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Playhouse Announces Birthday Events

A gala performance of The Ladykillers and a launch of a new book will mark the 100th birthday of the Liverpool Playhouse.

On Friday 11 November the theatre in Williamson Square will reach its landmark birthday with a series of events throughout the day.

The birthday gala will celebrate the work and raise funds to support the Playhouse’s future programme on the main stage and in the newly reopened studio.

Tickets to the Gala performance of the sold-out production of The Ladykillers are on sale and the evening will include a pre-show champagne reception as well as a chance to join the cast and other members of the Playhouse family after the show to toast the theatre as a special birthday cake is cut.

The Ladykillers, adapted by Graham Linehan (Father Ted, IT Crowd) from the 1955 Ealing Comedy, will have its world première at the Playhouse before moving to the Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End in a production by Fiery Angel in association with the Everyman and Playhouse.

Directed by Sean Foley (Do You Come Here Often, Play What I Wrote, Pinter’s People) and featuring the a cast that includes Peter Capaldi (The Thick Of It, In The Loop), James Fleet (Four Weddings And A Funeral, The Vicar of Dibley), Ben Miller (Primeval, The Parole Officer), Clive Rowe (Guys and Dolls, Twelfth Night), Stephen Wight (Don Juan In Soho, Dealer’s Choice) and Marcia Warren (Stepping Out, Humble Boy); The Ladykillers tells the story of an eccentric old lady, Mrs Wilberforce, whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of Professor Marcus and his four friends who are planning the heist of a security van at King’s Cross.

On the same day of the gala performance of The Ladykillers, the publication of Liverpool Playhouse: A Theatre and Its City, compiled by Ros Merkin and published by Liverpool University Press will be launched featuring stories and photos from a theatre that has seen performances from Robert Donat, Michael Redgrave, Rachel Kempson, Richard Briers, John Thaw, Anthony Hopkins, Patricia Routledge, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and been a home to writers and directors including Alan Bleasdale, Chris Bond, Bill Morrison and Willy Russell and more recently Heidi Thomas and Jonathan Harvey. The book will be available from the Playhouse at a price of £20 from 11 November.

High Hearted Theatre Company has been commissioned to create a piece to celebrate the 100th birthday working with writers including Helen Blakeman, Chloe Moss and Jeff Young. Set in different spaces around the building, the promenade performance Cheer Up, This Is Only The Beginning will comprise of scenes and moments, all taking place just before curtain-up, but set at different points in the theatre’s 100-year history. There will be two performances on the birthday itself, at 2pm and 5.30pm.

The festivities begin at precisely 11.11am with storytelling for under-5s led by Olympic storyteller Cathy Roberts. The Circle bar will be open from 2pm serving tea and cakes and Merkin will be available to sign copies of the Playhouse book at 4pm. A special centenary exhibition of images from 1911 to the present day will be at the Playhouse throughout November.


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