LIVERPOOL-based singer and award-winning playwright Lizzie Nunnery, performs her new collaborative piece Horny Handed Tons of Soil alongside musicians Martin Heslop, Martin Smith and Vidar Norheim in York Theatre Royal Studio on 20 September.

The work was originally commissioned by national poetry organisation Phrased & Confused to create a brand new work inspired by Liverpool, and in particular influential artist and poet Adrian Henri. He came to prominence as a writer alongside Roger McGough and Brian Patten in the ground-breaking and irreverently contemporary Penguin anthology The Mersey Sound (1967), one of the best-selling poetry books of all time (over a quarter of a million copies to date). A celebrated performer, he was also a painter, playwright, novelist and librettist.

Horny Handed Tons of Soil will explore through spoken word, live music and film, what’s been lost and found in the re-sculpting of the Liverpool landscape over the past 50 years. Fifteen minutes from the piece premiered at the Liverpool Philharmonic Music Rooms in 2016 as part of the Liverpool Acoustic Festival. The fully-realised piece had its world premiere at the newly refurbished Unity Theatre in July as part of the city-wide festival 50 Summers of Love, before touring a condensed version of the production to venues including York Theatre Royal.

From the writer and composers of Narvik (Box of Tricks) and The Sum (Liverpool Everyman), this original and innovative piece of theatre explores the myth, magic and reality of the modern city. Inspired by the eclectic work of Adrian Henri in the 50th anniversary year of The Mersey Sound, Horny Handed Tons of Soil fuses beat poetry with folk song; electronic composition with live brass and percussion; documentary film with theatrical storytelling.

Lizzie said: “For a long time I’ve been performing live as a musician and incorporating spoken word in to my set, but the length of this piece means I’ve been able to go much further in crafting a narrative, drawing together images and themes, sparking off the Mersey poets’ renderings of Liverpool.

“It’s been wonderful working with composers Vidar Norheim, Martin Heslop & Martin Smith alongside videographer Tim Brunsden and designer Laura Lomax to push the piece beyond a poem set to music, turning it in to a proper show that hopefully uses visuals and audio in a surprising way. It seems fitting that the work of Adrian Henri is the main reference for the piece: I like to think he’d approve of the experiment."

For more information and tickets phone the box office on 01904 623568 or go to