Two Liverpool theatres are offering chances for supporters of the venues get get involved immortalising themselves as part of their massive regeneration campaigns.
The Royal Court Liverpool Trust has just launched its Adopt-a-Seat campaign, to renew the 403 seats in its grand circle. It is part of the £10.6 million campaign currently underway to renovate the grade II listed theatre, and contractors began work on Phase One today (Monday) following a successful Heritage Lottery bid.
Stacey Lavery, development manager at the Trust said: “The Royal Court Theatre is known as ‘the people’s theatre’ and we are really keen to engage local communities, schools, businesses and community groups with our campaign and to help us renovate the theatre that we all love and know so well. These are exciting times for the Royal Court and this is a great way for schools and young people to be involved with our rich heritage; after all they will be the ones running the theatre in years to come.”
Anyone can adopt a seat at the Royal Court for as little as £250. In return they will receive their name and message on a plaque for 10 years and will receive priority booking opportunities.For more information, visit www.royalcourttrust.org and click Adopt-a-Seat, call 0870 787 1866 or collect a flyer from the Royal Court Box Office.
The theatre will re-open this June. Audiences can expect to see a newly redecorated stalls with a new and updated layout, improved heating and lighting, improved access and toilet facilities.
Alternatively, you could find your image making up part of the facade of the new Everyman, which is inviting people to participate in a photography project to create a ‘portrait wall’. They are looking for 105 people to put themselves forward to represent the people of Liverpool on the front of the new building, set to open late 2013.
Everyman and Playhouse artistic director Gemma Bodinetz said “We’re looking for 105 extraordinary people. And we believe everyone is extraordinary. This ‘portrait wall’ will form the defining signature to the new building.
“The Everyman has always celebrated difference and individualism and so it is that these shutters etched with the very real portraits of very real people of this city caught in a moment in time, will be a poetic and witty expression not just of the name itself but of the very spirit of the theatre.
Liverpool-based portrait photographer Dan Kenyon was appointed last year as the photographer for the façade project. A visiting lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, he is known for his 2008 book Liverpool: Sung and Unsung.
He said: “This is a really exciting project for me as a photographer. My job is both to draw out the subjects’ personalities but also fulfill the technical and compositional requirements of the manufacturing process for each individual shutter.
“Anyone can turn up on the day, register and have their photograph taken. We want to get as many different people as possible – tall, short, big, small, young, old. People can wear their favourite clothes, costumes or bring a prop for their favourite hobby, for example, a football, musical instrument, book, hat. But remember, it needs to fit on the shutter so nothing too big!”
The chosen images will be developed using pioneering technology creating a controlled water jet to cut each shutter from aluminum plates.
Whilst everyone is encouraged to attend, the theatres want people to be clear that having your photograph taken does not guarantee that your image will be used in the façade. Selection of the final images for transfer to the shutters will be made over the summer by the theatres and project architect Steve Tompkins
The ‘portrait wall’ façade project photo-sessions will be held on Saturday March 24 at the Liverpool Playhouse, Williamson Square. There will be two sessions: the morning session is from 10am to 1.30pm and you must register at the theatre by 11am; the afternoon session is from 2pm to 6pm with registration by 3.30pm.
Numbers will be limited to how many people can be photographed in one day. Anyone under the age of 16 years should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information call 0151 709 4776, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the theatres’ website www.everymanplayhouse.com.
The theatres will also be holding similar photo-session days in community centres across the city where they have been particularly active in outreach, education and inclusion activities over the last ten years.