The Unity Theatre is Liverpool's small-scale theatre with big ambitions. Their mission is to increase the quality and quanitity of the performing arts available on Merseyside by encouraging creativity, participation, innovation and diversity.
One of the best-loved theatres in Liverpool they won the Best Performing Venue award at the Mersey Partnership Tourism Awards. Unity Theatre is proud to be core funded by Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council.
Working extensively throughout the local community, offering bespoke workshops, access to the arts and they embrace those who are interested in pursuing, developing or establishing themselves creatively.
Merseyside Left Theatre was formed in the 1930s and became Merseyside Unity Theatre in 1944. From the start the company was radical and experimental, however, unlike many Unity Theatres, the Merseyside group staged classics alongside contemporary left-wing theatre.
The Unity Theatre movement, along with many theatre clubs, started to disappear with the abolition of licensing in the 1960s as mainstream theatres met the demand for radical theatre. Merseyside Unity Theatre survived into the early 1980s with one of the last initiatives to develop the current Unity Theatre on Hope Place, to convert the former synagogue from a photographic studio to a theatre.
Merseyside Unity Theatre ended in the mid 1980s. The theatre was already well established under Hope Place Community Association management and it continued to expand as a base for professional touring theatre, later becoming Unity Theatre. Linking both organisations was Graham Frood who joined Merseyside Left Theatre in the 1930s. Graham continued his involvement with unity until his death in 2003.
In 1994 unitytheatre received funding from the Arts Council of England for development: A Foundation for Sport and the Arts award and £1.6m from the Arts Council of England Lottery panel and the Government Office of Merseyside. The refurbishment was completed in August 1998.
2010 saw unity's 30th birthday at Hope Place and still is one of the best loved theatres in Liverpool and has won the Best Performing Venue award at the Mersey Partnership Tourism Awards.
The Unity Theatre is wheelchair accessible and welcomes guide and hearing dogs, water bowls are available.