Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 30th September to 8th October 2015

For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day  listings of what's showing on local screens every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.

An excellent time for new releases with eight films either being released or new to the region. There is family comedy with the animation Hotel Transylvania 2 (U) and more adult comedy with The Intern (12A). There is science fiction action with The Martian (12A) and crime adventure with Sicario (15). Art house entertainment comes in the form of Macbeth (15) and The Importance of Being Earnest (12A). Finally, new to our region, though released in September, there are the dramas Tangerines (12A) and The Second Mother (15).

Movies that have disappeared from the cinemas this week include MinionsPixelsStraight Outta Compton and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. However for one day only we have the return of Jurassic World.

Science fiction on offer this period include the excellent The Martian and the Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Also available is horror with The Visit. For more down to earth drama we have Miss You Already and 45 Years. Comedy comes in the form of The InternBill and The Bad Education Movie.

Family films on offer include HomeHotel Transylvania 2 and Inside Out.

A film of note is the classic silent movie Sunrise, being screened with a live score. Also at the Dukes there is an hour of shorts with This is Not a Cartoon.

High culture is on offer this week with Royal Opera House: Le Nozze di Figaro.


Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Robin Wright, Nasko Mori
A docudrama set in May 1996 when two expeditions tried to make it to the peak of Mount Everest. However a blizzard resulted in the death of eight climbers. The main emphasis is on the five climbers who perished on the South face. This is a dramatic and moving film, best appreciated in 3D to get the most of the scenery and the dizzying drops. The mountain itself is the primary focus, with character development taking second place, though there is much made of the trials of the climbers and of the emotional distress of loved ones left behind. An unsentimental movie which makes the viewer feel that he is part of the expedition.

Jurassic World
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, B.D. Wong, Chris Pratt
This is the fourth instalment in the Jurassic Park series and the best of the sequels. Jurassic World is a theme park in Costa Rica that has been open for some two decades. However visitors are starting to get bored with the sight of tame dinosaurs. Hence, their lab has been using genetic techniques to create a real monster dinosaur, Indominus Rex, to rekindle interest. The park is managed by Claire Dearing (Howard). Owen Grady (Pratt) is an animal behaviourist working with the Dinosaurs. On the day that Claire brings her two nephews to the park the Indominus Rex escapes. She must work with Owen to save her nephews and save the day. The movie has number of fine action pieces though the action gets in the way of character development. Also there is a romance element between Claire and Owen. The dialogue in not always believable, but there are jokes and the film pays homage to the original Jurassic Park. For an audience not yet jaded by dinosaurs, this is an entertaining action film.

Miss You Already
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette
Milly (Collette) and Jess (Barrymore) are lifelong friends though their lives are very different. Milly works as a PR executive. She is married to a Rock star and has a perfect family. Jess however has a more mundane job and is desperate to have a baby. Milly's life is thrown in turmoil when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. The film follows her fight with cancer and the stresses it puts on her relationship with Jess who finally conceives a baby. This is a passable movie which provides something of an emotional rollercoaster ride.

The Martian
Director: Ridley Scott
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
A manned mission to the planet mars is aborted when the crew face a huge sandstorm. However astronaut and botanist Mark Watney (Damon) is left behind, presumed dead. Yet he lives and must now find a way to survive and contact Earth in the hope that a rescue mission can be mounted. The movie is based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Andy Weir. This is a homage to the ingenuity of man in desperate circumstances. The movie is visually effective, scientifically accurate and is well seasoned with humour. An excellent film that has received glowing reviews.

Celebrate Five Years of "April Poets" at The Storey - then learn to write your own verse

Kim Moore
Fans will be celebrating five years of "April Poets"  poetry with a touch of class and a dash of music next month at the Storey with a special anniversary event.

On the bill on Thursday 15th Octiber will be Lindsey Holland, offering her hauntingly beautiful poems of love and fear; the tender, imaginative and clear-eyed David Borrott; Hubert Moore, who has a knack for conjuring the closeness and reality of what he hears and experiences in his verses; and  Kim Moore, delivering her usual blend of richly imagined and exuberant poems.

Also on the bill is  high wire act and music from John Woodward, the voice of the guitar expressing such longings to celebrate this, the group's tenth event.

The evening will be kick-started from the floor by invited members of the support team.

Another poetry event that may be of interest in November is "Remix the Poet: What song offers poetry". Learn to turn a poem into a song and back into a poem. Edit with your ears and see how the process impacts your imagining of a poem's potential.

In this playful, exploratory workshop poet Sarah Hymas and musician Steve Lewis  will be using the song form to transform the way you think about writing.

Using a variety of activities, writing and thinking time, discussions, silence and time outdoors, Sarah and musician Steve will share their practice as collaborators and turn the volume up on your own processes.

Hymas and Lewis have been making spoken and sung performances and installations for audiences around the North of England and Scotland since 2004.

 "We have found that setting poetry to music encourages the light in. Once the words are sung, resonances spark, new phrases are found, and different ways of speaking them emerge. The poem matures. This workshop will offer you alternative ways of editing and give you a fresh confidence in your writing and how you share it.”

Attending the workshop includes the option to air the results of the day at the following week’s Spotlight Club in Lancaster. 

All writers, of any genre and experience level, are welcome.

• April Poets, Thursday 15th October 7.30 pm The Storey Auditorium, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1TH.  Doors open 7.00 for 7.30pm £4 or £2 unwaged or join us on the April Poets Facebook page 

• Remix the Poet: What song offers poetry 10 - 4.00pm Saturday 14 November, The Olive Room, Gregson Centre, Lancaster, LA1 3PY workshop costs Early Birds £60 (available until 30th September) Full Price (or post 30th September) £80. Booking info here:

Morecambe Bay in Paint Children's Event planned

Children are being invited to get creative with sponges, crumpled paper, fingers and stencils to paint Morecmabe Bay this half-term at a special family-friendly workshop, hosted by Morecambe Bay Partnership.

Under the expert guidance of artist Andy Hornby, the Morecambe Bay in Paint event is being held at Lancaster City Museum on Tuesday 27 October with two sessions starting at 11am and at 2pm. It is aimed at children aged 7+.

 • Tickets are £2 per child and all children must be accompanied by an adult. To book online (using Eventbrite) and for more information follow the link at

Monday, 28 September 2015

‘Forceful’ rogue traders to be tackled in countywide police operation

Bogus traders and pushy door sellers are being targeted in a week of action starting today, Monday 28th September.

In line with a national campaign, local police will be working with colleagues from Lancashire’s Trading Standards, HM Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Vehicle and Operator Service Agency to tackle criminals who victimise vulnerable people such as the elderly, by pressuring them into having unnecessary and poor standard work undertaken at their homes, charging extortionate fees for the work.

Warrants will be executed across Lancashire and officers will be visiting those believed to be involved in rogue trading, and previous victims and those at a potential risk of being defrauded will be visited and given advice on how to avoid becoming affected.

Roadside checkpoints have been set up throughout the county, crime prevention presentations will also be hosted at community venues and leaflets will be handed out at building merchants to share safety messages.

Chief Inspector Mike Adamson, said: “Rogue traders are criminals who take advantage of householders by using high-pressure, forceful sales techniques. The work is often expensive, sub-standard and not required at all.

“This kind of criminality is often linked to distraction burglaries, which is carried out by an offender gaining access to a property by distracting or deceiving the householder in order to steal their valuables or cash.

“During 2014 there were 55 domestic distraction burglaries, and of these 23 involved the cover story of being a workman or builder in order to gain entry and steal property.

“We hope that this operation will catch those responsible and raise awareness of the dangers of rogue traders and doorstep crime so there are even less of these incidents."

The public are advised to:

  • Never agree to have any work done as a result of a cold call. Don’t make snap decisions and don’t be pressurised into having the job done.
  • Only pay once work is completed to your satisfaction. Don’t pay cash and don’t pay money up front for trader’s materials.
  • Check the identity of all callers to your home. Ask for photo identification and check carefully with the telephone number in the phone book, not the number on the ID.
  • Remember it is not illegal to sell at the door and legitimate callers will not mind if you shut and lock the door while you verify that they are genuine.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Voting Day changes in the works for Heysham Central residents

Voters are being asked to comment on future polling arrangements in the Heysham Central ward.

Lancaster City Council is reviewing its arrangements for voters on election day and is looking for feedback on a set of proposals it has drawn up for the area.

The city council is proposing that the Heysham Central Ward is divided into two polling districts.

Using the centre of Heysham Road as a dividing line, it is proposed that all properties located on the seaward side of the ward would form one polling district and would vote at Heysham Library.

All properties on the non-seaward side of the ward would form a separate polling district and would vote at Mossgate Primary School.

Comments are invited from electors and other interested bodies on this proposal and any suggested alterations.

For more information on how to take part in the review visit

• Submissions can be made in writing to: Polling Review, Lancaster City Council, Elections Office, Town Hall, Dalton Square, Lancaster LA1 1PJ or by email to