Unapologetically northern and queer, one-time regular Hollyoaks writer and Liverpool Everyman collaborator Jonathan Larkin’s Cherry Jezebel has its stage premiere at the Everyman next March (8-26).
Shining a light on Liverpool’s LGBTQIA+ scene, the play uncovers a grim and dangerous world: it’s billed as “a story about the glitter and grit of drag in Liverpool, about chosen family, belonging and survival.”
The cast will include northern, non-binary and trans talent, in keeping with the recent national trans casting statement taken up by many theatres.
Larkin says: “I started writing Cherry Jezebel about four years ago and it has evolved from a celebration of older queer voices to a piece about trauma, family and the lengths outsiders will go to find a safe space in a violent, straight white world.
“It started out as a collection of nostalgic stories but now has both its high heels planted in the Liverpool of today. I’m looking forward to posing tough questions about how queer people are treated in Liverpool and beyond – but also showing how resilient and fabulous we are.
“Hopefully people who might not be LGBTQ will see Cherry Jezebel and go ‘Oh yes I understand that.”
Over at sister theatre the Playhouse is Tim Firth’s Sheila’s Island (April 5-9), an updated take on his comedy Neville’s Island; the first touring stage version of Dan Brown's thriller The Da Vinci Code (November 1-5); George Orwell’s Animal Farm (April 26-30); Northern Broadsides's new production of As You Like It (May 24-28), and Jim Cartwright’s The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (May 16-21).