Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield

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Trips & Adventures – 16 January 2020

The train trip from Manchester to Wakefield (via Leeds) was uneventful, but we did manage to get a photo of Peter, our famous Out In The City official photographer. He is normally behind the lens so rarely features on this website.

We walked from the train station to the Hepworth Gallery which is an art museum which opened on 21 May 2011. The gallery is situated on the south side of the River Calder and takes its name from artist and sculptor Barbara Hepworth who was born and educated in the city.

The Gallery cafe was really busy but we managed to sit together. Most of us had chicken burgers with three-times fried chips and coleslaw and the usual hand crafted coffees, whilst others had the gluten free and vegetarian options.

David Hockney in 1963

Specifically, we wanted to see the exhibition – Alan Davie & David Hockney: Early Works. The exhibition brought together around 45 paintings and works on paper by Alan Davie and David Hockney, many of which have not been seen publicly for decades.

Pairing early works by the late Scottish painter Alan Davie (1920-2014) and David Hockney, the gallery sets out to acknowledge Davie’s influence on the younger Hockney, who took what he needed from the older artist and moved on.

Cocks, bums, breasts, bits of bodies and various abstract symbols feature in two related painting exhibitions. “We 2 boys together clinging”, were more than random painterly mutterings, but were open provocation in the art of the early 60s. While Hockney was being openly gay, and quoting Walt Whitman, Davie had begun adding brushed-on phrases: Mango Time, Peach Time, Banana Time to otherwise abstract canvases. You can take these, I suppose, as sexual euphemisms.

We then made our way on the free bus to the city centre to view the cathedral and have refreshments in the cathedral cafe, before heading home.

The latest “Crap Towns” survey report suggests that six of the ten worst places to live in England are in Yorkshire. Wakefield is a “cultural wilderness” according to this survey. Of course, that is easy to counter. It’s just not true. So let’s be positive, let’s celebrate this special region of the UK and let’s ignore anyone who says any differently.

People’s History Museum

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Trips & Adventures – 9 January 2020

Happy New Year everyone! As we say goodbye to the ‘tens’ we here at Out In The City wish you all a fun, fruitful and fabulous start to the next bloody decade.

After lunch and drinks at the Moon Under Water we took the short walk to the People’s History Museum on the left bank of the River Irwell.

The current exhibitions included “Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest”, “Overspill: the history of the Manchester slum clearance” and “The Unfurlings – a banner display”.

After looking round the exhibitions and some of the more permanent displays we retired to the Left Bank Cafe for teas and coffee.

In the Out In The City Annual Awards the prize for the campest walk goes to Walter:

The best dancer goes to Tony:

Let’s twist again …

The best photographer goes to Peter (but we don’t have any photos of him).

The prize for the best shopkeeper goes to Owen:

and the best item in the Co-op goes to:

I’m sure this says “Homo”

 

Simply Sinatra / Johann Strauss Gala

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Boxing Day – an afternoon with Ol’ Blue Eyes

Pauline writes: Four of us lucky Out in the City people celebrated Boxing Day in style with Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, well not quite Ol’ Blue Eyes, but a marvellous show band and a great male singer together with a “Torch lady singer” and two ballroom dancers.

Norman, Toby, Mr Essoldo and myself were all enthralled at the Bridgewater Hall from 3.00pm till around 5.15pm. On a very wet day in Manchester, luckily with a good tram service as United were at home, it was warming and lots of fun and the hall was almost full; the performers got a standing ovation at the end of the afternoon and gave us all an encore to round off our day in style. All four of us enjoyed it as we said to each other before we made our separate ways home.

Matt Ford (the “Francis Albert singer”) & Emma Kershaw (the Torch singer) were joined by a fabulous 27-piece show band and two really good ballroom dancers and they performed many favourite Sinatra hits and other songs from the 40s and 50s in a sensational afternoon of music, song and dance. Apparently Frank Sinatra recorded 2,600 songs during his recording career.

Featured tunes included: Come Fly With Me, The Lady Is A Tramp, The Way You Look Tonight, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Fly Me To The Moon, Luck Be A Lady Tonight, Mack The Knife, Night And Day, My Way, Moon River, Cheek To Cheek and their final number New York, New York.

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Saturday afternoon with Johann Strauss

Pauline writes: Twelve of us enjoyed an afternoon’s entertainment from the Johann Strauss Orchestra, the six Johann Strauss Dancers, the singing of Lizzie Holmes (soprano) with her period dresses and John Rigby who conducted the audience’s afternoon with aplomb.

We enjoyed an enchanting afternoon of some favourite waltzes and polkas. We imagined snow falling gently on the gilded ballrooms of old Vienna and mature LGBT couples skating on the frozen Danube, romance in the air. The elegant dancers in their billowing gowns flamboyantly whirled to the music of Johann Strauss and friends. Music from the heart of Vienna, dancing as if in a winter wonderland.

Pieces played included the Voices of Spring, Roses from the South Waltz, Tales from the Vienna Woods, The Laughing song from Die Fledermaus, the Blue Danube Waltz, the Schlau Schlau Polka, the Tritsch Tratsch Polka and the Radeztky March.

During one of the songs by Lizzie Holmes, who was magnificent in a black and white period late 19th Century dress, Peter asked me if I would like to wear that dress … I said Yes in my dreams, but I couldn’t wear it on the tram, or even in a taxi.

Owen took all the photos, and we all enjoyed the music, the dancing and the singing.

A wonderful way to round off the Christmas week and chat with friends.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all!

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Trips & Adventures – 17 December 2019

Six of us went to the Bridgewater Hall to see Now That’s What I Call Christmas Live!

Performed by a live band and sensational singers, we heard the biggest selling festive album of all time live on stage. All our favourites were wrapped up in one great show.

We donned our gay apparel and celebrated a feast of massive seasonal hits. We sang along to iconic Christmas classics as part of the ultimate festive party!

It was a fabulous gift of a show!

For more photos click here

 

Christmas Meal

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Trips & Adventures – 12 December 2019

Walter’s jumper with the red button nose and festive tie sum up the fun we had at the annual Out In The City Christmas Meal.

The Village Brasserie by Velvet Manchester in the heart of the Gay Village has a relaxed yet stylish setting. We enjoyed the food and wine in a great atmosphere and a few of us went on to The Molly House for more chatting and drinks.