Royle Fam­ily writer to open new cafe in South­port

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page - BY AN­DREW BROWN an­drew.brownNW@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @visan­drew­brown

AWARD-WIN­NING so­cial en­ter­prise, A Great Lit­tle Place, has now opened its new ven­ture in The Atkin­son in South­port, and the new project space En­counter the Un­ex­pected, is nearly com­plete.

To cel­e­brate, the venue is invit­ing peo­ple to en­joy a She Sells Sea Shells fam­ily fun day on Satur­day, Septem­ber 30, which will be of­fi­cially opened by Royle Fam­ily writer Henry Nor­mal.

A spokesman for The Atkin­son on Lord Street, said: “Join us along with ac­tor, writer, pro­ducer and The Atkin­son De­vel­op­ment Trust’s new­est pa­tron, Henry Nor­mal, who will of­fi­cially open the new café and new project space that brings to life the story of the coast and all of its crea­tures to life.

“There will be a se­lec­tion of coastal de­lights on dis­play, in­clud­ing a ma­rine aquar­ium, a touch­screen in­ter­ac­tive dis­play and a se­ries of pho­tographs taken by lo­cal res­i­dents ex­plor­ing Sefton’s nat­u­ral her­itage. Plus, we have free arts and crafts ac­tiv­i­ties for all the fam­ily as well as our Mu­seum, Dis­cover An­cient Egypt Gallery, Ex­hi­bi­tions and a pro­duc­tion of Night Pi­rates!

“A Great Lit­tle Place, run by Autism Ini­tia­tives, opened at the be­gin­ning of Septem­ber to record num­bers. The award-win­ning cafe has re­vi­talised The Atkin­son foyer and cre­ated a wel­com­ing and invit­ing place to spend time. Due to its pop­u­lar­ity, there are plans to ex­pand the ca­pac­ity fur­ther and re­ally make the most out of the space.

“This part­ner­ship is about more than just a café – it’s also about work­ing to­gether to im­prove the lives of peo­ple with autism and their fam­i­lies.

“Apart from his love of the arts and cul­ture, Henry Nor­mal shares The Atkin­son’s pas­sion for creat­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and ac­cess to the arts for chil­dren and adults with Autism and special ed­u­ca­tional needs, hav­ing writ­ten and per­formed two BBC Ra­dio 4 shows A Nor­mal Fam­ily and A Nor­mal Life com­bin­ing com­edy, po­etry and sto­ries about bring­ing up Johnny, his autis­tic son.”

Henry Nor­mal is a co­me­dian, TV pro­ducer, poet and writer. He was man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Baby Cow Pro­duc­tions Ltd, which he set up with Steve Coogan.

He co-wrote The Royle Fam­ily with Caro­line Ah­erne and Craig Cash, and was co-writer for the 2001 film, The Pa­role Of­fi­cer, star­ring Coogan.

Vis­i­tors to The Atkin­son on Satur­day can also en­joy a special chil­dren’s the­atre show tak­ing place the same day.

The spokesman said: “Our chil­dren’s The­atre pro­duc­tion also takes the coastal theme. The Night Pi­rates is an adap­ta­tion of the best-sell­ing chil­dren’s book by Peter Har­ris and Deb­o­rah All­wright.

“It tells the tale of a group of lit­tle girl pi­rates who de­scend on a young boy called Tom at bed­time. Ea­ger to join the pi­rate ad­ven­ture, Tom uses his house as a pi­rate ship and sets sail to re­trieve stolen trea­sure from Cap­tain Patch and the bum­bling grown-up pi­rates.

There are two shows at 1.30pm and 3.30pm and tick­ets are £11 – £9, ages 3+.

For de­tails about the fam­ily fun day, please visit www.the atkin­son.co.uk/ events/sells-sea-shells/ or call the Box Of­fice team on 01704 533 333.

Pic­ture: COLIN LANE

The award-win­ning so­cial en­teprise ven­ture at The Atkin­son, South­port, A Great Lit­tle Place, is now open for vis­i­tors

New Atkin­son pa­tron Henry Nor­mal, above – co-writer of The Royle Fam­ily, with Sue John­ston and Ricky Tom­lin­son, left – is of­fi­cially open­ing the the­atre’s fam­ily fun day on Satur­day

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