Everyman & Playhouse Autumn Season to Feature World Premiere of Jeff Young's BRIGHT PHOENIX
The first season with the Everyman and Playhouse back together has been extraordinary; thousands flocked to the opening weekend and the Everyman has since earned a national RIBA award and North West building of the year. Now the theatres look ahead to an autumn season featuring three ambitious new productions, full of invention and humanity. Juno and the Paycock, Sex and the Three Day Week and Bright Phoenix are have been created to reflect our time and place and the theatres' desire to be daring and create plays that connect the theatrical inventors of the present and future to the heartbeat of the city.
Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz said: "Having the Everyman back has reminded us of the joys of a rich and eclectic season across both theatres, infused with the heartbeat of the city and brought to life by extraordinary ensembles of actors and artists. This coming season the in-house productions at both theatres celebrate full blooded theatricality, from the rich tragi-comedy of one of the masterpieces of Irish theatre, through Liverpool magic realism with songs, a classic French farce reinvented and relocated and of course our many splendoured rock n' roll panto. It's a season that we hope reflects the idiosyncrasy, politics, wit and passion of Liverpool whilst celebrating the universal magic and power of self-conscious theatricality."
Bodinetz directs Juno and the Paycock at the Playhouse in a co-production with Bristol Old Vic. The cast featuresNiamh Cusack (The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time, Apollo/ National Theatre; Playboy Of The Western World, The Old Vic; Heartbeat, ITV) as the eponymous Juno and Des McAleer (Hunger, Icon Productions; The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Liverpool Everyman; Casualty, BBC) as her husband Jack Boyle. In a world of zero contract hours, the spread of pawnbrokers, and matriarchs like Juno who struggle to hold their family together against the odds, this O'Casey classic still resonates now as much as it did 90 years ago.
Jeff Young's new play, Bright Phoenix, has its world première at the Everyman in October and is inspired by a hidden Liverpool, a version of the city that is unauthorised and often unseen. A wild play about the carnival of the city at night seen through different eyes. It is a love story tinged with tragedy about a gang of rebel kids who don't fit in who grow up to be a gang of rebel adults who still don't fit in. And about their love for a dying cinema and their mad plan to bring it back to life like a phoenix in the night.
Serdar Bili? will direct both Bright Phoenix, and the Playhouse Christmas show, Sex and the Three Day Week, by Stephen Sharkey based on L'Hôtel du Libre Échange by Georges Feydeau. Following the successful adaptations ofMolière's French farces at the Playhouse, Sharkey takes Feydeau's original and reimagines it for early 1970s Britain - a time of strikes, blackouts, free love and the three day week. With an explosion of middle-age crises, mistaken identities and misfiring sexual shenanigans everything is turned upside down when two couples explore relationships outside of their marriages and release a roller coaster of laughter.
After three years away from its spiritual home, the rock 'n' roll panto returns to the Everyman with Little Red Riding Hood: Howl Lotta Love, written by regular writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton. Audiences will be treated to even more flying, water and special effects than ever before in this handcrafted production that is sure to be Liverpool's best Christmas party.
Everyman and Playhouse productions will continue to be seen by audiences outside the city thanks to the co-production of Juno and the Paycock with Bristol Old Vic, while the current production of Dead Dog in a Suitcasewith Kneehigh will also be staged in that city in October. After great success last year the theatre's co-production ofThe Kite Runner will embark on a national tour, including a welcome return to the Playhouse for one-week only, withBen Turner once more in the lead role of Amir.
This season as the Everyman turns 50, its spirit and history is celebrated with a series of events throughout the autumn. In August and September an exhibition charting its history which will be curated by Liverpool John Moores University who recently became the theatres' principal partner and who hold the Everyman archive. Bright Phoenixwill delve into the theatre's links with the city's creative underbelly, while the Everyman will join a national-wide event, hosting a pop-up Fun Palace inspired by Joan Littlewood on 4 and 5 October.
The Everyman's position at the creative heart of the city is seen in three events this autumn. Sense of Sound's new commission for the 2014 Liverpool International Music Festival, Migration Music, takes to the main stage on 28 and 29 August. The Everyword Festival returns at the end of October with 23 events taking place across both venues and around the city. The theatres will also be supporting Cosmic Trigger, Daisy Eris Campbell's play that celebrates her father - and legendary Everyman Artistic Director Ken Campbell's - 1976 play Illuminatos, which will première in Liverpool in November.
The Playhouse has the première of JOHN, a new verbatim dance-theatre work by Lloyd Newson, Artistic Director of DV8 Physical Theatre, co-produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain that will launch the Homotopia Festival. The theatres will also host touring work by Northern Broadsides with She Stoops To Conquer and Children's favourites Tall Stories stage Room on the Broom.
Mark Thomas's new show Cuckooed tells the true story of how he was spied on by Britain biggest arms manufacturer, while former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion performs poems from his new collection The Customs House and Ruby Wax performs Sane New World, based on her best-selling book of the same name. Tim Firth, who's Flint Street Nativity royally entertained audiences at the Playhouse in the past, returns with This Is My Family.