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Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 19:01 GMT
Wags to be Culture Capital stars
Alex Curran, Kelly Ellison and Coleen McLoughlin
Alex Curran, Kelly Ellison and Coleen McLoughlin shop at Cricket
A fashion show featuring footballers' wives is to be one of the highlights of Liverpool's Capital of Culture year.

The festival line up includes high-brow art exhibitions and popular culture events celebrating music and fashion.

Culture bosses in the city revealed details of about 70 events already set up as part of the 2008 programme.

An exhibition of the work of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt will be held at the Tate Liverpool gallery, and work by Van Gogh will go on show at the Walker.

The year will kick off with a nativity play performed live on the streets of Liverpool for BBC Three, the force behind this year's Manchester Passion.

The nativity production will open with the image of a star shining above Liverpool's Liver Birds, while a torchlit procession will wind towards the River Mersey.

Gustav Klimt painting
Klimt's work will be exhibited at the Tate Liverpool

Adam Kemp, the BBC Commissioning Editor for Arts, Music and Religion, said: "After the wonderful response to Manchester Passion, we're excited to bring such an ambitious live event to the streets of Liverpool.

"People should expect a magnificent spectacle, a sing-along and a genuinely moving experience."

The fashion show featuring so-called Wags (wives and girlfriends) will see them dressed by famous Liverpool boutique Cricket.

Their names have not yet been confirmed but Coleen McLoughlin and Alex Curran - the partners of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard - are long-standing patrons of the shop.

The Cricket fashion show will be part of The People's Festival, to be held in May.

'Vienna-themed'

The festival will be a celebration of football, fashion and music, featuring images of the greatest moments in European football.

Inspired by the Klimt exhibition, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a series of Vienna-themed concerts and at two Viennese balls.

Liverpool-born conductor Sir Simon Rattle will also return to perform.

And Oscar winner Pete Postlethwaite, from Warrington, may star in a production of King Lear at the Everyman.

Sir Paul at Live 8
Sir Paul McCartney is part of Liverpool pop heritage

The city's pop music heritage will be celebrated in a riverside concert, where the acts will perform on a floating stage on the Mersey.

Names of the acts are yet to be confirmed but many people believe Sir Paul McCartney is likely to play.

Liverpool was crowned European Capital of Culture on 4 June 2003, beating a host of other major cities.

The city also saw off UK competition from Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Newcastle-Gateshead and Oxford.

Patras in Greece is the current European Capital of Culture.




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