SINGER and former studio boss Thomas Lang was confirmed as the new Everyman's director of food and beverages, among a raft of announcements made today by the Hope Street theatre's supremos.
Everyman and Playhouse Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz and Executive Director Deborah Aydon staged a press call at the Hope Street Hotel in which they revealed that the “naughty” new theatre would open on Saturday March 1 with Lights Up, a parade produced by Liverpool Lantern Company and Walk The Plank.
Matthew KellyThe following day (Sunday March 2), people will get their first chance to inspect the space in a week-long “housewarming” before the first production – Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, gets under way on March 8, starring 1974 rep company members Matthew Kelly and Neil Woodeson, along with Neil Caple, Pauline Daniels and panto dame Adam Keast.
Gemma Bodinetz’s production "blends the Everyman’s rebellious history with Twelfth Night’s themes of a night of misrule and naughtiness as a host of mismatched lovers and fools search for their own happy endings".
It will be followed by a newly commissioned piece of Liverpool writing, Hope Place, by Michael Wynne who penned the BBC TV comedy Being Eileen.
David Greig’s Edinburgh Fringe First Award-winning The Events will visit the city for a week, involving six local community choirs.
The season will round off with a world première co-production with Cornwall-based Kneehigh theatre company on a new Beggar’s Opera titled Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs).
The new Everyman Bistro: Pic Steve Aland
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.”
Gemma Bodinetz: 'The Everyman
has always been fearless'The old Everyman and the independently owned and run Bistro occupied the Victorian former Hope Hall. They were demolished in 2011 to make way for a new theatre which promises improved facilities for actors, production companies and audiences.
The new build, costing £27m, including £17m from the National Lottery and £1.9m from private funding bodies, will include a lighting gantry with disabled access, a lorry-accessible get-in bay.
Around 25,000 bricks from the old Hope Hall have been used in the construction.
The new-look Bistro will be owned by the theatre and profits ploughed back into the programme. It is one of three bar spaces operated by national catering company Baxter Storey who have appointed former 3345 owner Tom Lang to the operations role.
Everyman Company 1974-75
- Photo By Liverpool
Daily Post And Echo“After ten years’ planning and two years’ construction we are thrilled to be able to announce the Everyman’s reawakening,” said Deborah Aydon. “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.”
There does, however, remain a £350,000 shortfall in the public appeal funding, which is earmarked for a special Talent Fund, a writers' room and a new rehearsal space to be used by community groups and the Young Everyman Playhouse which is currently housed next door in the Annex.
A theatre spokesman told Liverpool Confidential: “The Everyone For The Everyman appeal has received over 1,000 donations and will continue to play an important part in reaching the final fundraising target, while we are also in discussion with trusts and private individuals capable of making significant contributions.”
The new theatre takes shape