Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse have announced a spring season with four reimagined classics and new creative partnerships across six associate companies.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Caryl Churchill has relocated classic play Top Girls to Liverpool (March 3-25), to be directed by the theatres' creative chief, Suba Das.
Top Girls puts women and their stories centre stage and asks questions of a culture that drives some to the top but leaves many more wondering what happened to their dreams.
The world stage premiere of The Beekeeper of Aleppo visits Liverpool (March 1-11) ahead of a national tour. A joint production with Nottingham Playhouse. Christy Lefteri’s best-selling novel reunites the team that produced the international stage hit The Kite Runner. Adapted by Nesrin Alrefaai and Matthew Spangler (who also adapted The Kite Runner) and directed by Olivier Award winning Miranda Cromwell, it tells the story of Nuri, a beekeeper, and his wife, Afra, an artist, who live a simple life in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo - until all they care for is destroyed by war.
Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury in Bridgerton) directs and stars as Shakespeare’s iconic anti-hero Richard III (April 6-22). Following her acclaimed production of Richard II at Shakespeare’s Globe, Andoh returns will direct and star as Shakespeare’s complex king.
She said: “Richard is a character I have loved since childhood. Growing up in a tiny Cotswold village in the 1960s and 1970s, I immediately felt a connection to someone singled out because of their appearance.
"On first reading the play I was outraged at the way Richard was portrayed, but now appreciate one of the questions Shakespeare poses: what happens to a person and their sense of self if, throughout their life, bad intentions are ascribed to them based on their appearance? It happens to many people in many circumstances across the world. I want to explore the story, and that question, through the lens of race."
Following the Playhouse run, Richard III will transfer to the Rose Theatre in Kingston (April 25-May 13).
Alice in Wonderland (July 4-22) promises musical fun for all the family and a modern riff on a timeless classic. When local lass Alice tries to repair her dear Dad’s much-loved old stereo, a slip of the screwdriver hurtles her into a strange new world. Combining the familiar story with a company of actor-musicians, this new mix, created with Theatre Royal Plymouth and Stockroom Theatre Company, has an original score inspired by the best of British pop.
Six associate companies - 20 Stories High, Cardboard Citizens, Graeae, Homotopia, New Earth and Talawa Theatre Company - will begin working with the Everyman and Playhouse in the spring. Suba Das revealed. “The heart of my direction is to ensure our work reflects the communities of the north west," he explained. "We can’t imagine we can do this alone, so I’m thrilled to be working with six companies from Liverpool and beyond who have extraordinary track records in creating opportunities that celebrate the diversity of our world.
“Re-joining the Arts Council’s National Portfolio means we can forge ahead with our plans for 2023 and beyond and continue to bring the most exciting, accessible, and transformative cultural experiences to our audiences."
The two theatres will also play host to an extensive visiting programme, including Death Drop 2: Back in the Habit (February 7 -11); The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (March 21-25); Macbeth (April 25-29) and Steel Magnolias (May 23-27) at the Playhouse and Family Tree (May 4-6) and STARS: An Afrofuturist Space Odyssey from Tamasha (June 22-24) at the Everyman.
Full season details and tickets, start here