Everyword, the Everyman’s festival of new plays and new theatre-making, stories, experiments and new ideas will spring to life this week – from Wednesday (May 11) to Saturday (May 14). With the theme of Stories from the City, it promises to “tell tales from the beating heart of the city to the gleaming horizon”. New plays-in-progress from Michael Wynne and Jonathan Harvey, and a piece created by Liverpool artists responding to the refugee crisis are among the highlights.
On Wednesday there will be a play reading of Jonathan Harvey’s (Gimme Gimme Gimme, Beautiful Thing, Canary) latest play Our Lady of Blundellsands, directed by the Everyman’s artistic director Gemma Bodinetz. Sisters Sylvie and Garnet live in a house by the sea; Sylvie’s not left the house for thirty years. Her boys are coming home for Garnet’s 70th, but Garnet’s just had some bad news. Is it time to reveal that this is a house built on lies?
The Big Brilliant Music Hall Show is an as-yet-untitled new piece by Michael Wynne (Hope Place). On Saturdaythere will be a reading of scenes and songs from this new work based on the Playhouse’s music hall past.
Also on Saturday, a group of Liverpool writers, directors, actors and musicians will create a new piece in response to the refugee crisis in Europe. Every penny of ticket sales goes to the charity Help Refugees, and the Ev also be collecting goods throughout the festival for local charity Asylum Link. Titled The Stranger’s Case, it will be created freshly in the coming weeks by the group that includes Saphena Aziz, Esther Dix, Ella Greenhill, Elli Johnson, Mez Ndukwe, Lizzie Nunnery, Lindsay Rodden and Jeff Young. More artists and cast will be announced soon. They say: “The theatres feel it is important to represent the refugee crisis on stage and will be filling the piece with stories, poetry and music”.
For Liverpool LightNight (Friday, May 13) the festival will create an installation called The Invisible City, a free event for people to drop into throughout the evening, written by Paddy Hughes, Alex Joynes, Raven Maguire, Deborah Morgan, Molly Taylor and Jeff Young. Six voices speak from their mark on the map, telling us their story, arriving at this point in time and space.
Every day during the festival in the Everyman Theatre Bar there will be a Platform event offering five minute slots to anyone who has something to say. Curator Paddy Hughes says: “What you say at Platform can be a poem, a monologue, a beautifully crafted plea or a rebel rant, most importantly, it should be about the world right now as you see it, or as you wish it would be”.
Shôn Dale-Jones, who has just performed at the Everyman with his one-man show The Duke, presents a story-in-progress called Stories From…. in which he ponders the initial stages of making a live solo show inspired by his childhood memories of living in a small market town on the middle of the Isle of Anglesey. The festival will also include three workshops from industry leaders. For tickets, times and more information, visit the Everyman’s website.