Ellen Loudon

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PhD – update

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I am now on the home stretch…well, almost. I have to submit on the 6th October so, having completed a second draft and had it commented on by both internal examiners, I am now working on the final draft with my supervisor – chapter by chapter. We are having weekly meetings and I am workign to quite strict deadlines. It seems my content is ‘very well researched’ and I don’t need to add anything to my argument. The outstanding issues are structural. Also, it seems I need to ‘be a bit more boring’! So, I am working on that…stating arguments, flagging up methodologies, being more obvious about my questions and using some less racey terminology.

The current title is:
Performing The Popular: The Context, Composition and Creation of Liverpool Music Hall.

So, that’s the update. I am struggling to keep my dyslexic symptoms under control (my brain is under strict instructions to ‘just keep going for 2 more months). But, this is of particular concern so please do continue to pray, send chocolate, pass on special good writing vibes, etc.


Written by ellenloudon

August 1, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Liverpool, music hall, PhD


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Not sure how I feel about this…super lamb bananas were bad enough but penguins might push us over the edge. Anyway, this is the press release for the penguin invasion of the city planned for the autumn/winter:

More than 100 six-foot birds will decorate the city centre in a public art event set to rival last year’s popular Go Superlambananas trail.

From mid-November, small groups of penguins will be on display for seven weeks in an effort to attract visitors and spread an eco-friendly message.

Artists are being invited to enter designs for the fibreglass penguins, with the winners chosen by businesses sponsoring the event for £3,000 a piece.

More than 50 schools have already signed up to adopt and decorate a 3ft penguin for £450 each.

They will be displayed in a city centre indoor venue and will be returned to the schools once the trail has finished.

Commissioned by Culture Liverpool, the event is being organised by Wild In Art, the team behind last year’s successful Go Superlambananas.

It is based around a story, written by former Culture Company vice-chairman Phil Redmond, in which a penguin called Patrick is rescued from the ocean by HMS Liverpool.

He said: “Penguins are cute and funny, and everywhere in popular culture.”

Designer Chris Wilkinson, who came up with the basic penguin shape in clay, said: “In the story, the penguins are from the Falklands, where there is a large range of different species, but we wanted these to be generic penguins.

“They are brought to Liverpool to see Patrick with the help of the Liver Birds. We wanted them to look young because Patrick is a teenager.”

Patrick, a rockhopper penguin with distinctive yellow eyebrows, will make his debut as a cartoon character before he is revealed to the public.

The initiative is a highlight of A Winter’s Trail, which runs from November to January

It will see a series of special penguin-themed events take place across the city, with the support of many of Liverpool’s cultural organisations.

Liverpool Council leader Warren Bradley said: “The Superlambananas were the icons of Capital of Culture and we hope Go Penguins will similarly capture the hearts and imaginations of everyone across the region this Christmas.

“Last year showed how cultural events can make a huge impact on the tourism economy.

“I am excited about the plans for the penguins. Everyone is pulling together to create a magical Christmas which will further cement Liverpool’s creative reputation and appeal to visitors.’’

The recyclable Go Penguins, produced by a firm in Kent, were inspired by Liverpool’s Year of the Environment.

The festive trail aims to raise awareness of climate change by reflecting on the melting of the ice caps in Antarctica.

Merchandising opportunities are also being looked at, with miniature versions of the penguins to go on sale later this year.

The deadline for artists’ designs is the end of August.

FURTHER details can be found at GO-PENGUINS.

Written by ellenloudon

July 15, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Posted in culture, Liverpool

I am all revd up!

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So, it is all done. I am a reverend, living in vicarage. I got ordained on Sunday having spent 3 glorious days on ordination retreat (ordination retreat was blooming marvelous, met some fantastic people and really had a great start to my new life). Getting ordained was pretty good as well.

This picture is of the people who were on the ordination retreat – 19 people got ordained this week (15 in the cathedral on Sunday and the other 4 in their churches over the week). The picture was taken at Crosby beach – you might be able to make out one of the Crosby iron men wearing a cassock in the background (we know how to have a laugh in the church of England you know…dressing up the public art in clergy garb!). The retreat took place very near by Crosby beach (not that I left the house much) and this picture was taken for the Church Times. I wonder if they’ll use it?

The service itself was extremely moving and I found it affirming and empowering, and a bit awe inspiring. I am not sure that living up to that fanfare of a start will be very easy. Hey ho. I also found it very tiring and my bones have been aching ever since (probably the kneeling and special slow holy walking that was done!). Unfortunately I have to go to the mid-week healing service now so can’t really tell you much more about the ordination or what’s happened since. Well, not just now anyway!

I also have to tell you about my new blog. From now on I will be blogging on here – it is called diakonia and will track my year as a Church of England Deacon. I haven’t put anything on there yet but I will announce the first posting as soon as it is up. see ya.

B-T-W the man with the yellow spade (bottom right) is David Parry the Diocesan Director of Ordinands! It’s a hard job but someone’s got to do it…

Written by ellenloudon

July 2, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Posted in Liverpool, ordination

back in Bristol

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So, here I am back in Bristol again. Having had a very profitable time researching but not really seen anyone except Barry and Andrea. It took me ages to get home but I guess that’s what happens when you nationalize a rail service. The thing that did my head in most was that I tried to leave my luggage in left luggage at Lime Street Station, in order to do a bit of shopping, but I changed my mind when I realised it would cost me £12 – what are they thinking of? I mean why would you charge £12 for left luggage? It is mad! and this is the Capital of Culture…more like “capital of rip you off”. So rather than stay around for an extra few hours I got an earlier train and got back here by tea time. Miss Liverpool already though. Hey ho.

Not much on for the next couple of days. Going to spend some time with Eva – see a film, do some light shopping, have tea and cake out, do some visiting etc etc. Normal mother and daughter stuff. I’ll keep you posted.

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April 9, 2008 at 7:53 pm

Posted in family, friends, Liverpool


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I am in Liverpool doing some work…I am leading an arts project in June with ZHO theatre. The project is about a building on Mill Street (the Park Palace) which used to be a music hall and a cinema. I am planning the project which will work with children in Mill Street looking at the history and trying to rebuild the theatre as it was in 1904 (by making a model of the theatre). WE will be telling stories, making backdrops, theatre bills, etc etc. The project will last a week and will culminate in an exhibition and presentation at the building.

Anyway, I am here to do some research and meet with the leaders and company. Today I have been in the Central library finding out what is available there. I like to use the stuff that is available in the public domain so that anyone can access it at anytime. There was a surprising amount to stuff there. Pictures, playbills, newspapers maps etc etc. So, plenty to go on. It was hard work though. Usually I like to do this sort of trawling slowly and methodically but seeing as I only had one day I had to rush at it and it is going to take a while to make sense of all the info I have found.

I think I have an idea for a story and a way into the drama. Just got to have a bit of a think. Not now though because my brain has stopped and I need some food. I think Andrea and I are going to find something to eat and see a film. Sorry that I haven’t been in touch with anyone else. This flying visit has been very much focused on this project and I haven’t had a chance to roam beyond it. Next time – and we will be back very very soon.

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April 8, 2008 at 6:34 pm

Posted in Liverpool, music hall

potting shed

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Mark was looking out for some pictures for Paula for ZHO Theatre company and found some shots of my alter ego Maureen. She MC’d the Potting Shed cabaret on the Walk the Plank boat May 2006 (just aftre I had been to selection conference). These pictures are of Maureen singing Anarchy in the UK and reading from a book (!???).

Just in case you don’t know about Walk the Plank here is a helpful video that will fill you in.

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March 31, 2008 at 8:22 am

Posted in friends, fun, Liverpool, stuff

back in Bristol

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Having had a very good few days in Liverpool we are now back in Bristol…and it is raining (again). Well, while we were in Liverpool we got a lot done. We went to our new house and had a useful meeting with the diocesan housing officer and I think things are now in hand – hopefully all the jobs that need doing will be done by the time we move in. Mark and I also had a good meeting with a friend of ours who is doing a big local history arts project from the Park Palace music hall/cinema building on Mill Street, Liverpool 8. I have been asked to be part of the project – running a week long music hall workshop from the building. I am very excited about the project and it will be a useful addition to my performance as research work in relation to my PhD. Even though this is a different music hall it is a contemporary of the Pavilion. I am hoping that the project will take place in June just after I get back but before I start my curacy. If not I will have to do the research, set up the project and then hand it over to someone else. Just have to hope it all comes together…

In keeping with the music hall theme I have chosen a clip of Count Arthur Strong doing a little act at the Music Hall Meltdown which happened last year. Enjoy.

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March 15, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Posted in fun, Liverpool, PhD