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Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Announce 2023 Season and New Associate Companies

Learn more about the lineup here!

Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Announce 2023 Season and New Associate Companies

Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse has announced a 2023 season that boasts four re-imagined classics on stage and the introduction of six new Associate Companies.

The lineup is as follows:

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Caryl Churchill re-locates her classic play Top Girls to Liverpool

The world stage premiere of The Beekeeper of Aleppo, visits Liverpool ahead of a national tour

Adjoa Andoh returns to the stage to direct and star as Shakespeare's iconic anti-hero Richard III

A funked-up remix of Alice in Wonderland promises musical fun for all the family and a modern riff on a timeless classic

A cohort of six Associate Companies (20 Stories High, Cardboard Citizens, Graeae, Homotopia, New Earth, Talawa Theatre Company) announced as Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse continue their promise to work with the best arts practitioners from around the country

Public Booking for Top Girls and The Beekeeper of Aleppo is now open. Booking for Richard III and Alice in Wonderland opens on 5 December.

Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023 has been adapted for Liverpool audiences by Churchill and will be directed by the theatre's Creative Director Suba Das. The best-selling novel The Beekeeper of Aleppo is re-imagined for the stage and presented by Nottingham Playhouse in association with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and UK Productions Ltd. Bridgerton's Adjoa Andoh directs and plays the title role in Shakespeare's Richard III in a co-production with the Rose Theatre, Kingston. A funked-up remix musical version of family-favourite Alice in Wonderland brings Lewis Carroll's characters to life in association with Stockroom and Theatre Royal Plymouth. A new cohort of Associate Companies is announced including 20 Stories High, Cardboard Citizens, Graeae, Homotopia, New Earth and Talawa Theatre Company.

Suba Das, Creative Director of Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse said, "I'm delighted to welcome audiences to these ground-breaking productions. Re-joining the Arts Council's National Portfolio means that we can forge ahead with our exciting plans for 2023 and beyond, and alongside our brilliant friends and colleagues in the city continue to bring the most exciting, accessible, and transformative cultural experiences to our audiences. As Eurovision lands, next year promises to shine fresh light on the artistic achievements of our hometown and we will continue to develop and champion the voices and stories that make Liverpool one of the greatest cities in the world."

Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse presents

TOP GIRLS

By Caryl Churchill

Directed by Suba Das

Designed by Grace Smart

Lighting Design by Katherine Williams

Sound Designer and Composer Nicola T. Chang

Assistant Director Millie Foy

3 - 25 March 2023 at Liverpool Everyman

Press Night - Tuesday 7 March at 7.30pm

Caryl Churchill's Top Girls is 40 years old, but this ground-breaking play is still as relevant as when it was written. Now reimagined for Liverpool and the Everyman by Churchill herself, this dazzlingly inventive and fiercely funny classic is about to be reborn.

Directed by Creative Director Suba Das, the clock spins back to the early 1980s - the divisive decade that transformed Britain. Slick, sharp and sophisticated, Top Girls puts women and their stories centre stage, and asks questions of a culture that drives some to the top but that leaves many more wondering what happened to their dreams.

Acclaimed as one of British theatre's crowning glories, Top Girls is a stunning original - now more urgent and necessary than ever, it rises up again in unstoppable Liverpool style.

Suba Das said, "When I first encountered the genius of Top Girls as a student twenty years ago, I couldn't have imagined that one day I would be meeting Caryl Churchill - our country's greatest living playwright - and that we would explore together how to make her masterpiece tell a story for Liverpool today; relocating the childhoods of lead characters Marlene, Joyce and Angie to Liverpool in the 70s and 80s. Our new production still takes place under the shadow of Thatcher, but it's been profound and shocking to hear her words about the poverty and carelessness in society against the backdrop of the economic turmoil we are all living through now. This play was part of a wave of protest in the 1980s that for a time did lead to steps forward in equality and inclusion. As a boy who grew up on a Northern council estate in the 1980s, that spirit of activism - and the opportunities it created - is why I'm able to do this job now. We're proud to revive Top Girls in that same spirit and to create a space at the Everyman for all of us who demand change."

Nottingham Playhouse in association with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and UK Productions Ltd present

THE BEEKEEPER OF ALEPPO

Adapted for the stage by Nesrin Alrefaai and Matthew Spangler

from the acclaimed novel by Christy Lefteri

Director - Miranda Cromwell

Designer - Ruby Pugh

Lighting Designer - Ben Ormerod

Casting Director - Christopher Worrall

1 - 11 March 2023 at Liverpool Playhouse

Press Night - Wednesday 1 March at 7.30pm

Christy Lefteri's gripping best-selling novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo reunites the team that produced the international stage sensation The Kite Runner. Adapted by Nesrin Alrefaai and Matthew Spangler (who also adapted The Kite Runner) and directed by Olivier Award winning Miranda Cromwell (Death of a Salesman - Young Vic, Piccadilly Theatre and Broadway), the production will tour the UK after Liverpool.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo tells the story of Nuri, a beekeeper; and his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo - until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. On their terrifying journey, they must face the pain of their own unbearable loss alongside incredible danger. Above all, they must journey to find each other again.

This compassionate and beautiful play is a story of connection - between friends, families and strangers.

Christy Lefteri's novel was the winner of the Aspen Words Award, runner up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and one of The Times' top three bestselling books of 2020.


Rose Theatre and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres in association with Swinging The Lens present

RICHARD III

By William Shakespeare

Directed by and starring Adjoa Andoh

6 - 22 April 2023 at Liverpool Playhouse

Press Night - Tuesday 11 April at 7.30pm

Following her critically acclaimed production of Richard II at Shakespeare's Globe, Adjoa Andoh (Bridgerton) returns to the stage to direct and star as Shakespeare's most iconic and complex antihero, Richard III.

A tale of power plays and political manipulation, Richard III charts the rise of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who deceives and murders anyone who stands in his path to becoming king.

Adjoa Andoh said, "Richard is a character I have loved since childhood. Growing up in a tiny Cotswold village in the 1960's & 70's, I immediately felt a connection to someone singled out because of their appearance.

On first reading Shakespeare's play as a child, I was outraged at the way Richard was portrayed, but now appreciate one of the questions Shakespeare posits - what happens to a person and their sense of self, if throughout their life bad intentions are ascribed to them based solely on their appearance? I call this body pathologising. It happens to many people in many circumstances across the world to this day, and in this production, I want to explore the story, and that question through the lens of race.

I'm delighted that the show is a co-production with Liverpool Playhouse, as my mother is a Liverpudlian, and finally I get to perform in her beloved city; our childhoods united on stage. I can't wait to whip off the corsets and share this production with audiences in Liverpool and London next spring.'

This original staging strips the text back to question: is Richard as wicked as Shakespeare portrays him, or is his villainy born out of exclusion?

Shifting its lens to race, based on Andoh's own experiences of growing up, this tenacious production asks what it means to be born into a society where you do not belong, and the human soul's capacity to withstand a hostile environment.

Suba Das, said, "Both the Playhouse and the Everyman have had a long history of incredible Shakespeare performances by Liverpool acting royalty from Pete Postlethwaite to David Morrissey to Kim Cattrall treading our boards in some of the bard's most iconic roles. It's an honour in my first year here to continue this proud tradition and with the team at Rose Theatre entice Adjoa off the 'Bridgerton' set and back to Liverpool (where her mum grew up) to take on Richard III, one of the greatest plays and characters ever written. As both lead actor and director, Adjoa is assembling a stunning cast and creative team around her for a production that will examine race and trauma. It's a timely reimagining and I'm so very proud our audiences at the Playhouse will be the first in the world to experience what will be one of the year's theatrical highlights."

Following the opening performances at Liverpool Playhouse, Richard III will transfer to the Rose Theatre, Kingston from 25 April to 13 May 2023.

Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse in association with Stockroom and Theatre Royal Plymouth present

Lewis Carroll's

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

By Stockroom

Directed by Kate Wasserberg

With original music by Vikki Stone

Tuesday 4 to Saturday 22 July 2023 at Liverpool Playhouse

Press Night - Thursday 6 July at 7pm

A funked-up remix of Lewis Carroll's classic, where musical streams and digital dreams collide in a riotous adventure for all the family!

When local lass Alice tries to repair her dear Dad's much-loved old stereo, a slip of the screwdriver hurtles her into a strange new world. As the tape unravels, she meets a host of unlikely new friends, and faces a musical battle royale with Queen Bee and the infamous Queen of Charts.

Spinning together a familiar story with a company of awesomely talented actor-musicians, this new remix, lovingly created with Theatre Royal Plymouth and Stockroom, is bursting with brilliant original music inspired by the best of British pop.

Head down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass and into a Wonderland like you've never seen before!

As well as their own productions and collaborations, ensuring the best in UK theatre and entertainment comes to the city, the theatres announce further additions to their 2023 visiting programme.

At the Playhouse there's Death Drop 2: Back in the Habit (7 to 11 February), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (21 to 25 March), imitating the dog return with Macbeth (25 to 29 April) and Steel Magnolias (23 to 27 May). While at the Everyman, there are two productions written by Mojisola Adebayo, with Actors Touring Company Family Tree (4 to 6 May) and STARS: An Afrofuturist Space Odyssey from Tamasha (22 to 24 June). For younger children there's family favourites at the Playhouse with The Very Hungry Caterpillar (14 to 18 February) and Zog (30 May to 3 June). There are also nights of comedy with Guz Kahn Live (28 January, Playhouse) and Suzie Ruffell: Snappy (28 April, Everyman); magic with Magical Bones: Soulful Magic (17 March, Playhouse); and an evening with renowned designer and potter, Keith Brymer Jones Live: life, Clay and Everything (20 May, Playhouse).

As the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse return to be an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation in 2023, six new Associate Companies are announced. The theatres will forge deeper creative collaborations with 20 Stories High, Cardboard Citizens, Graeae, Homotopia, New Earth and Talawa Theatre Company, working to share knowledge, and produce work that is more representative of the world in which we live and nurtures positive social change.

Liverpool based 20 Stories High are passionate about making theatre with working class and culturally diverse young people, emerging artists & world-class professionals. In Spring 2023, the theatres will co-produce with them a new Hip-Hop Theatre show, LOOPS written and directed by Keith Saha. A show full of activism, uplifting music, and practical strategies on how to deal with ongoing police encounters, the show will tour schools and community settings. 20 Stories High's Artistic Director, Keith Saha said:

" We are dead chuffed to be joining such a great collective of associate companies joining the Everyman Playhouse. Together we will go on a journey of learning and discovery making political, bold and uplifting theatre that serves the rich diversity of this city."

Cardboard Citizens creates theatre, art and training with and for people who experience homelessness, inequity, or poverty, interrogating and challenging the injustices most alive in our world. Chris Sonnex, Artistic Director and Joint CEO of Cardboard Citizens said, "Cardboard Citizens are proud to move forward with Everyman Liverpool and Playhouse as an Associate Company for the period 23-26, during which time we will be seeking to collaborate to celebrate their 60th anniversary, marking a point in history. We will be seeking to use our expertise and to increase diverse representation by supporting people with experience of poverty or homelessness into jobs, as well as increasing community connections."

In Autumn 2023, the theatres will co-produce High Times and Dirty Monsters with 20 Stories High and Graeae another new Associate Company. Graeae's Artistic Director, Jenny Sealey OBE said, "So happy to be part of the creative heart of Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. I performed there when I was an actor with Graeae, my first show as a director at Graeae toured here, so it feels right that we are back. I am extremely excited to populate the stage with our cohort of Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists and see what magic we can make."

After successfully supporting the Everyman and Playhouse's world premieres such as Cherry Jezebel (Nominated for Best New Play, UK Theatre Awards '22) and A Billion Times I Love You by Patrick Maguire (winner of the Homotopia Award in 2021) Homotopia, the UK's longest running LGBTQIA arts and culture festival, will also join the theatres' new cohort of Associate Companies. Homotopia's Executive Director, Alex Ferguson said:

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with Liverpool Everyman Playhouse on a whole host of exciting projects over the next 3 years. Recently, we have loved supporting their main stage shows - enticing queer audiences, and have loved the support they have given us to develop new LGBTQIA theatre makers in the city region. We look forward to working with the theatres to bring queer experiences onto the mainstage and into mainstream."

Championing Black Excellence in theatre and nurturing talent in emerging and established artists of African or Caribbean heritage and diasporas, Talawa Theatre Company also become an Associate Company. Michael Buffong, Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company said, "We are delighted to be an Associate Company of Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse theatres from 2023 to 2026 and we look forward to sharing our programme, which aims to entertain and inspire. Our collaboration is an exciting opportunity to strengthen connections with artists and audiences and reflect the diverse communities in the North West."

Also joining the roster of Associate Companies are New Earth, a national touring theatre company that places British East and South East Asian (BESEA) artists and communities at the heart of all their work. Kumiko Mendl, Artistic Director at New Earth said, "What an honour it is to be a new associate company of Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and in such good company! This associateship will allow New Earth to meet new communities and continue growing our work in the North West, ensuring British East and South East Asian (BESEA) stories and voices are reflected in our productions, academy programme and audiences. We are so excited to work with Suba and the E&P team see what this new relationship can bring, and what opportunities we can jointly offer to deepen existing relationships and forge new connections in Liverpool and the North West."

Creative Director, Suba Das said, "The heart of my creative direction of Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse is to ensure our work reflects the communities of the North West. We can't - and shouldn't - imagine we can do this alone. I'm thrilled to be working with six new Associate Companies from Liverpool and beyond who have the most extraordinary track record in creating opportunities for performers, creatives and audiences that celebrate the diversity of our world. All of us at the Everyman and Playhouse are looking forward to learning more from these partnerships, listening and evolving our own practice, and ensuring we're the best we can be, for all of the wonderful, diverse communities that make up our city."



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