This autumn at the Everyman and Playhouse, stages and rehearsal rooms showcase a continued commitment to developing an even wider array of voices and stories that reflect Liverpool and the world we live in.
Identifying Northern talent and supporting the development of artists wherever they are on the career path is vital to the theatres’ role as an artistic hub, working in collaboration with some of the city region’s most exciting established and emerging companies.
With Cherry Jezebel by Liverpool writer Jonathan Larkin recently nominated for Best New Play in the UK Theatre Awards, Suba Das, Creative Director at the theatres said:
“Liverpool has an enviable history of creativity in theatre, music, tv and more. It’s a city of storytellers. A city full of passion, creativity and a desire to change the world. Our theatres have long played their part in this and across our stages and rehearsal rooms, new voices, artists and change makers are making their own mark. Cherry Jezebel earlier this year is part of that journey, with the theatres giving Jonathan his first stage show back in 2005. We’re thrilled with the award nomination, excited by what’s ahead and hope our audiences will be too.”
At the Everyman, the new queer love story A Billion Times I Love You written and directed by Young Everyman Playhouse [YEP] graduates, is followed by Paperwork’s Deep Blue from Thursday 20th to Saturday 22nd October. Punctuated by an original indie-rock soundtrack Deep Blue is a raw, tender and comic exploration of what it means to belong. Paperwork are a Liverpool based collective, creating bold theatrical events which are joyful, playful and full of humanity, staged in traditional theatres, unusual places, and community owned spaces.
A double bill of Live Music, Hip Hop, film, and poetry, from Liverpool’s finest follows at the Everyman on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th November when 20 Stories High make a welcome return. Bursting at the seams with originality, scouse humour and grit, TOUCHY – a collection of unique stories told through a mash up of eye-popping animation, heartfelt music video, and gripping drama all shown on the big screen – is followed by ANTHOLOGY – a raw piece of gig theatre that promises to raise the roof!
The theatres have begun a new collaboration with 20 Stories High and Graeae Theatre Company with a period of research and development currently underway in the Everyman’s rehearsal room on High Times and Dirty Monsters. A Hip-Hop theatre show exploring the good times, heartbreaks, and systemic oppressions of Deaf, Disabled, and Neurodivergent young adults in the UK. High Times and Dirty Monsters will open at the Everyman in Autumn 2023 before touring nationally.
In the intimacy of the Playhouse Studio, New Step Theatre bring DOGS from Wednesday 12th to Saturday 15th October. A horrific crime smashes two worlds together in this new gut-punch of a play about nature, nurture and what we inherit. New Step Theatre, a collaboration between director Nathan Powell and playwright Joe Ward Munrow, is a theatre company for change telling the tales that need that need to be told, by the people who need to tell them, in the places they need to be heard. While on Saturday 5th November, the invitation is to Try Something New as Queercore(part of Homotopia Festival) brings a funny, moving and uplifting series of short performances from an array of emerging and established LGBTQIA performers and writers.
The Playhouse Studio also gives opportunities to current members and graduates of the award-winning talent development programme, Young Everyman Playhouse [YEP]. Silent Cicada is a dark comedy about a ruthless crime boss, written and directed by YEP 2nd Year Director, Lorna McCoid (Friday 28th and Saturday 29th October). Samuel Bailey’s Sorry You’re Not A Winner is a coming of age story navigating class and complexity of friendship directed by YEP 2nd Year Director, Melissa Ratcliffe (Friday 11th to Saturday 12th November). While Service, created by YEP graduates Mostyn Jones and Martyna Puciato is a darkly funny peek inside the harsh world of the service industry (Friday 25th November).
Ideas and the sparks of new shows can be enjoyed at monthly Scratch Studio Saturday events (22ndOctober and 26th November). At the Everyman, this brunch date with a difference (a £5 ticket includes a coffee and pastry) is a chance to see an eclectic mix of innovative performance in the early stages of development, offering you the chance to have your say.
Often feeding into Scratch Studio are ideas and plays coming through the Playwrights Programme, a free course for writers and theatre makers in the Liverpool City Region. Each year up to eight writers are invited to hone their playwriting skills and knowledge, working with the in-house artistic team and visiting writers, directors and other practitioners. The Playwrights’ Programme, is currently recruiting with a closing date of Monday 17th October.
Recent graduate, Marcella Rick said:
“The Playwrights Programme is truly brilliant. It’s helped me to develop my writing skills, and has provided me with opportunities to share my work, connect with and learn from other artists, which have massively improved my confidence. I applied for the programme hoping to learn a bit more about the craft, and I’ve come out the other side as a confident theatre maker, with a voice, and lots of stories that I’m excited to tell. I’m now one of Homotopia’s Queercore Artists, and recently shared my first play as an Open Call Artist at Unity Theatre. There are so many unique voices in Liverpool, and free programmes like this are vital to support and develop them to be able to create exciting new theatre.“