Happily, Liverpool’s theatres cater to a wide range of productions – from acclaimed drama at the Everyman to West End transfers at the Empire Theatre. Housed in historically significant and, in some cases, recently restored buildings, you’ll find a varied programme across our guide to Liverpool’s best theatres.
Here are our picks
The Everyman reopened in March 2014 after extensive renovation to its stage, restaurant and backstage areas; the newly opened version is sustainable, accessible and really rather swish. Inclusiveness runs through the new design – its frontage, dominated by a new “portrait wall”, shows 105 different Liverpool residents, cut into a metal facade. Twinned with Liverpool Playhouse in Williamson Square.
– Polly Checkland Harding
Formerly known as the Neptune, and built on Hanover Street in 1913, the theatre was renamed the Epstein Theatre in honour of The Beatles’ Manager Brian Epstein. Threatened with permanent closure several times, it reopened in May 2012 after a £1.2m refurbishment. Even with the refurbishment, the interior has kept its cosy, historic interior, but a new sociable bar area has been created.
– Susie Stubbs
The Liverpool Playhouse started out life in 1866 as a music hall, before being developed into a repertory theatre in 1911. Architectural changes have been made to the building over the years, but the Grade II listed structure is the only surviving Victorian Theatre still in active theatrical use in Merseyside. In 1999 a trust was formed, joining the management of the Playhouse with that of the Everyman Theatre. The Playhouse has a varied programme of events from a rock’n’roll panto, to live poetry and comedy.
– Alex Saint
One of the best loved theatres in Liverpool, Unity Theatre has a reputation for staging innovative, high quality work in a friendly and enthusiastic atmosphere. With an excellent track record for encouraging new writing and supporting new companies, Unity is at the forefront of the Liverpool theatre scene.
– Jennifer Dean