Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. In 1999, the Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust was formed to create a joint management for the city’s two major producing theatres. The Playhouse, a 640-seat Victorian proscenium theatre was the home to one of the first, and longest-running, repertory companies in the country. The Everyman, founded in 1964 in a converted chapel, built a reputation for contemporary, politically-engaged work with deep local roots. Each had been pioneering, influential centres for high quality theatrical endeavour. Standing on the shoulders of both these histories, the Trust is a 21st century organisation, driven by an inclusive philosophy and a passionate artistic agenda.
The Trust’s mission is to be an engine for creative excellence, artistic adventure, and audience involvement; firmly rooted in our community, yet both national and international in scope and ambition. In 2004, the Everyman and Playhouse entered a new and dynamic era, driven by a major expansion in in-house production and by a passionate commitment to the development of new talent and new audiences. The result has been the restoration of Liverpool to a vital role in the city’s cultural life and a leading position on the national theatrical map.
"My belief is that the really imaginative producers of today are to be found not in the commercial sector but among the directors of subsidised theatres. People like Nicholas Hytner at the National, Michael Grandage at the Donmar, Dominic Cooke at the Royal Court, Vicky Featherstone at the NationalTheatre of Scotland, Jonathan Church at Chichester and Gemma Bodinetz and Deborah Aydon at Liverpool are the real Diaghilevs of modern British Theatre" Michael Billington, Guardian, August 2007
At the Everyman, the in-house programme centres on new writing, primarily that emerging from an extraordinary new generation of playwriting talent in the city. We often work in collaboration with colleagues around the country, and our recent productions of new plays have involved transfers to, and co-productions with, Hampstead Theatre, the Traverse and the Royal Court.
"[Lizzie Nunnery] captures the pulse of the elected Capital of Culture by winding the clock back to a former golden era. Intemperance is a timeless family tragi-comedy that aims to combine the moral backbone of Ibsen with the verbal elasticity of O'Casey… The Everyman's new writing programme has unearthed a talent worth celebrating." The Guardian on Intemperance
At the Playhouse, the focus is on bold, theatrical productions which bring great plays to vivid life. Recent examples include a co-production with West Yorkshire Playhouse of a new Mike Poulton version of Hedda Gabler; the complete reconfiguration of the Playhouse auditorium by Ed Dick and Robert Innes-Hopkins for Our Country’s Good, and emotionally powerful productions of American classics directed by Gemma Bodinetz.
"There has to be some kind of redemption for this long night's journey into day, and it comes in the final moments as Bartholomew and Black subside into a spent, sobbing embrace. It's an exceptional moment that proves that to be capable of such unbridled hatred, one must have an equal capacity for magnanimous love." The Guardian on Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
The programme for Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture 2008 continues the growth in the theatres’ artistic ambition while reflecting the venues’ glorious history. Diane Samuels and Tracey-Ann Oberman’s 3 Sisters on Hope Street and Esther Wilson’s Ten Tiny Toes maintains the prominence of the new writing ethos within the Everyman programme while Matthew Kelly and Pete Postlethwaite return to the venue where their careers began in Endgame and King Lear. Roger McGough’s re-write of Tartuffe epitomises the combination of international work with a local flavour at the Playhouse while two new musicals, Eric’s and Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi, reflect Liverpool’s recent heritage. Working closely with the other major arts organisations in the city to deliver a £1.34m programme funded by ACE’s Thrive initiative, we will be taking every opportunity to ensure that 2008 provides a springboard to a new era of cultural leadership, financial security, artistic ambition, and engagement with all the communities of Merseyside.
"The Everyman in Liverpool is living up to its name. Thanks to a new play, it is doing what theatres all over the country dream of: pulling in scores of first-time theatre-goers alongside loyal subscribers" The Observer on Unprotected
After 2008, the next chapter in the theatres’ story will be a major capital redevelopment on both sites, to transform these nineteenth-century buildings into inspiring, 21st century centres for artists and audiences. We have appointed an exceptional design team, led by Steve Tompkins, the award-winning architect best known for his work on the Royal Court and Young Vic theatres. This project is at the stage of final feasibility study, with large-scale fundraising now reaching the stage of formal bids. Major stakeholders have responded enthusiastically to the project and funding is progressing well. The capital development is being planned as a major legacy project for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year, and we are working towards building work commencing in 2009 and completing in 2011.
Booking in person
You can book for both Theatres at either Box Office, open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm and until 8pm on performance nights.
Booking by telephone - 0151 709 4776
Booking lines are open Monday to Saturday 10am to 7pm. Please have your credit card ready when booking.
Booking by post
Liverpool Playhouse Box Office, Williamson Square, Liverpool, L1 1EL