineteenth century classical artists like Frederic Leighton, Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Edward John Poynter are all represented - alongside pioneering Pre-Raphaelite artists such as John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt.
Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, L3 8EL (10am-5pm; free).
SPACE DISCO | Constellations | Friday 3 February
Disco Glitter Love is back to blaze a trail across the cosmos once more, inviting revellers into a ‘futuristic disco space station’ centring on New York’s club scene in the late twentieth century and disco triumphs of the seventies. Prepare for blast off with DGL’s signature brand of infectious hedonism and an interstellar journey into the genre’s future. What better way to wave off the January blues?
Constellations, 37-39 Greenland Street, L1 0BS (10pm-4am; tickets £5 at skiddle.com).
PILLBOX VINTAGE FAIR | The Shipping Forecast | Saturday 4 February
You’ve eaten your way through Liverpool with a feast of January restaurant deals, and it was recently payday...yes, the bank account is starting to slowly recuperate. Little better time, then, to indulge in a little spot of retail therapy as Pillbox returns for 2017. With their curated selection of vintage gems, it’s little wonder these monthly fairs have become something of an institution - we forecast another goodun for February’s retro affair.
The Shipping Forecast, 15 Slater Street, L1 4BW (12-5pm; free entry).
STAND UP FOR MONDAYS | Camp and Furnace | Monday 6 February
It’s well known that woman are still underrepresented in many industries - and comedy is unfortunately no exception. Fortunately, there are plenty of funny females aiming to challenge the status quo, as Cath Rice proves with her monthly Monday laughathon: presenting a line-up that’s fresh from the Funny Women Stage Awards. February’s event is headlined by Laughing Cows compere extraordinaire Kerry Leigh.
Camp and Furnace, 67 Greenland Street, L1 0BY (7.30-11pm; tickets £6 on the door or skiddle.com).
THE NOW FESTIVAL | Epstein Theatre | 7-10 February
Following the success of last year’s debut festival, CAMHS is back to highlight National Children and Young Peoples Mental Health with another inspiring showcase of original creative performances. Centred on ‘mental health and the rights of the child,’ children from nine to eighteen explore the theme - particularly relevant as, despite poor mental health being one of the 21st century’s fastest growing epidemics, services continue to be blighted by funding cuts.
Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, L1 3DZ (6.30pm; tickets £6 at epstein.ticketline.co.uk).
THE NARNIA EXPERIENCE | St George’s Hall | 10-25 February
The Dreamworks Lights may have departed, taking its cavalry of Disney characters to ‘illuminate new places,’ but worry not as yet another immersive experience takes over St George’s Hall this month. Step into a wardrobe of fur coats and stumble upon a wintry pine forest as you take on the role of Narnia’s Lucy or Edmund in Another Place’s theatrical recreation - meeting iconic residents like Mr Tumnus and the White Witch along the way.
St George’s Hall, St George's Place, L1 1JJ (9.30-7pm; tickets from £6 at ticketquarter.co.uk).
INDOOR ABSEIL | Liverpool Cathedral | Saturday 18 or Saturday 25 February
For those who like their experiences unique, you can’t beat abseiling from the top of a cathedral. With a 120 foot free fall drop from the Corona gallery, this is prime bucket list material and - with two ropes available - you can even abseil down with a friend. It’s also a great way to raise money for one of ten fantastic participating charities. There is an outdoor option later this year, too.
Liverpool Cathedral, St James Mount, L1 7AZ; full information here
INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL | Capstone Theatre | 23-26 February
Jazzing up the grey winter days, LIFJ returns for its fifth innings this year with another lively programme of gigs (many of them free), discussion and workshops. Selected highlights include a free admission Milapfest concert featuring music traversing jazz and Indian classical music styles, an opening set from MOBO award-winner Sons of Kemet and a saxophone class with acclaimed musician Iain Ballamy.
Capstone Theatre, 17 Shaw Street, L6 1HP (various; check the website).
RENT THE MUSICAL | Empire Theatre | 28 February - 4 March
Don’t miss this multi-award-winning rock musical as it celebrates its twentieth anniversary with Bruce Guthrie’s dynamic new production. The tale of impoverished young artists, struggling to survive in New York City’s East Village in a time of Bohemian excess, is brought to life with a star cast and Jonathan Larson’s lyrics and score - including classics like Take Me or Leave Me and La Vie Bohème.
Empire Theatre, Lime Street, L1 1JE (2.30 & 7.30pm; tickets from £14.25 at atgtickets.com).