Acting Company Returns To The Everyman For The First Time In 25 Years

Gemma Bodinetz. Photo: Dan Kenyon
A RESIDENT acting company will return to the Everyman theatre from January 2017. This new way of working will see the theatres connecting more with the city’s communities and aims to inspire and nurture local actors, writers, creatives and audiences but to also have impact nationally and, in time internationally. Having reopened the Everyman in 2014 the theatres now want to take a fresh look at how work is created and seen, not only on the stages, but around the city as well. The Company, made famous at the Everyman in the 1970s, will allow a group of actors to engage with the city’s schools, communities and YEP even more than the organisation is currently able to. The Company will also give the Everyman & Playhouse the chance to participate more in city-wide events and celebrations. Launching in 2017, the Company season will run from January until July each year. This will be followed by an autumn season featuring co-productions with theatre companies who share a similar ethos to the Everyman Company before the rock ‘n’ roll panto at Christmas. The return of the Company sees a resident repertory ensemble at the Everyman for the first time for 25 years. At the Playhouse the programme of touring work will be refreshed with what the theatres are calling Residencies. The Residencies will see touring companies spending longer in the city than they currently do, with visits lasting a few weeks rather than days. While relationships with existing touring companies will be strengthened, this gives the Playhouse the opportunity to bring the finest national and international producing companies to Liverpool. In a similar vein to the Everyman Company, the Residency companies will not just focus on the work on stage but also work with theatres’ community and education teams to deliver work. The approaches at the Everyman and the Playhouse will have a significant impact on the work done with the award-winning YEP. Young people will become even more integrated in the theatres work and there will be clearer routes into further training and employment including traineeships in producing, technical theatre, acting and communications. YEP members will also benefit from working with the Everyman Company members as well as the Playhouse Residency companies on a regular basis to gain further skills, knowledge and experience. Everyman & Playhouse Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz said: “This vision is a distillation of all that we hope will make these theatres a passionate, creative engine that responds to our audiences and the artists eager to tell their stories. We want to surprise, dazzle and invigorate everyone that encounters us. This vision is about creating relationships. Our company, our residencies and YEP will form creative bridges to and from each other and together we will strive to make sure the Everyman and Playhouse theatres are relevant, humane and unique places of wonder.” Associate Director Nick Bagnall added: “The return of the Company to the everyman is a fantastic opportunity to work with what I’m sure will be a talented ensemble to tell great stories that matter to the people of this city. I’m excited for what this new approach to our work will mean for audiences, our work in the community and the brilliant YEP and I can’t wait to get started.” The theatres will announce the productions that will form the first Company season, and which actors will be performing them, in the autumn. Members of the Company will come from a number of backgrounds to create an ensemble with multiple skills, mixing performers who can sing and play instruments, alongside traditional acting skills.