Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse today announce a 2024 season which boasts world premieres, classic plays and projects with their Associate Companies, with the development of new talent at the fore. It’s a year that sees the Everyman celebrate sixty years since it’s foundation and ten years since the Stirling Prize winning new building opened.
In 1964, the Everyman Theatre became a beacon of artistic innovation, offering a stage for local playwrights, actors, and directors to experiment and create. That spirit of experimentation and creativity has been a driving force ever since, shaping the identity of Liverpool’s theatre scene and inspiring generations of artists. At the heart of the 2024 Everyman season are three homegrown productions, two of which come from writers supported through the theatres’ playwright programmes.
The Legend of Ned Ludd
By Joe Ward Munrow
Directed by Jude Christian
Saturday 20 April to Saturday 11 May
A new play that explores capitalism, The Legend of Ned Ludd takes audiences on a whirlwind global commute from the Luddites’ nineteenth century war against new technology through to London, Liverpool, Lagos and beyond.
As writer Joe Ward Munrow (a previous writer on attachment at the theatres) explains:
“The play explores how AI and automation are changing the world of work and at the heart of the play we have a “machine” with the power to choose the scenes played by our three actors. It creates a sense of ‘dare’ for the performers and the audience and I’m really excited to see it play out on stage.”
Tell Me How It Ends
By Tasha Dowd
Directed by Gitika Buttoo
Wednesday 12 June to Saturday 22 June
Set in Liverpool as the AIDS epidemic threatens a generation, Tell Me How It Ends is about two queer lives intertwining as they each learn to love living – finding the joy in being bound together during a time of growing uncertainty.
Written by Tasha Dowd, a graduate of the Young Everyman Playhouse Writers programme, the play is the winner of the 2023 Homotopia Writers’ Award:
“It’s really an honour to be the winner of the Homotopia Award this year and to have my first play staged at the Everyman! This show is really important to me, it’s about how our Community finds its way back to each other, that everyone has somebody, and despite every hardship thrown our way, we continue to live and grow and change for the better. I hope audiences find it a joyous and uplifting tale of a beautifully messy friendship that everyone can relate to.”
The Lieutenant of Inishmore
By Martin McDonagh
Directed by Chris Sonnex
Saturday 21 September to Saturday 12 October
Mixing cats, killers and casual violence, The Lieutenant of Inishmore is the shocking, savage and sadistically funny winner of the Olivier Award for Best Comedy from Martin McDonagh; the acclaimed writer of In Bruges, The Pillowman and The Banshees of Inisherin.
It will be directed by Chris Sonnex, Artistic Director of Cardboard Citizens (an Associate Company at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse):
“I’m excited to direct this incredible play that is full of McDonagh’s trademark dark, violent and hilarious dialogue. But also explodes the ever-relevant theme of revenge. I can’t wait to see how the audiences of Liverpool react to it at the iconic theatre space of the Everyman.”
2024 sees the strengthening of creative relationships with the theatres’ Associate Companies, as a springboard for fresh voices and new diverse perspectives, ensuring Liverpool’s cultural scene remains vibrant and dynamic. As well as collaborating on productions with Homotopia and Cardboard Citizens, there will be a major co-production and commission with Talawa Theatre Company to be announced in February 2024. The theatres continue to work with Graeae on their artist development programme Beyond, will support a new Liverpool-based Associate role and welcome Graeae’s Crips with Chips: A Fork in the Road, a showcase of short plays by Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent writers written in response to a predetermined theme (24 February).
With both the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse nurturing and developing new talent across decades, 2024 will see their award-winning Young Everyman Playhouse programme going from strength to strength, with a Young People and Community Festival in July.
As well as its own productions and collaborations, ensuring the best in UK theatre and entertainment comes to the city, the theatres also announce a visiting programme including the return of their co-production with Nottingham Playhouse and UK Productions of The Kite Runner (23 to 27 April), which since last seen in Liverpool has been on Broadway.
The Playhouse season also includes Unfortunate, a musical telling the untold story of Ursula the Sea Witch (5 to 9 March); Pilot Theatre return with a contemporary version of Orpheus in The Song for Ella Grey (13 to 16 March); Curve Theatre’s My Beautiful Laundrette (26 to 30 March), directed by Nicole Behan from Liverpool’s Paperwork Theatre; imitating the dog create a new Frankenstein (17 to 20 April); Tim Rice: I Know Him So Well, My Life in Musicals (2 May); Showstopper: The Improvised Musical (9 to 11 May); and Drop the Dead Donkey the Reawakening (14 to 18 May);
For younger children there’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea (12 to 17 February), Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book (9 to 13 April) and Tom Fletcher’s There’s A Monster in Your Show (28 May to 1 June).
Comedy nights include Babatunde Aleshe: Babahood (24 February), Jon Courtenay: Bigger (5 April), Griff Rhys Jones: The Cat’s Pyjamas (30 April), Tom Davis: Underdog (4 May), Rosie Holt: That’s Politainment (25 May) and Danny Davies (11 September). Plus there’s poetry from Hollie McNish: The Lobster Tour (27 June).
The Everyman’s celebratory year will end as it begins with heaps of talent, music and sparkle in the now legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll panto, which for 2024 will be Rapunzel (which will go on sale as this year’s Cinderella opens on 17 November).
On announcing plans for 2024 Mark Da Vanzo, CEO for the theatres said:
“I’m proud to unveil a year that embodies our unwavering dedication to artistic innovation, nurturing talent, and social transformation. The foundations of which were laid back in 1964 when those first creative sparks were lit at the Everyman. I hope audiences, young and old, will find plenty to entertain and inspire them in the year ahead at both our theatres. A warm welcome awaits.”
To celebrate the Everyman’s 60th anniversary, all three homegrown productions – The Legend of Ned Ludd, Tell Me How It Ends and The Lieutenant of Inishmore – can be seen for a total of £60 (when booked in one transaction by 31 March 2024). Further information, including details of accessible performances, and tickets are available now at www.everymanplayhouse.com or by calling the information line on 0151 709 4776.