The Liverpool Playhouse Theatre is committed to brilliant, forward-thinking theatre that responds to its time and place.
Their mission is to dazzle and inspire, reflect the aspirations and concerns of their audiences and fuel civic pride, they hope to ignite the imagination, explore what it is to be human and exceed expectation.
Found beneath the Radio City tower in Williamson Square, the Playhouse has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building for both its old 19th century auditorium and 20th century front of house extension. Seating 677 across three levels in a traditional proscenium arch setting, it is a surprisingly intimate theatre.
The building began life as the Star Music Hall in 1866, and became a theatre in 1911 on the formation of the Liverpool Repertory Company – one of the first and soon one of the most prestigious ‘reps’ in the country.
In its first half-century the Playhouse’s acting roster included Robert Donat, Michael Redgrave, Rachel Kempson, John Thaw, Anthony Hopkins, Patricia Routledge, Michael Gambon, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and many, many more. The latter part of the 20th century featured many high points, including the Artistic tenures of David Scase, Leslie Lawton, William Gaunt, the Gang of Four (Alan Bleasdale, Chris Bond, Bill Morrison, Willy Russell) and Ian Kellgren.
In 2000 the Playhouse joined forces with the Everyman to become Liverpool & Merseyside Theatres Trust (LMTT) and in 2003, Gemma Bodinetz (Artistic Director) and Deborah Aydon (Executive Director) were appointed as joint Chief Executives to lead the company.
As well as the main theatre there is a small studio space seating upto 80. Originally opened in 1969, it soon became a compact crucible for new talent, new writing and utterly daring work. In recent years it has been the rehearsal room for e&P productions. In 2011, as a 100th birthday present, it was re-opened as The Studio with a new play The Swallowing Dark by Lizzie Nunnery.
As well as the main stage, the upstairs Studio serves as a performance space and rehearsal room.