The wait is over, as today we found out that Liverpool’s beloved, brand-spanking new Everyman theatre will open to the public in March next year.
A ‘lights up’ celebration – that will happen outside for fear of swamping the place if they opened the doors – will take place on March 1, with a ‘housewarming’ for us all to have a nose around the following day.
The first production will be Twelfth Night, opening on March 8. Directed by the theatre’s own Gemma Bodinetz it will star a cast of past and present Ev talent, including Matthew Kelly, Neil Caple and panto star Adam Keast.
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.”
Here’s the science bit:
Designed by Haworth Tompkins and 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, first floor bar and balcony above the iconic red sign. 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. That cutting edge use of technology continues throughout the building, which is exceptionally green and accessible.
Public booking for the new season of the Everyman and Playhouse theatres opens on November 28.
Photo credit: Steve Aland