Welcome to the House of Play
A drizzly Thursday evening saw a city centre theatre, renowned for brilliant and forward-thinking drama, take centre-stage last week. The much loved Playhouse held the launch of its new spring season with a candlelit theatrical vigil and a live Facebook stream to tickle theatre-junkie fancies for the coming months.
Spring 2017 is set to receive a standing ovation as The Playhouse invites you to indulge in the finest story-tellers, theatre-makers and some of the country’s most talented touring companies and favourite performers. Artistic Director, Gemma Bodinetz promises something special: “We’ve curated a rich and varied calendar of work created by companies we know will delight and surprise our audiences.”
“We’ve curated a rich and varied calendar of work created by companies we know will delight and surprise our audiences.”
“From hard-hitting contemporary drama, through ground-breaking dance to exquisite and sometimes daring adaptations of the classics… the Playhouse is home this season to some of the greatest theatre makers we feel have a connection with our audiences.”
We wouldn’t expect anything less from Playhouse, Gemma. Let’s take a look at what’s in store…
First up, January will offer the finest selections of vintage and surprising poems in collaboration with music through the likes of Brian Patten, LiTTLe MACHiNe and ‘the patron saint of poetry’, Roger McGough. This is an undeniable poetry festival, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the top-selling and iconic anthology, The Mersey Sound, to which the third piece to the puzzle, the late Adrian Henri, will be profoundly missed from.
Classics are sure to be spun on their heads this spring too. Famed family favourite, The Twits by Roald Dahl will be adapted by David Wood and performed by Leicester Curve Theatre Company for all to enjoy. Pride and Prejudice will follow suit, performed by the illustrious Regent’s Park Theatre starring Olivier award-winning Matthew Kelly (Twelfth Night, End Game) and Felicity Montagu (Alan Partridge, Bridget Jones’s Diary) from 7th - 11th February.
Pachamama Productions and The National Theatre Scotland, will grace the stage from 14th-18th Feb with hit production and winner of Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award at Edinburgh Fringe, Glasgow Girls. It’s a potent-political drama which has since been adapted for the big screen, while another exhilarating, risk-taking and provocative theatre company, Headlong, will return for a radical take on one of the most celebrated comedies of the 20th century Pygmalion in early March.
Hailed as ‘Britain’s favourite choreographer’, Matthew Bourne (Swan Lake, The Car Man) fashioned performances packed with style, wit and sheer entertainment to productions of Edward Scissorhands and Sleeping Beauty. Now, he makes his Playhouse debut from March 28th, with audiences given the chance to see a programme of hit pieces that launched the career of a dance genius. We need tickets, right now.
Rom-com lovers: make some room in your life for this! Directed by Wirral-born Conrad Nelson (Othello, She Stoops to Conquer), a new adaptation by Deborah McAndrew (The Grand Gesture) of Cyrano de Bergerac is on the cards during March, as popular touring company Northern Broadsides extend their visit to snap up a two-week residency at the Williamson Square theatrical-hub.
One of the companies on the eagerly-awaited bill is award-winning Theatre6 who specialise in inventive visual theatre with original live music, played out in non-traditional spaces to first time or ‘hard to reach’ audiences. Co-creators of The Scottsboro Boys, for which they won the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical 2014, these guys know their artistry. From 4th - 8th April, Theatre6 will present Moira Buffini’s Gabriel; the tense tale of a family’s captivity under a Nazi occupied Guernsey, welcoming the return of Paul McGann (Doctor Who, Withnail and I) alongside Robin Morrissey (Cloud Atlas).
With Liverpool’s history of political radicalism, no season would be complete without an artistic perspective on an event on the tip of most tongues. In response to this year’s Brexit outcome, The National Theatre will tour My Country; A Work in Progress; a display of words and reactions from people across the UK, with production aided by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.
One-night only performances will also feature John Shuttleworth and his new show My Last Will and Tasty Mint on the 21st January, and Bridget Christie’s Because You Demanded It on March 3rd. We like the sound of this…
Now Playhouse, how do you get it so damn right?
Get your hands on all tickets from Monday 14th November here, before we buy them all (seriously).