don't you love the start of the autumn season?

By Catherine Jones on Aug 31, 12 11:28 AM

I love Autumn. I mean, obviously I prefer it to come after Summer as opposed to instead of!
It's so tactile as a season and makes me want to buy stationary - I love that line in You've Got Mail: "a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils".
Plus of course it means the start of the new season of plays, concerts and art exhibitions at Liverpool's myriad venues (claps hands with excitement).

We're lucky in this city that culture is a 365-day-a-year reality, but things definitely hot up from this weekend.
I'm currently writing about my top 10 Biennial picks (well, cunningly it's more like a top 20) for the Echo, due to run in the paper on September 10.
That's being juggled with chasing comedians for interviews ahead of the Liverpool Comedy Festival which this year runs in a new late-September, early-October slot, just ahead of the Liverpool Irish Festival in October and then Homotopia in November.
Meanwhile the RLPO follows its stellar Proms appearance (the Shostakovich was sublime) with a new season which kicks off at the Philharmonic Hall with Carmina Burana next Friday.
I was at a sneak preview launch of their new EMI recording of Rachmaninov's Second Symphony at the Bang and Olufsen showroom in Castle Street last night and it sounded heart-poundingly terrific on the in-store speaker system. Almost as good as hearing it played live! A shame it's not on the programme for the current season.
Still, there's plenty of other great stuff including Stravinsky. Keep your eyes peeled in the Echo next week for a very special chance to hear the Phil live for yourself.
The Playhouse opens its autumn season with Ben Jonson's The Alchemist, directed by rising theatrical star Robert Icke and starring Ian Bartholomew who was so good as Arturo Ui earlier in the year.
You can read an interview with 'Barty' on today's Echo arts page.
Meanwhile ladies, control yourselves, but Dirty Dancing is heading for the Empire in October. I'm already eyeing up an "I Carried a Watermelon" T-shirt from the merchandise stall that I suspect may do rather well during its fortnight here.
Tim Minchin as Judas at the Echo arena, ballet and opera and 42nd Street at the Empire, Steptoe and Son at the Playhouse, Stephen Graham in conversation at St George's Hall......
And if that wasn't enough, news this week that Kenneth Branagh is directing a Hollywood blockbuster in the city!
I'm sharpening that bouquet of pencils. Keep up to date with this and more in the arts pages between now and Christmas.

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