Everyman Theatre at Dusk (2009)
|Architect||Haworth Tompkins (2014)|
|Owned by||Liverpool Merseyside Theatres Trust (LMTT)|
|Type||Theatre, Bar, Restaurant, Café|
|Years active||1964 - present|
|Closed||For redevelopment 2011-2014|
Liverpool Everyman Liverpool Everyman and PlayhouseEverymanPlayhouse
|Current use||Theatre redevelopment|
The Everyman Theatre stands at the north end of Hope Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, England. It was founded in 1964 in the appropriately named Hope Hall (once a chapel, then a cinema), in an area of Liverpool noted for its bohemian environment and political edge, and quickly built a reputation for ground-breaking work. The Everyman is currently undergoing a radical transformation which will create a brand new incarnation of this pioneering and much-loved theatre. It is planned to re-open early 2014.
The building was constructed as Hope Hall, a dissenters' chapel built in 1837. In 1841 it became a church dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist. This became a public concert hall in 1853. In 1912 the hall was turned into Hope Hall Cinema, which continued serving this purpose until it closed in 1963. Prior to its closure the hall had become a meeting place for local artists, poets, folk musicians, and sculptors, including Arthur Dooley, Roger McGough, and Adrian Henri, forming what became known as the Liverpool Scene. This group decided that the building would be suitable for use as a theatre and in September 1964 the Everyman Theatre was opened by Martin Jenkins, Pete James and Terry Hands.
In 1975 the theatre closed and was rebuilt, its work being continued as a touring company until it re-opened in September 1977. During the 1970s and the 1980s works of Liverpool playwrights, including Willy Russell and Alan Bleasdale, received debuts in the theatre: these included Shirley Valentine and John, Paul, George, Ringo … and Bert. In addition to plays, the theatre has produced musicals, concerts, and an annual rock-n-roll panto each Christmas. During its time the theatre has been involved with the careers of Julie Walters, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Pryce, Pete Postlethwaite, Antony Sher, Bill Nighy, Barbara Dickson, Matthew Kelly, and Cathy Tyson.
More recently the Everyman programme has ranged from classics such as Pete Postlethwaite’s King Lear, Jonathan Pryce in The Caretaker and David Morrissey’s Macbeth to world premières of plays by a new generation of Liverpool writers such as Robert Farquhar, Jonathan Larkin, Nick Leather, Michael McLean, Chloe Moss, Lizzie Nunnery, Stephen Sharkey, Esther Wilson and Laurence Wilson.
The theatre is managed together with Liverpool Playhouse by Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust. Since 2004 The two theatres have worked to an integrated programme run by their artistic director and their executive director. Together they are registered as a charity known as Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust Limited.
Closure and rebuilding
In July 2011 the theatre closed to be completely rebuilt. The last major production was Macbeth, starring David Morrissey and Julia Ford, which closed on 11 June. This was followed by performances from Roger McGough and Brian Patten, and by the local pop band Deaf School. The final closure event took place on 2 July. From 28 July contents of the theatre, including seats and benches from the theatre, and pillars from the original Hope Hall, were available for purchase by auction. The redevelopment will cost £28 million, of which £16.8 million will be provided by Arts Council England, with £5.9 million from the European Regional Development Fund.
The new Everyman, designed by Haworth Tompkins, will include: a new 400-seat theatre to recreate the dynamic and democratic ‘thrust’ auditorium; a new incarnation of the legendary Everyman Bistro; technical facilities which will fully support the Everyman’s acclaimed programme of work; an accessible, welcoming and inspiring building which acts as a ‘creative hub’; a dedicated youth and community space to house the theatres’ extensive and growing work with schools, community groups and YEP (Young Everyman Playhouse); front-of-house catering and bar facilities, rehearsal space and production workshops; and a high specification for environmental sustainability including natural ventilation.
In 1970 Paddy Byrne and Dave Scott established a restaurant in the basement of the theatre known as the Liverpool Everyman Bistro, which became a popular dining venue in the city. There are plans to create a similar restaurant to be associated with the new theatre.
- "New Everyman theatre...". LiverpoolEcho.co.uk. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- Pye 2011, p. 33.
- Everyman, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, retrieved 8 August 2011
- About us, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, retrieved 8 August 2011
- Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust Ltd, Charity Commission, retrieved 8 August 2011
- Redevelopment date confirmed, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, 5 April 2011, retrieved 8 August 2011
- Auction, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, retrieved 8 August 2011
- Leece, William (18 May 2011), "End of an era as the Liverpool Everyman Bistro plans its final menu", Liverpool Daily Post (Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales), retrieved 8 August 2011
- The Bistro is now closed for redevelopment, Everyman Bistro and Bars, retrieved 8 August 2011