Sweeney Todd announced at the Everyman, as the Playhouse welcomes bold and innovative companies for Spring 2019

  •  Nick Bagnall to direct Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd featuring Liam Tobin
  • Co-production with Middle Child and Hull Truck Theatre announced
  • Major production of Stones in his Pockets joins Abigail’s PartyThe Girl on the Train
  • Busy children’s programme includes The Cat in the Hat, Around the World in 80 Days and The Worst Witch
  • International company Dead Centre present Chekhov’s First Play

A politically-charged production of the gruesome musical Sweeney Todd (Fri 12 Apr to Sat 18 May) will be brought to life on the Everyman stage in April 2019. Directed by Nick Bagnallthe production explores the social inequalities in a decaying nineteenth century England ruled by the corruption of the upper classes. Liam Tobin (Everyman Company 2017 and 2018) plays the role of Sweeney Todd, with the full cast to be announced in the New Year. This bold production is joined by exciting collaborations with other theatre-makers.

In association with Hull Truck Theatre and Middle Child, the Everyman & Playhouse present the premiere of Us Against Whatever (Wed 20 Mar to Sat 23 Mar). Following a hugely successful run of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything at Edinburgh and the Bush Theatre, Middle Child present an electrifying cabaret featuring live music and karaoke that looks at the most important the most important subject of this age…the people.

Joining the already announced and on-sale major productions of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party (Mon 25 Mar to Sat 30 Mar) and best-selling thriller The Girl on the Train (Mon 11 Mar to Sat 16 Mar)is a new production of the award-winning comedy Stones in His Pockets (Mon 18 Mar to Sat 23 Mar). Directed by Lindsay Posner, two actors take on multiple roles to tell the story of a Hollywood film crew in Ireland. Once there and with many cultural differences, the crew soon find their romanticised view of the Emerald Isle isn’t quite what they imagined.

Comedy Caroline’s Kitchen (Mon 18 Mar to Sat 23 Mar) visits Liverpool ahead of a transfer to New York. Starring Caroline Langrishe (LovejoyJudge John Deed), Aden Gillett (The House of Eliott) and James Sutton (EmmerdaleHollyoaks), the story follows Caroline Mortimer – a TV chef with a seemingly perfect life off screen. But as the cameras go dark, an unexpected guest disrupts a night of celebration, and there’s more than just wine to spill.

A rich family programme sees Kenny Wax Production’s whirlwind Around the World in 80 Days (Wed 17 Apr to Sat 20 Apr) return to the Playhouse after a hugely popular run in Autumn 2017. Joining the programme for young children is Dr Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat (Wed 27 Feb to Sat 2 Mar), a circus spectacular by Leicester Curve, who also brought George’s Marvellous Medicine to the Playhouse this year. Featuring original songs, music and magic The Worst Witch (Tue 28 May to Sat 1 Jun) flies in, as the accident prone witch-in-training Mildred Hubble from Jill Murphy’s bestselling children’s series goes on another tale of mayhem.

The Everyman will also host the national Family Arts Conference on Tuesday 12 February for creative professionals to explore to value of arts and culture for families across the UK.

As the theatres continue to present innovative and new ways to tell a story, there is a digital re-telling of literary classic Heart of Darkness (Wed 1 May to Sat 4 May) by Imitating the Dog, and Dead Centre do a huge in-justice to a great playwright, as they bring internationally acclaimed Chekhov’s First Play (Wed 8 May to Sat 11 May) to the Playhouse.

With their own devised work, Young Everyman & Playhouse make their debut on the Playhouse stage to dissect elements of our society and challenge audiences. This year,Crowd (Wed 27 Feb to Sat 2 Mar) looks at the mentality of the group and the control of autocrats.

Eclipse Theatre Company make a welcome return with Princess & The Hustler, following 10-year-old Princess on her discovery of what it really means to be black and beautiful in 1960s Britain. The production is part of Eclipse’s Revolution Mix movement aimed at placing Black narrative at the heart of British Theatre.

Returning to the Playhouse and giving our health service an examination is comedian Mark Thomas with Check Up – Our NHS @ 70 (Fri 12 Apr and Sat 13 Apr)Based on interviews with leading experts in and on the NHS, Mark uses his own brand of humour to look at what’s going right, what’s going wrong and how does it get better for our health service.

The Playhouse welcomes Spymonkey back to follow up A Christmas Carol with pulp-gothic romance Cooped (Tue 4 Jun to Sat 8 Jun)Celebrating 20 years of Spymonkey, the physical comedy pioneers present a ‘Hitchcock on acid’ tale. A spooky mansion, a plucky young heroine and a handsome English aristocrat (with a Spanish soap star and German aristocrat thrown in for good measure) all make for a full-throttle farce to close the Playhouse season.

A busy engagement programme sees work travel out of the theatre and into our communities. Taking place over a two-course meal at Hanover Street’s Angel Restaurant, On the Wire present From Shore to Shore (Tue 19 Mar and Wed 20 Mar) blending English, Mandarin and Cantonese, to tell the powerful stories of migrant Chinese communities living in the UK.

The Brilliant Bard (Fri 1 Mar to Fri 8 Mar) at the Everyman is a landmark Shakespeare festival to celebrate one of the greatest ever playwrights. Open to everyone, the festival will feature masterclasses, workshops and culminate in a symposium. Experts from organisations including the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moore’s University and other industry leaders will discuss why the works of Shakespeare are so enduring and how we can use it to learn more about today,

Gemma Bodinetz, artistic director at Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres, said:

“Each season we aim to bring the very best in home-grown, national and international theatre to Liverpool.  And this season is no exception! Both the Everyman and Playhouse feature companies bringing us classic titles, adventurous adaptations and ground-breaking theatre making. Not to mention the extraordinary work of Young Everyman Playhouse (YEP) performing this season for the first time on the Playhouse stage.

“Our centre-piece in-house production at the Everyman will be Sondheim’s dark masterpiece Sweeney Todd directed by our associate director Nick Bagnall and featuring Liam Tobin (regular Everyman company member) as the eponymous anti-hero. We are also proud to be working in association with Hull Truck and Middle Child to bring Us Against Whatever to the Everyman. This is an adventurous new work featuring a live band and karaoke opportunities for the audience.

“The Company itself is taking a pause. It achieved so much artistically including several awards and its spirit (and indeed many of its regular members) will continue to infuse our work and our ambition to bring adventurous, ensemble-led theatre to Liverpool remains undiminished.”

 General sale for all shows in the Everyman & Playhouse Spring 2018 programme will be available to the public from Monday 3 December. Tickets will be available by calling Box Office on 0151 709 4776 or at: https://www.everymanplayhouse.com/whats-on.