Liverpool’s Everyman theatre will begin the next chapter in its history in 2014, with a parade and event on Hope Street on 1st March and a ‘housewarming’ on 2nd, before the theatre bursts fully back to life with Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz’s production of Twelfth Night, from Saturday 8th March.
Funded by the National Lottery from Arts Council England, European Regional Development Fund and the Northwest Regional Development Agency, the new Everyman is a reincarnation of the 400-seat theatre with its dynamic ‘thrust’ auditorium, and much more. A new incarnation of the basement bistro will be joined by a new ground floor café and a first floor bar and balcony.
The building will be full of new creative spaces, with a rehearsal room, workshops, sound studio, a Writers’ Room, and EV1 – a special studio dedicated to Young Everyman Playhouse, education and community groups. The front of the theatre features 105 portraits of people from across Merseyside whose images have been etched into metal shutters to create a unique piece of public art.
Executive Director, Deborah Aydon, said:
“After ten years’ planning and two years’ construction we are thrilled to be able to announce the Everyman’s reawakening. We have a very busy few months ahead, getting ready for that extraordinary moment when the people of Liverpool can take possession of their beautiful new theatre. The reaction to the exterior has been really wonderful and we can’t wait to have the Everyman fully back to life, thronged with people making it their own.”
Artistic Director, Gemma Bodinetz, said:
“The Everyman has historically been a theatre that has represented the renegade and generous spirit of this city. It has held its arms wide open for the broadest section of humanity. It has always been fearless. It has always had a twinkle in its eye. When choosing the productions for this inaugural season I wanted plays that expressed these qualities; rebellious stories infused with wit and love. Stories for everyone that each in their different ways celebrate individualism.”
Gilbert Ash is the main contractor on the Everyman Theatre project, whilst leading architectural practice Haworth Tompkins is the architect. Mastercraft Construction Concrete is responsible for the framework as well as the joinery fit-out works on the project.
The Everyman Theatre was founded in 1964 in the appropriately named Hope Hall – formerly a chapel and cinema – in an area of Liverpool noted for its bohemian environment and political edge. The theatre quickly built a reputation for ground-breaking work and provided a starting point for some of the UK’s top acting talent, including leading names such as Julie Walters, Matthew Kelly, Bill Nighy and Jonathan Pryce.
Once work is complete on the project the site will be able to cater for the next generation of writers, actors and directors.
For more information about Everyman, including information on the progress of the new theatre, please visit: www.everymanplayhouse.com.