The festive season has officially begun!
Last night saw The Reader Organisation once again take over the small concert room in St George’s Hall for our annual Dickensian extravaganza, the Penny Readings.
Judging by the reaction from the audience and on Twitter, the night was a resounding success.
“It was a perfect evening”
“The Penny Readings by @thereaderorg was fantastic. Completely surpassed my expectations. So entertaining, accessible and cultural!”
“Maybe only at Liverpool’s ‘Penny Readings‘ d’ya get David Morrissey being Macbeth on the same bill as a ukulele orchestra #splendidtime”
Frank Cottrell Boyce had the audience in stitches, magician Darren Campbell left us dazed and confused, we had some wonderful readings from The Reader Organisation’s very own Angela Macmillan, Casi Dylan and Beverley LaRoc, whilst Raven Sinclair-Edmonds treated us to some…interesting poetry of her own. The musical talents of trumpeter Grace Farrington and pianist Jasmine Scarisbrick were followed by the stunning voice of Lauren Spink, whilst the Wirral Ukulele Orchestra brought the house down with their flamboyant Hawaiian shirts and Santa hats.
The evening was rounded off by the traditional rendition of a passage from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by Professor Phil Davis. No doubt the great man himself would have approved of this early start to his bicentenary celebrations.
Our younger readers weren’t forgotten in all this excitement, as we held our second Ha’Penny Readings earlier in the day. Kids young and old enjoyed an afternoon of laughter and Christmas cheer led by MC extraordinaire Patrick Fisher and his friends from improv comedy group Sticky Floor. The Christmas party attended by Jedward, Horrid Henry and a hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex was the stuff of nightmares!
Pianist Jasmine popped up again with a wonderful composition of her own, there were more readings by Angela Macmillan, whilst Scream Street author Tommy Donbavand roped in some audience members to help act out a story of werewolves, mummies, vampires and dragons. Two of our Young Person’s Project workers, Samantha Shipman and Anna Fleming, entertained the audience with their favourite festive poems; Anna was especially convincing as a bird from ‘Turkeys United’ demanding ‘No to Cuts!’. There was even a special appearance from Santa Claus, who took time out of his busy schedule to read a little something and deliver a gift to all those readers who fulfilled his ‘naughty or nice’ criteria.
If you were at either event, we’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below.
A big thank you to everyone who made the day such a special one – time to start planning next year!