The Playhouse Theatre is an historic Liverpool landmark that partners the Everyman, traditionally of a slightly more classical bent and a home to actors plying their trade in favourably received seasons of home grown productions, under the award-winning directorship of Gemma Bodinetz and Deborah Aydon.
The Playhouse still attracts new productions and some seriously big names – Kim Cattrall has been spotted treading the boards as Cleopatra, with Jonathan Pryce as Shylock in a new production of The Merchant Of Venice – but the theatre is nothing if not eclectic, featuring Shakespeare, Ayckbourn, Ealing comedy, Tartuffe and Arthur Ransome over the one season alone.
More recent seasons have seen excellent fare from Spymonkey and Northern Broadsides, plus intriguing Christmas offering The Haunting Of Hill House – a chilly ghost alternative to the Everyman’s annual panto.
Recent developments in terms of the Young Everman and Playhouse company and brand new performance space The Studio have opened up new possibilities, cementing The E&P’s reputation as a venture prepared to take risks and engage with the community and local creatives. The Studio has staged striking new works such as Frank McGuinness’s hugely acclaimed The Matchbox and Lizzie Nunnery’s memorable Narvik – constituting some of the best new theatre in the city.
The Playhouse Theatre itself is a Grade II* gem – with its audacious 1968 ‘drum’ extension clinging on to the 1866 music hall designed by Edward Davies (one of the pioneers of the Liverpool School of Architecture).
Travelling to the Playhouse Theatre
There are frequent bus services from the Queen Square bus terminal, around a minute’s walk from the theatre. The Playhouse is well served by trains: Moorfields, Lime Street and Liverpool Central are all close by. Handily the theatre has a feed from Merseyrail for departing visitors streamed in the foyer.