Liverpool theatre producer Bill Elms has created a nine-day outdoor live festival to support the city’s devastated theatre scene in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Liverpool Theatre Festival will run from Friday September 11-19 in association with the team behind the festival venue, St Luke’s Bombed Out Church in Liverpool city centre.
The line-up includes musical theatre, drama, comedy, cabaret, monologues and children’s shows. Features include a production of Swan Song by Jonathan Harvey, A Fairy Tale Journey Across The Mersey, Laughterhouse Comedy, The Best Of Tommy Cooper, Sweet Mother, Shakers by John Godber, Deathly Confessions, Matinee Musical Classics, Music Of The Night, Judy & Liza, Hurrah For The Pirate King! and Something About Simon.
The stopping of live performances had a devastating impact on all careers linked to live performance, and newly-introduced social distancing guidelines continue to prove extremely difficult for organisers and venues.
Capacity at the venue has been reduced to ensure sufficient distance between guests, and other measures will include hand sanitiser stations; temperature checks on entry; compulsory mask wearing when moving round the venue. Visitors are being encouraged to attend in their "social bubble" groups.
Increased safety guidelines will also take place behind the scenes, with shows limited to one-act performance and a maximum of 75min to reduce audience movement. The cast and crew will socially-distance and be temperature checked and there will be a maximum of four performers in each production.
Bill explained: “Work came to a complete standstill in mid-March and has been a complete shock to the system and tough at times. But I couldn't sit back and watch everything disintegrate before our eyes. I had to do something.
“We need to pull together and support our talented artists and incredible production companies through this difficult time, and hopefully something positive can come out of this.
"I'd love to see the festival grow to become an annual event: St Luke’s is the perfect backdrop."
Tickets went on sale earlier today. More information and full programme here