Liverpool Theatre Festival at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Liverpool Theatre Festival
Image courtesy of Bill Elms/ Liverpool Theatre Festival.

Liverpool Theatre Festival at St. Luke’s, Liverpool, City Centre 20 — 30 July 2023 Entrance is free — Visit now

Liverpool Theatre Festival brings its fourth edition of live open air theatre back to the city this summer. Taking over the atmospheric St Luke’s Bombed Out Church, the brilliant festival features musical theatre, drama, comedy, cabaret, opera and children’s shows.

Live open air theatre comes back to Liverpool this summer.

Created by theatre producer Bill Elms, the first Liverpool Theatre Festival took place in 2020 and was set up as a lifeline for Liverpool’s live arts and creative sector following the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic. Presented in the apt surroundings of the Bombed Out Church – hit during the Liverpool Blitz of 1941 – the symbolic setting acts as a reminder of challenging times and a community’s strength to pull through.

So what can we expect from the festival for 2023? Well, in previous years we’ve seen an exciting and eclectic outdoor programme featuring established theatre companies and artists, alongside emerging musical stars, comedy nights and festival premieres.

This year, the festival has shifted to take place slightly earlier in the year. Happening right at the start of the school summer holidays, we’re made up that the programme includes some great shows for the whole family to enjoy together.

Liverpool Theatre Festival
Image courtesy of David Munn.

Two new commissions will premiere at the 2023 festival: Sober Companion, a brand new play written and performed by Joe McGann and Jake Norton, and a lively new children’s show – Fred The Musical – based on Fay Evans’ book about a fire-sneezing dragon.

Further highlights include Whatever Happened to Billy Kenny, a stunning one-man show starring Jay Johnson based on the real-life story of the Everton footballer; the outrageous and totally impromptu show, Locomotive for Murder: The Improvised Whodunnit – witness the witty theatre company, Pinch Punch create a unique production based on audience stories and suggestions, and a wonderful new production of The Tempest by the multi award-winning A Place for Us Theatre Company.

Meanwhile, music lovers can take their pick from the eclectic line-up of shows, featuring sensational soul, unforgettable opera and Sinatra-style swing. Do check out Gladys Knight…The Story starring the sensational Chantel Cole, Perfectly Frank with Liverpool’s very own David Knopov, and Viva Tenori – A Celebration of the Three Tenors from Liverpool-based company, Absolute Opera.

Liverpool Theatre Festival 2023 offers the perfect opportunity to introduce younger family members to theatre too. Round up the family tree and take your pick from page-to-stage adaptation, The Oogy Boogy Man; panto-style show The Magic Bookmark; Edinburgh Fringe success Magic Gareth, and the storybook musical, The Monkey with No Bum.

With even more shows still to be announced, we’re super thrilled that the Liverpool Theatre Festival is back for summer 2023. Keep your eyes on the full programme and be sure to get booked in early. We’ll bring you more information as soon as we have it.

Liverpool Theatre Festival at St. Luke’s, Liverpool, City Centre 20 — 30 July 2023 Entrance is free Visit now

Where to go near Liverpool Theatre Festival at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church

The Bombed Out Church Garden Bar
Bar or Pub
Bombed Out Church Garden Bar

The legendary bombed-out church, otherwise known as St Luke’s Church, has opened a garden bar in its grounds, offering premium drinks via socially-distanced table service only.

Jimmy's Liverpool
City Centre
Bar or Pub
Jimmy’s Liverpool

Sister venue to Jimmy’s in Manchester, Jimmy’s Liverpool is a bar, restaurant and live venue, hosting late night music, gigs and DJ sets.


Much-loved Liverpool restaurant, specialising in forward-thinking small plate dishes.

City Centre
Café or Coffee Shop
Bold Street Coffee

A super cool cafe at the top of Bold Street, Bold Street Coffee in Liverpool serves a range of specialist coffee, cakes and sandwiches.

City Centre

Junk emporium 69A in Liverpool is the shop that time forgot. It has been peddling vintage wares since 1976.

Food From Nowhere

Food From Nowhere is a weekly vegan cafe held in the basement space of much-loved radical bookshop News From Nowhere. It’s open every Saturday from midday to 5pm.

Event venue
Zap Graffiti

Liverpool’s unique Graffiti encompasses a shop, studio, gallery and spaces for artists, and hosts workshops, murals, kids parties and classes.

City Centre
Event venue

FACT Liverpool includes three arthouse cinemas, two galleries, event spaces – as well as an excellent ground-floor cafe and first-floor bar.

City Centre
Café or Coffee Shop
Garden Cafe FACT

FACT Liverpool gets back to its coffee-with-creativity roots thanks to a foliage-full new café.

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