Up-and-coming theatre producer Max Emmerson has come a long way since graduating from LIPA last year – and his biggest show to date has just opened at Liverpool Royal Court.
His revival of Shout! The Mod Musical began life as part of his degree course, and was so successful it had two stints at the Edinburgh Fringe before being picked up for its latest run at one on one of the city’s biggest stages.
The show is an 60s jukebox musical that originally opened off-Broadway, and features the songs of the biggest divas of the era, including Dusty Springfield, Petula Clarke, Lulu, and Cilla Black. Against this backdrop, Shout! follows the life stories and ups and downs of five female friends.
It’s a huge achievement for Stockport-born Max, who is just 22.
“The entire team is very excited to open the show on such a grand scale,” he told MADEUP. “It’s taken months of planning and preparation but we’ve pulled it all together and think it will be fantastic. The Royal Court was always our end goal for the show so it’s like a dream come true.”
Shout! has managed to retain its original cast from its LIPA days, and many of the cast, band, creative and technical teams are all graduates. Filling the role as The Voice of Shout! is Liverpool acting and comedy legend Michael Starke, and keeping it in the family his daughter Hayley Hampson – who has starred in Royal Court productions including Pharaoh ’Cross The Mersey and The Golden Oldies – plays one of the girls in the show.
“Taking the show to Edinburgh was a great experience,” Max says. “In 2014 our venue size was 150 seats and we sold out on numerous occasions. In 2015, the venue was much larger, 450 seats and we even made a profit. My hope now is that we gain more wonderful reviews and feedback from the production – we have a number of influential guests visiting us from London and beyond so fingers crossed, and watch this space!”
Max excelled at LIPA and in his time there forged links with some of the country’s top producers. He has spent the last six months assisting none other than Bill Kenwright on his iconic musicals like Blood Brother and Jesus Christ Superstar, an “invaluable experience” that has only further fired his passion for theatre. His ambition is to champion new and original musicals in the UK.
Royal Court chief executive Kevin Fearon saw the potential in Shout! early on, and said: “We saw the show at LIPA last year and we were keen to see how it developed in Edinburgh. We were confident enough in the cast and creatives that we made a small investment in the show’s Edinburgh run and now we want to show it off to Liverpool audiences. I think that this is going to be a real hit.”
Shout! The Mod Musical opened at the Royal Court this weekend and runs until June 4. Tickets available from the theatre’s website, or the box office on 0151 709 4321.