In the Playhouse, the season kicks off with Arthur Miller’s 1947 classic All My Sons, which previews from tonight (15 September 2006) before opening on 19 September and continuing to 7 October 2006. Set in the years straight after World War II, the play about love, guilt and greed sees a shameful family secret destroy the lives of the Keller family. The in-house production of Miller’s drama is directed by the venue’s artistic director, Gemma Bodinetz.
The Playhouse’s Christmas show is The Flint Street Nativity, running from 12 December 2006 to 20 January 2007 (previews from 7 December 2006). The comedy captures the humour and heartbreak of school nativity plays, in which adults play the children and the classroom becomes a battle ground of teasing, blackmail and unrequited love. Tim Firth has adapted it from his own 1999 television play, which featured an all-star cast including Dervla Kirwan, Josie Lawrence, Frank Skinner, Jane Horrocks, Stephen Tompkinson, Neil Morrissey, Ralf Little and Mark Addy.
Firth – whose original theatrical credits include Neville’s Island, The Safari Party and the book for the award-winning Madness musical Our House - has adapted The Flint Street Nativity for the stage himself and also provided original songs for the piece. The production is directed by Matthew Lloyd.
Chloe Moss’ The Way Home receives its world premiere at the Everyman from 25 October to 11 November 2006 (previews from 20 October). The Liverpudlian playwright’s earlier plays How Love Is Spelt and Christmas Is Miles Away have both been presented at London’s Bush Theatre. In The Way Home, 15-year-old Bobby makes friends with Daniel and escapes into a different way of life with the local Irish traveller community, which challenges old stereotypes and forces both boys’ families to look beyond the wall that divides their children.
For the Everyman’s Christmas play husband-and-wife team Sarah Nixon and Mark Chatterton present another of their popular “rock ‘n’ roll” pantomimes, Jack and the Beanstalk - Twist and Sprout, which runs from 6 December 2006 to 27 January 2007 (previews from 1 December 2006).
Visiting productions in the Playhouse include: Jacqueline Wilson’s Tracy Beaker Gets Real; Shared Experience’s production of Euripides’ Orestes; Northern Broadsides’ The Man With Two Gaffers; the National Theatre of Scotland’s The Wolves in the Walls; and Propeller’s all-male The Taming of the Shrew. Meanwhile in the Everyman, visiting highlights are: Levi David Addai’s 93.2FM, Frantic Assembly’s premiere production of Mark Ravenhill’s Pool (No Water), and Positive Impact’s Liverpool-based musical drama Misunderstood.
- by Caroline Ansdell