The Everyman’s annual new writing festival Everyword returns next weekend for a short but sweet run in an unexpected location. A host of familiar names and new partners will be teaming up for an event crammed full of inventive and imaginative talent.
Everything will take place at the Royal School for the Blind on the corner of Hope Street and Hardman Street, thanks to to festival partners Hope Street Hotel who own the site. Soon to be an extension of the boutique hotel, Everyword aims to provide audiences with an insight into the intriguing building ahead of its redevelopment – with some of the works inspired by its rich history. The theatres will be working again with a team of design and production students from LIPA, and collaborating with DaDaFest.
The heart of the Everyword festival is the ‘work in progress’ readings of new plays. This year Everyword will present Jeff Young’s Bright Phoenix, an homage to Liverpool taking us onto the roofs, into lost cinemas and secret garden, while David Spencer’s A Rook Flew Through the Room is performed by George Costigan (pictured above, in the recent Playhouse production of Crime and Punishment) and Niall Costigan and is the story of one man’s love-hate relationship with life.
Unsung is a new play remembering the extraordinary life of Edward Rushton, Liverpool’s most implacable opponent of slavery and original founder of the Blind School in 1791. The play, presented in partnership with DaDaFest and Turf Love, is written by John Graham Davies (Beating Berlusconi) and James Quinn and directed by Young Everyman Playhouse director Matt Rutter.
Friday night action will be provided by Cop Thriller, a show based on an original crime from Liverpool’s past when the Blind School was headquarters for the Police Special Squad during the 1920s. Another part of the building’s history, murals of trade unionist movement, will be explored in Revolution which has been devised and developed by members of Young Everyman Playhouse.
Each day the festival will bring together a cocktail of composers, writers and directors to create a series of miniature musicals entitled The Music Rooms, including Lizzie Nunnery, Tayo Aluko, Laurence Wilson and Matthew Xia (director-in-residence currently at the helm of Scrappers in the Playhouse Srudio).
Everyword also includes two workshops for aspiring writers this year which focus on creating work in unusual and disused spaces outside traditional theatre settings. John McGrath from National Theatre of Wales shares his experience in Thursday’s workshop and on Friday Everyman and Playhouse Literary Associate Lindsay Rodden and Liverpool-born playwright Stephen Sharkey (The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui) talk about this increasingly popular form of theatre-making.
It all takes place from November 14 to 16. For a full guide and ticket prices, check everymanplayhouse.co.uk.