Following a season of work that has transferred to London and toured the UK, including The Misanthrope, A Day in The Death of Joe Egg and The Match Box, the Playhouse leads on world premières and creative collaboration this autumn.
Melody Loses Her Mojo, a vibrant new work by Keith Saha produced in collaboration with 20 Stories High and Leicester Curve, will be followed by a major new adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment by Chris Hannan – a co-production with Glasgow’s Citizens and Edinburgh’s Lyceum theatres – and Daniel Matthew’s debut play, Scrappers.
Everyman and Playhouse artistic director Gemma Bodinetz said: “This season the Playhouse will deliver a rich cocktail of extraordinary versions of classic plays and exhilarating world premières in both the main house and the Studio. Chris Hannan’s remarkable adaptation of Crime and Punishment is an epic telling of a classic tale. 20 Stories High are a Liverpool company whose work we have long admired and with whom we are always delighted to be associated, while Scrappers brings together Young Everyman Playhouse, LIPA and the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme for a production that is sure follow in the tradition of great new work first brought to life in our Studio.”
After success at the Everyman in 2010 with Ghost Boy (which won the Brian Way Award), 20 Stories High, one of the most dynamic and engaging companies in the country producing work for young people, make their Playhouse debut with Melody Loses Her Mojo. The production will use the company’s trademark lyrical storytelling, contemporary visuals and live music.
Scrappers, the debut play by Daniel Matthew, is described as a funny and tender inter-generational comedy that tells the story of a small group of scrap merchants fighting the decline of their beloved industry and struggling to accept change. Daniel developed the play while on the Young Everyman Playhouse Writers Programme and it went on to receive a rehearsed reading at last year’s Everyword Festival. It is directed by Everyman and Playhouse Director in Residence Matthew Xia (Wild Child, Royal Court; Mad Blud, Theatre Royal Stratford East) who is with the Playhouse as part of the regional theatre young directors scheme. The production will be designed by the winner of the Everyman and Playhouse Design Prize, awarded annually to a graduate of LIPA.
Everyword returns in October with a full week of events, rehearsed readings and workshops with some of the leading lights in new writing from around the country. Scrappers is just the latest in a long line of plays which have begun at Everyword, following Unprotected (2005), Intemperance (2007), Lost Monsters (2009), The Swallowing Dark (2011) and Held (2012).
Touring shows headed to the Playhouse this autumn’s touring programme include Headlong’s co-production with Nottingham Playhouse of George Orwell’s iconic novel 1984, adapted by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan.
The Useful Donkey Theatre Company return to the Studio with their stage adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s A Day of Pleasure, performed by Everyman founding member Stuart Richman (postponed last year due to illness), while Northern Broadsides bring The Grand Gesture by Deborah McAndrew. The Snail and the Whale offers a literary adaptation for young audiences, presented by Tall Stories who were last at the Playhouse with The Gruffalo’s Child.
There is comedy with Mark Thomas’s 100 Acts of Minor Dissent and ventriloquist Nina Conti’s full-length show Dolly Mixtures. In the Studio, Monkey Bars features the words of children spoken by adults, playing adults in adult situations to hilarious and profound effect and, in On The One Hand, Fringe First winners The Paper Birds explore what it means to age.
The year ends with the rock ‘n’ roll panto returning to the Playhouse, with Francis Tucker and Adam Keast returning in Aladdin. Hooray!