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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 1 May 2006

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Appeal for blood donors in May

THE National Blood Service is appealing for more blood donors to come forward in May and help boost supplies for patients over the two bank holidays.

Blood donation sessions are not held on bank holidays because many regular donors take advantage of the extended break by going away. However, this means more donations are required around the holidays to ensure patients get the blood they need.

Red blood cells have a shelf-life of 35 days, but platelets, tiny cells in the blood which help it to clot, last just 5 days. It is crucial that supplies remain at a good level as they are often used to treat patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

Rachel Roberts, spokesperson for the National Blood Service, said:- “We’d like to thank all our donors who came forward around Easter and helped provide blood for patients. However, the demand for blood never stops and this month patients in the North West will need over 25,000 donations for vital medical treatments. It is very important that people come forward and donate to help make sure blood is there for them.”

New donors are needed throughout the region. Anyone aged over 17 and up to their 60th birthday, weighing more than 50 kg (7 stone 12 lbs) and in general good health could potentially start saving lives by becoming a blood donor. For more information on giving blood, including details of your nearest blood donation session, call 0845 7 711 711 or visit


Baghdad, a place of war and terror... but has it always been that way?

ACTING students at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts are offering theatre-goers a view of Baghdad, far removed from today’s constant images of death and destruction, in their latest production.

The Arabian Nights, to be performed at LIPA from 4 May to 6 May, journeys to ancient times to discover the Baghdad that was once an intellectual and cultural centre of the world, a place of wonder rather than of war and woe.

As the Capital of Iraq enters a third year of allied occupation, with lives being claimed daily through suicide bombs and street warfare, it’s hard to imagine the city’s history as anything but tragic.

But LIPA’s Postgraduate Acting students and Director Lise Olson have re-invented the ancient tales of love and humour, ably assisted by set designer Gemma Bowman who has transformed LIPA’s Sennheiser Studio Theatre into a vibrant Arabian palace, decorated in layers of rich fabrics, delicate cushions and tapestries.

The play, written by Mary Zimmerman’s, portrays an Arabian king who loves and kills a woman every night, until he meets Scheherezade the weaver of dreams and tales. For 1001 nights he delays he execution as she keeps him enthralled with her stories of love, humour and morality.

Director Lise Olson says:- “The piece reflects on a time when Baghdad was central to the intellectual and creative growth of the world. The inventive re-telling of these ancient stories shows the poetic testament to the transformational power of storytelling”

Third year Music student Michael Bruce has created a new and original score specially for the piece adding a modern Arabian feel to the play.

The Arabian Nights will be performed on the 4 May to 6 May 2006 at 7.30pm, with a matinee at 2.30pm on 6 May, in the Sennheiser Studio Theatre. Tickets cost £7 adults, £3.50 concessions and are available via Unity Theatre box office 0151 7094988 or email  or from the LIPA Box Office an hour before performances.
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