The Liverpool Playhouse
The Liverpool Playhouse
© Brian Roberts

Liverpool Playhouse will look back to its origins in music hall this Christmas with a new production from Michael Wynne.

The Star is a new 'entertainment', directed by Philip Wilson, which celebrates the history of the venue. In 1866 The Star Music Hall opened on Boxing Day, before becoming the Liverpool Repertory Theatre in 1911. It was one of the leading venues for variety acts in its day.

Wynne's piece will look at both onstage and offstage magic and will feature Liverpudlian actor and Brookside star Michael Starke. The cast also includes Michelle Butterly, Helen Carter and Eithne Browne. The show runs from 9 December to 14 January.

Elsewhere in the season, Maggie Steed will star as Mrs Malaprop in The Rivals alongside Desmond Barrit. The show is created in collaboration between Bristol Old Vic and Citizen's Theatre in Glasgow. Dominic Hill, artistic director of the Citizens Theatre directs the show, which runs between 5 and 29 October.

Everyman & Playhouse's associate director Nick Bagnall will bring his production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona to the Everyman to conclude its UK and European tour. The show transposes Shakespeare's play to the 1960s and runs between 5 and 29 October.

Physical theatre company Frantic Assembly also return to Liverpool as part of the season with Things I Know To Be True, starring Imogen Stubbs and Natalie Casey. Gecko Theatre bring Institute to the city, while Heads Will Roll, Told By An Idiot's latest production inspired by the myth of El Dorado, will also feature.

In the Playhouse Studio there will be a season of three plays including Just An Ordinary Lawyer by Tayo Aluko. The one-man show tells the story of Britain's first black judge, the Nigerian-born Tunji Sowande.

This year's panto will be Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton's rock and roll, anarchic version of Beauty and the Beast, alongside another work for families at the Everyman called At the End of Everything Else by Mark Arends.

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