Everyman Theatre

The Everyman Theatre stands at the north end of Hope Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, England. Established in 1964 in a former cinema, it encouraged local talent and played a part in the development of new artistes and writers. The theatre was rebuilt between 1975 and 1977, and was closed again for complete rebuilding in 2011. It is planned to re-open the new theatre in 2013.


The building originates from Hope Hall, a dissenters' chapel built in 1837. In 1841 it became a church dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. This in turn was converted into a public concert hall in 1853. In 1912 the hall was turned into Hope Hall Cinema, which continued serving this purpose until it closed in 1963. Prior to its closure the hall had become a meeting place for local artists, poets, folk musicians, and sculptors, including Arthur Dooley, Roger McGough, and Adrian Henri, forming what became known as the Liverpool Scene. This group decided that the building would be suitable for use as a theatre and in September 1964 the Everyman Theatre was opened by Martin Jenkins, Pete James and Terry Hands.

In 1975 the theatre closed and was rebuilt, its work being continued as a touring company until it re-opened in September 1977. During the 1970s and the 1980s works of Liverpool playwrights, including Willy Russell and Alan Bleasdale, received debuts in the theatre: these included Shirley Valentine and John, Paul, George, Ringo … and Bert. In addition to plays, the theatre has produced musicals, concerts, and an annual rock-n-roll panto each Christmas. During its time the theatre has been involved with the careers of Julie Walters, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Pryce, Pete Postlethwaite, Antony Sher, Bill Nighy, Barbara Dickson, Matthew Kelly, and Cathy Tyson.

The theatre is managed together with Liverpool Playhouse by Liverpool City Council. Since 2004 The two theatres have worked to an integrated programme run by their artistic director and their executive director. Together they are registered as a charity known as Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust Limited.

Closure and rebuilding

In July 2011 the theatre closed to be completely rebuilt. The last major production was Macbeth, starring David Morrissey and Jemma Redgrave, which closed on 11 June. This was followed by performances from Roger McGough and Brian Patten, and by the local pop band Deaf School. The final closure event took place on 2 July. From 28 July contents of the theatre, including seats and benches from the theatre, and pillars from the original Hope Hall, were available for purchase by auction. The redevelopment will cost £28 million, of which £16.8 million will be provided by Arts Council England, with £5.9 million from the European Regional Development Fund. It is planned to re-open the theatre in 2013.


In 1970 Paddy Byrne and Dave Scott established a restaurant in the basement of the theatre known as the Liverpool Everyman Bistro, which became a popular dining venue in the city. There are plans to create a similar restaurant to be associated with the new theatre.


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