Street festival brews up a comedy venue

It’s been empty for more than a year but a former Liverpool cafe is having the last laugh this Sunday.

The cafe, known as Brew, on Bold Street is being converted into a restaurant with a difference for a spellbinding act that won rave reviews at the Edinburgh festival.

Simon Munnery’s ‘La Concepta’, involves eight guests in an amazing restaurant without food scene, described as “The fringiest Fringe experience of 2011″ by The Guardian.

The make-over will be one of the highlights of this Sunday’s Bold Street Festival, which this year is being sponsored for the first time – by Merseytravel.

Simon’s gig, which will run from 11am to 2pm, is part of a new collaboration between Bold Street Festival and Liverpool Comedy Festival (which runs from September 27-October 7) and was made possible by Brew’s new owners Echelon who are to reopen the café in November under a new name.

Joining Simon will be Tea Hee Hee – an alcohol free version of the old ‘Drink Up Stand Up’ tours. Four comedians will be at four different coffee shops with a compare leading the way with his trusty megaphone. Bags of fun and a great saucer amusement, you’d be Tetley mad to miss it.

Iain Christie from Liverpool Comedy Festival, said: ”We enjoy putting comedy in as many venues as possible during the Festival so we are delighted to add a new venue to our list – even if it isn’t quite open yet. Our thanks to Riad and the Hamilton’s team for giving us the venue.

”Simon’s show was a real highlight of the Edinburgh Festival and it’s a real coup to get him to come to Liverpool where he will also be performing at the Kazimier on Saturday night as part of the Biennial. We can’t wait to get the shows underway on Sunday so get yourselves down to Bold Street and join in the fun!”

The Liverpool Royal Court are also making their debut in spectacular style with segments from Liverpool Shakespeare Festival, while other highlights including Shiverpool’s ‘castle experience’ and an oriental cultural celebration from China Pearl.

The Royal Court will be showing off their talent with magical tasters of what’s to come for their winter shows including Macbeth and Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Bold Street Festival is an all day FREE event, which will boast two stages along Bold Street, is taking place from 12pm to 6pm and is set to be more colourful, vibrant, entertaining and interactive than ever before with other highlights including:

· Live music, both indoor and outdoor stages

· Shiverpool ghostly ghouls castle installation

· Roaming street performers, stilt walkers, actors, dancers

· Black-E, co-operative games

· Tai Chi demos

· Vintage Fair at LEAF Cafe

· Kids attractions and workshops

· The Amazing Push Poem Machine

· In-store promotions

The festival’s traditional Big Sweep, organised by Urban Strawberry Lunch, will launch the festival at 11.30am where all the businesses and general public will join forces sweeping the street from top to bottom. The street will be lined with large red and gold drummers to march in the sweepers.

And if that’s not enough, China Pearl is also celebrating the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival with stunning elegant performers taking centre stage as well as offering workshops in storytelling, lantern making, dance, calligraphy short films about this traditional festival and Chinese community.

Organised by City Central BID and Bold Street Traders this year’s Bold Street Festival also marks the finale of The Summer of Love campaign. This campaign, which included highlights such as the city centre’s first ever bandstand in Williamson Square, was devised to stimulate footfall during the £20m redevelopment of Central Station which will be fully operational when the Northern Line re-opens on October 22.

Tracey Crosbie, Events Manager of City Central BID, said: ”This year’s Bold Street Festival is gearing to be the best ever with events like La Concepta and support from existing traders.

”To have partners like Merseytravel, Royal Court and the Comedy Festival on board has definitely taken it up to another level. It’s going to be a great way to end the Summer of Love campaign and we look forward to giving everyone a great day out on the hippest and coolest street in Liverpool.”

Councillor Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel, said: ”We are delighted to be supporting the Bold Street Festival this year, and I would encourage visitors travelling to the festival by train from Wirral to use the newly refurbished Central Station to take them straight to the heart of the action.”