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Open Air Liverpool Theatre Festival Starts In City Tomorrow

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Liverpool Theatre Festival runs between Friday 11 September and Saturday 19 September 2020.

Open Air Liverpool Theatre Festival Starts In City Tomorrow

The very first Liverpool Theatre Festival starts this Friday (11 September), with a comedy play by acclaimed city playwright Jonathan Harvey opening the nine-day event.

Liverpool Theatre Festival runs between Friday 11 September and Saturday 19 September 2020, and is being staged in the grounds of St Luke's Bombed Out Church in Liverpool city centre.

The organisers of Liverpool Theatre Festival reassure the public that the event is going ahead and is not affected by changes to Government guidelines announced earlier this week. Festivalgoers have always been limited to a maximum of six tickets, and the setting is a Covid-secure environment.

The outdoor and socially distanced festival will kick-start the return of live theatre productions, while providing a real boost to Liverpool's live performance and creative arts sector.

The open air festival has been created by Liverpool theatre producer Bill Elms. Performances will take place within the church walls in the grounds of St Luke's, and will follow stringent Government guidelines to provide a Covid-secure environment.

The festival line-up includes musical theatre, drama, comedy, cabaret, monologues, and children's shows. Tickets are on sale now, they are available in advance only.

Swan Song will officially open Liverpool Theatre Festival on Friday 11 September 2020, with performances at 6pm and 9pm.

Swan Song is a one-man comedy play written by Jonathan Harvey, starring Liverpool actor Andrew Lancel, and directed by BAFTA award-winning director Noreen Kershaw. The show is produced by Liverpool Theatre Festival, in association with Bill Elms Productions and Quarry Street. Originally written for a female lead, Jonathan Harvey has now adapted the play specially for Andrew Lancel to play the solo role at Liverpool Theatre Festival.

The programme will then continue with live productions of A Fairy Tale Journey Across The Mersey, Laughterhouse Comedy, The Very Best Of Tommy Cooper, Sweet Mother, Shakers by John Godber, Deathly Confessions, Matinee Musical Classics, Music Of The Night, Judy & Liza, Hurrah For The Pirate King! and Something About Simon.

Producer and artistic director Bill Elms commented: "It's been hugely exciting and challenging organising a brand new outdoor live performance festival in very little time - but every minute of hard work will definitely be worth it when the first show opens this Friday. The programme is brimming with Liverpool talent - from performers and writers, to creatives and technicians - and together we've created something we can all be very proud of especially in these unprecedented times.

"The response to Liverpool Theatre Festival been overwhelmingly positive, and we look forward to welcoming audiences to St Luke's over nine days for the return of live theatre productions. We hope the public have confidence to come along and once again enjoy live performance in an open air and Covid-secure environment. We urge visitors to follow the safety measures in place to help keep everyone safe. Theatre is coming back."

Audience capacity has been reduced to ensure socially distanced seating; shows will be limited to one-act performances of no more than 75 minutes to minimise audience movement; there is a maximum of four performers per production; and the cast and crew will socially distance and be temperature checked.

Public safety measures include temperature checks before entry to the venue ground; regular hand sanitiser stations; face masks are mandatory when moving round the venue; and visitors are encouraged to attend in their social bubble groups with a maximum of six tickets sold.

Access to the performance area will be 45 minutes before the start time. Visitors are encouraged to arrive in plenty of time to allow for safety checks. Audiences are encouraged to prepare for all weather conditions as the seating area is open air, warm clothes and wet weather protection is advised.

The team at St Luke's have been successfully running a Covid-secure garden café/bar on-site. Premium drinks and freshly cooked pizza will be available. Drinks can also be purchased on a special app and delivered to ticketholders at their seats. There will be no cash sales.

Audience members are reminded that they must not attend if they have any Coronavirus symptoms including a new continuous cough, high temperature, or a change to their senses of smell or taste.

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