Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Mogadishu at the Liverpool Playhouse.

Vivienne Franzmann's, MOGADISHU unashamedly explores the clash of race, youth, class and moral values. 
    The caged set on the revolving stage spins  the audience into the very epicentre of the drama from the onset. 
    Director Matthew Dunster offers an insight into the teaching world and the beauraucracy that can prevent teachers from getting on with the very job of teaching. The play resembles an innner city school yard version of The Crucible, illustrating how an allegation can disrupt and catastrophically damage.The Victim becomes the perpetrator. 
    The choice use of gritty language which could have been seen as unfitting and over indulgent actually was one of the plays strengths. In certain sequences the language and confusion around words coupled with the street talk provided much needed comic relief, whilst never detracting from the seriousness of the stage world. 
    After a sell out run at the Lyric Hammersmith and Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, MOGADISHU is controversial theatre that entertains, is raw in parts and leaves the audience, questioning and commenting on the mirror reflected at them.

By John Maguire.

Firecracker rates Mogadishu: 4/5 stars.

Thursday, 5 January 2012


Words Jemma Volp-Fletcher.
Photos Matt Ford.

Investigative journalist and TV presenter Cherry Healey showed her support for North West Cancer Research Fund’s O-Very campaign by meeting patients, doctors and the charity’s team of scientific researchers to find out more about ovarian cancer, its symptoms and the predispositions amongst women.

The O-Very campaign has been launched by North West Cancer Research Fund (NWCRF) to raise awareness about ovarian cancer, which is the biggest gynaecological killer of women in the UK and affects nearly 7,000 women every year.

Cherry, best known for her insightful documentaries on BBC3, visited the NWCRF funded research laboratories at University of Liverpool to meet with lead researcher Dr Daimark Bennett who is working on a pioneering three-year project using fruit flies to investigate the role of proteins in the spread of ovarian cancer.

The work by Dr Daimark Bennett and his team is one of several cancer research projects that NWCRF is currently funding. The charity spends nearly £1million each year providing grants for fundamental research in the North West of England and Wales into the causes of cancer and how it spreads.

Dr Daimark Bennett said: “Because ovarian cancer is often only detected when it has spread to other organs our research primarily looks at the ‘pathways’ the disease uses to permeate other organs which will help us better understand the disease. A huge number of women in the UK are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year and the disease ends up killing almost two thirds of that number – a death rate of over 70 per cent - which is why our research is so crucial.”

Cherry also met with Debbie Taaffe, 48, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in June 2010 to find out more about the disease and why it is often dubbed the ‘silent killer’.

Debbie said: “I am absolutely determined to raise awareness about this horrible disease and its symptoms – the more women that know what to look out for, the more will be saved through early diagnosis. The problem is not that the disease is ‘silent’ and doesn’t have any symptoms, it’s that they are often confused with other issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and gallstones.

“The message I want to get out there is that women need to listen to their own bodies and seek medical advice if they experience any of the following symptoms: persistent abdominal and pelvic pain, bloating, changes in bowel habits, loss of appetite and fatigue. Smear tests do not pick up ovarian cancer so it’s important for women to spread the word to their friends and family – it’s about creating a ripple effect.”

During her visit Cherry also had time to meet with several of the charity’s key committee fundraisers and supporters including Janet Bailey, who had her ovaries removed as a preventative measure after her mother tragically died of the disease 12 months ago.

Cherry said: “I am honoured and moved to have met such amazing and inspirational people during my visit – I have learnt so much in just one day from the research team to the doctors and the fundraisers who make all the charity’s work possible. It has brought it all home how aggressive this type of cancer is and the importance of raising both awareness and funds for the cutting edge research to continue. It sounds dramatic but it’s absolutely true that this campaign will save lives.”

Cherry’s involvement with the O-Very campaign is hoped to encourage ladies around the country to hold their own fundraising and awareness drives on Friday 2nd March – O-Very Day – to coincide with ovarian cancer awareness month.


To find out more visit www.nwcrf.co.uk

North West Cancer Research Fund provides grants to support fundamental research in the North West of England and North and Mid-Wales, into the causes of cancer and the mechanisms by which cancers arise and exert their effects.

North West Cancer Research Fund is one of the region’s most cost-effective charities with almost 90p in every £1 going directly to cancer research.

Press enquiries:
Natalie Stewart
Think Publicity
0151 236 5372

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Philip Armstrong. S/S12 Preview. Exclusive new collection pictures.

Since the last time I met with Philip and Tony on their first lookbook shoot with me, they have been making even bigger waves on a national scale. With their launch in Harvey Nichols the designers have just made Liverpool fashion go up another notch. 

This is an exclusive first look at the latest collection photoshoot. The S/S12 collection, explains Philip, 
"is an infusion of couture techniques and luxurious
fabrics, we like our pieces to excite our customers, to be individual and yet appealing and our latest collection is one we are enormously proud of. Our passion is to dress women. We know what colours work, what silhouettes will work,  and women know that we just get it right.”

To read the in depth interview with Philip and Tony taken on the A/W11 Shoot Click Here

Groom Hire.

Photos Matt Ford.

Groom Hire is available at The Wedding House Liverpool, as well as their four other locations.

Here is a preview of the forthcoming website images I shot last month.

Casting call! Major new fashion tv show!

Just revived this email from http://www.twentytwenty.tv/index.aspx makers of major tv shows on most of the big British channels.

Hello Matt.

We are producing a major new TV series about fashion and I’m on the look out for up and coming designers who may want the opportunity to take part. Your blog is great, and you obviously know what’s going on in the fashion world, so hoped that you may be able to spread the word about our programme. The show will give young designers the opportunity to work with some MAJOR names in the music business and be mentored by some of the top names in the fashion industry.

We are holding auditions around the country end of Jan and it would be great if you could mention it on your blog or do a shout out on twitter, please see below a bit more info of what we are after.

Twenty Twenty are searching for up and coming fashion designers with the talent and drive to succeed in the fashion industry to take part in a new TV show. We welcome designers of any level, formal qualifications are not necessary although the ability to create clothing is a must. If you want the opportunity to see your clothes on some of the world’s biggest music stars then e-mail stylerocks@twentytwenty.tv or call 02074247715 for more information.

Many thanks for your help