In 2013 Everyman and Playhouse productions will continue to reach audiences throughout the UK thanks to creative collaborations with partners across the country. Roger McGough’s new adaptation of the MoliÃ¨re classic The Misanthrope has its world premiÃ¨re in Liverpool before a UK tour and the European premiÃ¨re of The Kite Runner will be brought to the stage in a co-production with Nottingham Playhouse. Stephen Unwin will direct A Day in the Death of Joe Egg which opens at the Playhouse before moving to the Rose Theatre, Kingston.
Gemma Bodinetz said: “This season includes a rich variety of premiÃ¨res that will see our productions reach many audiences around the country as well as at home in Liverpool. We are tremendously excited about our collaborations with English Touring Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse and the Rose Theatre on some brave and courageous new work on the Playhouse main stage.”
Following 2012’s acclaimed A Streetcar Named Desire, Artistic Director of the Everyman and Playhouse Gemma Bodinetz will once again direct the opening play of the year with Roger McGough’s adaptation of MoliÃ¨re’s The Misanthrope. After the huge successes of Tartuffe and The Hypochondriac, Roger McGough, and Gemma Bodinetz will complete a trilogy of MoliÃ¨re adaptations with the tale of poet Alceste who embarks on a one-man crusade against the forked-tongues, frippery and fakery of high society. The ‘McGoughiÃ¨re’ team will be reunited with English Touring Theatre co-producing The Misanthrope which premiÃ¨res at the Liverpool Playhouse in February before a nine-date national tour.
In April, the Playhouse will collaborate with the Rose Theatre Kingston on a new production of Peter Nichols’s fast-paced black comedy A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, directed by the Rose’s Artistic Director Stephen Unwin. Unwin founded English Touring Theatre and succeeded Sir Peter Hall as the Rose’s second Artistic Director in 2008. A modern classic of British theatre, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg is about the love and the pain, the anger and the strain of a young couple raising a disabled child. This major revival receives its premiÃ¨re in Liverpool prior to its London run.
The theatres will also produce the European premiÃ¨re of The Kite Runner, adapted for stage by Matthew Spangler from Khaled Hosseini’s international bestseller. First produced by The San Jose Repertory in 2009 the play received of five San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle Awards. This epic tale of Shakespearian proportions about two young boys from Kabul charts a friendship that spans cultures and continents and follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption. The Everyman and Playhouse will join forces again with Nottingham Playhouse in this co-production directed by Nottingham Playhouse Artistic Director Giles Croft. The production premiÃ¨res at Nottingham Playhouse in April before arriving in Liverpool in June and July.
In 2013 the theatres will host some of the highest quality children’s theatre from companies of international repute, including the first-ever work specifically for families and young people by Complicite and Northern Ballet. Complicite, renowned for their ambitious visual designs, will present Lionboy – a stage adaptation inspired by Zizou Corder’s bestselling fantasy novels about a young boy who can talk to cats. Italian company Teatro Kismet, who were last at the Playhouse with The Snow Queen, have adapted celebrated children’s author Phillip Pullman’s I Was A Rat! for the stage. It features the familiar character of the rat in the Cinderella fairytale told in reverse.
Northern Ballet will tour a production of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling – a show especially created for young families that is sure to be a visual spectacle for young and old alike. Popular children’s character Spot the dog will also be on the Playhouse stage. The production, based on the book Spot’s Birthday Party, will be on in May.
The Playhouse will also stage work on tour of the highest distinction in 2013. Sir Jonathan Miller returns to the British stage for the first time in five years to direct Northern Broadsides’s production of Githa Sowerby’s Rutherford and Son, while Northern Stage present Dennis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills directed by Psyche Stott.
Liverpool writer Jonathan Harvey, whose career began at the Playhouse 25 years ago, will see a revival of his celebrated play Beautiful Thing on the Playhouse’s main stage. Ever-popular dance company Phoenix Dance perform new show Particle Velocity, while there will be three one night comedy performances from Roger McGough, Mark Thomas with Bravo Figaro! and John Shuttleworth’s Out Of Our Sheds.
February 2013 will see the fifth production by Young Everyman Playhouse (YEP). This year the Young Writers will help create and devise a play with the Young Actors for a new production of site-specific theatre in a large scale venue in the city centre. Launched in January 2012, YEP now engages with over 400 young people aged 11 – 25 from across Merseyside. Following an immensely successful pilot the Young Technicians programme will expand to include stage and costume design as well as training in audio visual design. The Young Writers, Actors and Communicators groups will continue while YEP will introduce Young Programmers and Young Directors into the scheme over the next year – offering more diverse creative opportunities and vocational training to young people than ever before.