Monthly Archives

September 2017

Cilla – The Musical – UK Tour

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The Cast has been announced and we can FINALLY share that not one but two of our Liverpool ActUpNorth Students are confirmed on the UK Tour of ‘Cilla – The Musical’

Congratulations to MICHAEL HAWKINS – Playing John Lennon and NEIL MACDONALD – Playing Cilla’s Dad.


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Leeds is the commercial capital of Yorkshire and has been transformed almost beyond recognition over the decades. The city is one of the UK’s most exciting cultural hubs and is home to a variety of world-class theatre and concert venues, eateries, museums and clubs. Both the BBC and ITV have sizeable bases in the city, and it is the birthplace of leading cultural figures including Julian Barratt, Malcolm McDowell, Angela Griffin, Brian Mosley, Peter O’Toole, John Simm, Ernie Wise, Gabby Logan, Gaynor Faye and Mel B.

The city is home to The Theatre, The Grand Theatre and the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Its most well-known concert venues include the First Direct Arena, O2 Academy, the University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University, the Belgrave Music Hall and the City Varieties Music Hall. The intimate Brudenell Social Club, located in the bohemian, student-friendly area of Hyde Park just a mile or so out of the city centre, is one of the most-loved cult venues in the UK.

The long-running soap Emmerdale is shot at a purpose-built set at the Harewood Estate and at ITV Yorkshire’s studios on Kirkstall Road where the likes of A Touch of Frost, Heartbeat, 3-2-1 and The Royal were created. Countdown was filmed at the studios until 2009. ActUpNorth Leeds is also based at Kirkstall Road.

If you’re seeking an educational day out in Leeds, you may well wish to head to the Royal Armouries, home to the national arms and armour collection, and the City Art Gallery, which has one of the finest collections of 20th century art outside of the capital. Arts festivals and exhibitions take place throughout the year, and the vast range of eateries means you’ll never struggle to find something that suits no matter what your tastes are, with culinary cultures from around the world being represented generously.

Kirkstall Abbey is one of the most well-known beauty sports in West Yorkshire. The 12th century Cistercian monasteries is surrounded by gorgeous parkland and been a source of inspiration for thousands of painters. It offers fascinating wildlife, stunning greenery and features an interactive visitor centre as well as the Abbey House Museum, which features Victorian streets and shops with their original fittings.

Roundhay Park is one of Europe’s biggest city parks and is located three miles out of the city. It includes epic parkland, beautiful lakes, gardens and woodlands as well as a number of cafes and playgrounds. The site is also home to Tropical World, which welcomes more than a million people through its doors each year and enables you to witness alien landscapes and breath-taking plant life.

Leeds Corn Exchange is one of the most exciting places to shop in the city and is home to a range of distinctive boutiques and cafes. The Exchange itself is an oval Grade I listed building and first opened in 1863. The Exchange is located just across the road from Kirkgate Market, which is the largest covered market in Europe and was the birthplace of Marks and Spencer. The city also plays host to other world-famous retail hubs including the White Rose Centre, Trinity Leeds and The Core. Leeds is surrounded by some of the lushest countryside Yorkshire has to offer, with its railway station and Leeds Bradford Airport enabling you to reach a range of leading national and international locations with ease.

ActUpNorth are proud to have a base in this vibrant Yorkshire city.


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Liverpool is one of the north’s most exciting and historic cities. The birthplace of The Beatles is home to two prestigious football teams and has more listed buildings than any other city outside of the M25. The city has benefitted remarkably from investment over recent years, but thankfully hasn’t been transformed beyond all recognition. Some of Liverpool’s most famous sons and daughters include not only the Fab Four, but Cilla Black, Beryl Bainbridge, Jean ‘Hilda Ogden’ Alexander, Kim Cattrall, Stephanie Davies, Gillian Kearney, the McGann brothers, Paul O’Grady, Liza Tarbuck, Craig Charles, Les Dennis, Stephen Graham, Kenneth Cope, Alexei Sayle and Leonard Rossiter.

The Merseyside city plays host to some of the most interesting galleries and museums in the UK. The Albert Dock is one of the city’s most iconic sights, with the docking complex featuring the biggest collection of Grade I-listed buildings in the country. It was also the home of This Morning until the mid-1990s. The most popular tourist destinations in the city include The Beatles Story, the reconstructed Cavern Club, where the Fab Four honed their craft, the Liverpool Cathedral, the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, the World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, the Tate Liverpool art gallery, St George’s Hall and the Merseyside Maritime Museum. The childhood homes of Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney are now owned by The National Trust and are open for public viewing.

The long-running soap Brookside was shot in West Kirby, around 12 miles outside of the city until its 2003 demise. Brookie was widely-regarded as one of the most innovative soaps in television history and was noted for its often hard-hitting and pioneering storylines. Teen soap Hollyoaks took over some of the locations previously used for Brookside, though much of the action is now shot at Lime Pictures’ studios in Childwall, despite being set in Chester. Other TV shows shot or partially shot in Liverpool include Bread, Little Boy Blue, Boys from the Blackstuff, Grange Hill, Peaky Blinders, Z Cars and The Liver Birds. The city has also featured in a range of big-budget films including the 51st State, Nowhere Boy and Shirley Valentine.

As you may expect from a city of such stature, culinary connoisseurs are catered for brilliantly in Liverpool, with cuisine from around the world being available. Some of the most highly-rated Liverpudlian eateries include The Art School, Panoramic 34, 60 Hope Street and the London Carriage Works. There are scores of high-profile music and theatre venues and clubs in the city, such as the 02 Academy, the Zanzibar Club, the Philharmonic Hall, the Epstein theatre (named after the late Beatles and Cilla manager) and the Echo Arena. Clubbers’ favourites are Mansion, Heebie Jeebies, Kingdom, Kazimier Garden, the Krazyhouse, Level and the LGBT-friendly Heaven.

Top places to shop in Liverpool include Liverpool ONE, St John’s Market and the Grand Central Hall. Ropewalks is a vibrant and bohemian area that houses a host of boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Liverpool Lime Street provide exceptional transport links. It’s no wonder so many people choose to visit and even relocate to Liverpool.

ActUpNorth are proud to have a base in this vibrant city.


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Manchester is a cultural hotbed with a fascinating history that’s the third-biggest city in the UK. The city has undergone vast changes since the IRA bombing of 1996, becoming one of the exciting and diverse regions in Europe. Home to two globally-famous football teams, a host of world-class venues and a plethora of prestigious buildings, the city is just across the river from Salford, who’s quay is now home to Media City, base of the several BBC departments and countless other media organisations.

The city’s former Hacienda nightclub has been the inspiration for a host of vibrant bars and clubs. The Hacienda was based on Whitworth Street West across from what is now the cultural hub home, between 1982 and 1997 and was the base of the ‘Madchester’ phenomenon of the late 1980s and early 1990s, having a robust association with bands including the Stone Roses, New Order and the Happy Mondays. Oasis, arguably the city’s most famous musical export, played at the Hacienda in 1994.

Coronation Street, the world’s longest-running soap opera was shot at the iconic Granada Studios, just a short walk away from the former Hacienda site, between 1960 and 2014. Hacienda and Factory Records founder Tony Wilson AKA ‘Mr Manchester’, was a Granada Reports presenter for decades, diving his time between hosting regional news, launching new bands and much, much more. Corrie production has now moved just a couple of miles away to Salford Quays, with its former studios now being used for a range of cultural events.

Some of the most-loved UK TV series ever have been shot in Manchester. Iconic series synonymous with the city include Cold Feet, Mastermind, The Royle Family, Cracker, Queer as Folk, Red Dwarf, Prime Suspect and Brideshead Revisited. The city is also noted as a world-class place to eat and drink, playing host to a range of luxury eateries and bars, many of which can be found around Deansgate, St Ann’s Square and King Street. The city is also famous for its Northern Quarter, an area in the north of the city which features a plethora of record shops, alternative clothes shops, bars and cafes. It also has its own Chinatown, which includes a cluster of highly-authentic oriental restaurants and one of the most notable gay villages in the world, the extremely lively and welcoming Canal Street. Those seeking out rural scenery can reach the countryside in just 15-20 minutes.

Those seeking an educational day out in Manchester are catered for fantastically, with the Museum of Science and Industry, Town Hall and Library, Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery being amongst its most renowned places to relax and learn. When it comes to clothes shopping, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re on a budget or wish to enjoy a spot of retail therapy in designer boutiques, offering garments from some of the world’s most iconic fashion houses. The popularity of Manchester shows no signs of heading into decline, with Greater Manchester welcoming around 1.4 million international investors each year.

ActUpNorth are proud to have a base in this vibrant city.