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Final line-up confirmed for Liverpool Theatre Festival

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ltf 2022

Annual event returns to St Luke’s Bombed Out Church in three weeks

Live programme runs between 31 August and 11 September 2022

The final programme for Liverpool Theatre Festival 2022 has been revealed – as organisers count down three weeks until the 12-day event returns with a packed programme of 17 productions. 

The third annual Liverpool Theatre Festival takes place between Wednesday 31 August and Sunday 11 September 2022, with shows daily performed outdoors within the walls of the historic St Luke’s Bombed Out Church in Liverpool city centre.

The festival boasts its biggest programme yet featuring variety and cabaret, comedy, opera, drama, musicals, family shows, and drag acts.

The three final additions to complete the programme are The Crown Duels – Gangs Of Hope; Stop The World, We’re Getting Off; and The Forgotten Forest. 

The full programme also includes I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical; Fear And Misery Of The Third Reich; Laughterhouse Comedy; Not Drunk But Disorderly; Holy Moly Cabaret; The Wind In The Willows; Ma Joyce’s Tales From The Parlour; Venus Rising; Opera Beneath The Stars; 97+ – A Drama Based On The 1989 Hillsborough Disaster; Dame Fanny & The Starlets – A Family Friendly Drag Show; Drag Me To Church – Dragstravaganza; Julie Madly Deeply; and Looking For Me Friend – The Music Of Victoria Wood. 

The line-up includes three shows which have already wowed audiences at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival – all three are coming to Liverpool for the very first time. I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical opens the festival on Wednesday 31 August; while Julie Madly Deeply and Looking For Me Friend – The Music Of Victoria Wood close the event on Sunday 11 September. They will come direct from the Scottish capital to debut at Liverpool Theatre Festival.

Drunk But Not Disorderly returns after its successful premiere at Little LTF (Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works) earlier this year – organisers have now invited the production to be part of the main event. It joins the previously announced 97+ – A Drama Based On The 1989 Hillsborough Disaster, which also premiered at Little LTF this year and is now included in the main programme. The Forgotten Forest makes a welcome return after a successful premiere at the inaugural Little LTF in 2021.

As part of the event, Liverpool Theatre Festival is launching a brand new night featuring the finest and quirkiest cabaret acts from across the region including comedy, burlesque, music, and circus. Holy Moly Cabaret is hosted by the super talented Nana Funk, and will feature Liverpool’s very own glamour queen Millie Dollar and award-winning comedy musicians Jollyboat.

Producer and artistic director Bill Elms commented: “We’re excited and thrilled to announce the final programme for Liverpool Theatre Festival 2022. From the very beginning, it was our mission to create a diverse festival to showcase new and developing works on an exciting platform for the talent which thrives so strong in our city and region. We are very proud of this year’s programme – and feel that the variety and cabaret elements will really strengthen our offer and appeal. So join us for 12 days of fun, laughter, drama, and uplifting live entertainment.”

Liverpool Theatre Festival was created by Liverpool theatre producer Bill Elms, who has worked in the theatre industry for more than 30 years. Theatres and live entertainment venues were ordered to close immediately under the Government’s first national Covid-19 lockdown guidelines in March 2020.

It was Bill’s mission to reinvigorate and boost the city’s live performance and creative arts sector, offering a lifeline when it was needed most. Liverpool Theatre Festival was created in a matter of weeks. Its inaugural staging won praise from audiences and critics alike, as well as winning many awards along the way.

Liverpool Theatre Festival is committed to supporting local artists, creatives, and theatre companies. During the two events in 2021, a total of 30 local and regional diverse theatrical productions were staged – resulting in almost 200 performers, musicians and creatives involved and working as the pandemic continued.

Liverpool Theatre Festival 2022 is supported by lead sponsor  Victor Welsh Media & Entertainment Law, lead partner  Fostering Solutions, and event sponsor Ticket Quarter. Partners also include The Epstein Theatre, dBS Solutions, and Bills Elms Associates. 

Liverpool-based children’s charity KIND is this year’s official charity partner, which includes bucket collections at show performances. Liverpool Theatre Festival 2022 is dedicated to the memory of Baby Michael James who would have been celebrating his 21st Birthday this September. 

Visit www.liverpooltheatrefestival.com for the latest news updates. 

Website:         www.liverpooltheatrefestival.com

Facebook:       /liverpooltheatrefestival

Twitter:           @lpoolTFestival

Instagram:      liverpooltheatrefestival

Hashtag:         #LTF

 

ABOUT THE SHOWS…

 

WEDNESDAY 31 AUGUST AT 6PM / 8PM

I WISH MY LIFE WERE LIKE A MUSICAL

Musical | 12+ | Tickets £18

Direct from its second season at the Edinburgh Fringe, boasting a West End Wilma Award, three further award nominations, and more than 20 5-star reviews – I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical is sparkling musical revue reveals everything that you could possibly want to know about being a musical theatre performer. If only there were any who would dare to admit it. Featuring an illustrious cast of West End regulars, this unique show covers the journey from wide-eyed drama school graduate right through to brattish diva, past-it chorus member, bitter has-been, or even never-was – all through comedy. The show lifts the lid on awful auditions, debilitating dance routines, mid-performance mishaps, backstage backstabbing – plus those magical moments that make it all seem worthwhile.

THURSDAY 1 SEPTEMBER AT 7.30PM

FEAR AND MISERY OF THE THIRD REICH

Theatre | 12+ | Tickets £20

Bertolt Brecht’s series of 24 interconnected playlets describe events which took place in ordinary German households in the 1930s. They dramatise with clinical precision the suspicion and anxiety experienced by ordinary people, particularly Jewish citizens, as the power of Hitler grew. Fear And Misery Of The Third Reich will be performed at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church, a building which acts as a reminder of the power and fury of Hitler, and as the power of the resistance of the allied forces. Juxtaposed against the modern atrocities happening in Ukraine, this play is a siren call, a warning that if we allow hate to grow, we can so easily allow history to repeat itself. The performance is dedicated in solidarity to the people of Ukraine.

The production stars Liam Powell Berry. Written by Bertolt Brecht and translated by John Willett, it is produced by Theatre Right Now, and directed by Anthony Proctor. 

FRIDAY 2 SEPTEMBER AT 6PM / 8.30PM

LAUGHTERHOUSE COMEDY

Comedy | 16+ | Tickets £22

Laughterhouse are Liverpool’s longest running comedy club, bringing the very best in live comedy to audiences across the UK for 14 years. Laughterhouse know their audience and, as comedy fans, know that live stand-up is the most powerful and exciting evening to experience. They are delighted to be back for a third consecutive year at Liverpool Theatre Festival, bringing festivalgoers an evening of hilarity featuring Scouse favourites and the very best acts on the international comedy circuit. The line-up features Mick Miller, Tom Wrigglesworth and Duncan Oakley, hosted by Chris Cairns.

SATURDAY 3 SEPTEMBER AT 5PM

NOT DRUNK BUT DISORDERLY

Comedy | 16+ | Tickets £18

Not Drunk But Disorderly is a physical comedy that entertains, humours, and mocks each other and the society we live in. Howard and Geoffrey are local police officers who don’t know how to office. Nine residents, one murder. Two actors, nine characters. Trouble is easy to find, but a murderer isn’t. When called to the scene, Howard and Geoffrey not only have to find the perpetrator but also find the dead body – that they somehow managed to lose. Murder mystery meets Dumb & Dumber – but they’re both dumber. But they’ll find out, the long way round. After winning praise at Little LTF in Spring this year, the production is back by popular demand. The show comes from Megan Hindley and Beth Amos. 

SATURDAY 3 SEPTEMBER AT 7.30PM

HOLY MOLY CABARET

Cabaret| 16+ | Tickets £20

Life is a cabaret old chum, so come to the cabaret. Liverpool Theatre Festival launches sensational Saturday night Holy Moly Cabaret – hosting the finest and quirkiest cabaret acts from across the region including comedy, burlesque, music, and circus. Hosted by the super talented Nana Funk and starring Liverpool’s own glamour queen Millie Dollar and award-winning comedy musicians Jollyboat. Holy Moly Cabaret will become a regular show at LTF so be part of the launch event. This is just a taster of the acts performing, more announcements soon.

SUNDAY 4 SEPTEMBER AT 12PM

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

Family | 3+ | Tickets £14 / Children £10

A Summer afternoon in Wild Wood. While the animals sat, ate picnics, and played with their friends, a mischievous ‘poop poop’ echoed in the trees – it’s The Wind In The Willows. Join Mole, Ratty and Badger in a floor stomping, hilarious recount of this woodland adventure as they save Toad and his shiny new motorcar from deep trouble. Described as “remarkable”, this new adaptation features a number of great folk-rock tunes, and is perfect for the modern-day audience.

SUNDAY 4 SEPTEMBER AT 3PM

MA JOYCE’S TALES FROM THE PARLOUR

Black Arts | 12+ | Tickets £18

“Warming and fun…she’s an endearing soul, full of wisdom with that Liverpudlian sense of humour” – Time Out.

Ma Joyce celebrates the triumph and tragedies of motherhood, grandmotherhood, and her observation of Liverpool’s social, economic and political life, from her uniquely humorous perspective. You think you know Scouse – well you’ve never tasted it like this before. Go along for a nibble and a natter in Ma Joyce’s Parlour. Set in Liverpool, the play tells the story of a mixed-race grandmother of Nigerian and Irish heritage, as she celebrates her birthday and revisits the people and places from her past. Ma Joyce takes audiences on a rollercoaster journey back to her childhood in the convent in the Welsh countryside; the romantic meeting and relationship with her late Nigerian husband Mani; and her journey to Nigeria only to discover that: “In England I am black. In Africa I am white. It’s a funny, bloody world.”

Written and performed by Victoria Evaristo and directed by Angela Ekaette Michaels.

MONDAY 5 SEPTEMBER AT 6PM / 8.30PM

VENUS RISING

Drama | 14+ | Tickets £22

All James had ever wanted to do was to write, he didn’t want any of this. A drunken bet with an old friend moved him into the world of penning erotic fiction. The problem was, that he found out he was good at it – really good at it. He’s the most successful person you’ll ever meet and you’d never know it. He hates his job, hates his life, he’s drinking too much, and his wife has left him. You’re going to like him.

Venus Rising is a very modern love story about loss, regret, the decisions we make, and finding out what we actually need. It’s one man telling you the story of his life and trying to work out whether it’s too late to write a happy ending.

Venus Rising is penned by celebrated Liverpool writer Ian Salmon, well-known for his works Girls Don’t Play Guitars, The Comeback Special, and Those Two Weeks. For one night only, Venus Rising appears in its original monologue form. The cast features Nick Sheedy as James, and directed by Julia Kettle.

TUESDAY 6 SEPTEMBER AT 7.30PM

THE CROWN DUELS – GANGS OF HOPE

Interactive | 16+ | Tickets £18

You’ve heard of The Peaky Blinders, now it’s time to get acquainted with The High Rip – Liverpool’s infamous gang. It’s post War and the city is over-run with poverty and hunger, creating a breeding ground for violence and crime. Two rival gangs, The High Rip and The Logwood battle it out to see who will rule the unruly. Even the authorities are too terrified to step in, that is until the arrival of notorious Constable Pins, known for his unorthodox methods. And he has business in the city.

A missing crate mistaken as contraband has been lifted at the docks on its journey to London. The rumour is it contains jewels belonging to The Crown inside. Whoever gets their hands on them will earn their place as the King or Queen of the city. And people are desperate, they will do anything, even murder.

This interactive theatrical murder mystery show is produced by DBY Interactive.

WEDNESDAY 7 SEPTEMBER AT 8PM

STOP THE WORLD, WE’RE GETTING OFF

Drama | 14+ | Tickets £18

Join Tenderfoot Theatre as they welcome audiences to Clapham South Tube Station – home to the last five survivors of the climate crisis. Ava and Cayden are having a baby, but with the oxygen dwindling, can they come together and stabilise their living situation or will someone pay the ultimate price?

With the group still rocked from the tragedies of their past, the fate of the world is left up to a grieving climate scientist, a sly politician, a socialite-turned-student, and two young lovers. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and it may well be what we need.

Tenderfoot Theatre is a young, queer, female-led eco-theatre company based in Lancashire and Liverpool. Combining climate activism with dynamic storytelling, the company use a range of creative practices to ensure productions tell sustainable stories using sustainable methods.

“Totally captivating throughout. This is no self-righteous, self-obsessed, self-indulgent diatribe. Stop The World, We’re Getting Off is a cautionary tale from the modern generation, possessing a level of urgency that grabs you, and insight that stays with you long after the dust of battle has settled” – Audience Review.

THURSDAY 8 SEPTEMBER AT 7.30PM

OPERA BENEATH THE STARS

Music | 12+ | Tickets £28

“Standing ovations and encores, we cheered and wanted more” – ***** North West End.

Absolute Opera present a beautiful evening of sublime operatic and classical hits in the stunning open-air surroundings of St Luke’s Bombed Out Church. The show stars national and international performers, including Tenor Roy Locke (Opera Australia), Soprano Leigh Rhianon Coggins (Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company), and Mezzo Soprano Augusta Knopov. With live piano accompaniment by Per Nielsen, this enchanting gala evening will feature the most well-loved and popular songs from Grand Opera, Operetta, Neapolitan Song, and Modern Classical and Musical hits, all performed by world-class performers in beautiful evening wear. A fabulous evening for opera lovers – and the perfect introduction to opera for all.

FRIDAY 9 SEPTEMBER AT 6PM / 8.30PM

97+ – A DRAMA BASED ON THE 1989 HILLSBOROUGH DISASTER

Drama | 16+ | Tickets £20

“10/10 Perfect – possibly the most powerful theatre show I’ve ever seen” – Writebase.

This drama has been selected to perform at the main Liverpool Theatre Festival following its huge success at Little LTF festival of new works earlier this year. It is based on the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster, during which severe injuries led to the loss of 97 lives. Set in 2012 and haunted by their memories, Hillsborough survivors John and Steve each deal with the trauma they suffered as young boys now as middle-aged men. John bottles up his emotions and only exposes these to his wife Liz, as he regularly suffers from night terrors but avoids seeking treatment from the doctors. While Steve is in and out of hospital suffering from his multiple mental health issues where he is looked after by nurse Nancy, who appears to be the only person he sees as a friend. That is until he meets John, whose charity pot in his newsagents sparks a conversation between the pair about their shared experiences. Despite countless setbacks, the Hillsborough survivors continue their fight for justice. Starring Colin Kilbride, Leslie Longley, Julie McCabe, and Alice McKillop.

SATURDAY 10 SEPTEMBER AT 12PM

THE FORGOTTEN FOREST

Family | 3+ | Tickets £12 / Children £10

Join new furry friends and help save their home in the Forgotten Forest. Ruined by pollution and litter, and now Mean Queen Morticia is trying to build on top of the forest. The animals will have to look for somewhere else to live or become the Queen’s servants – and they need help.

All is not as it seems through. A story of magic, talking animals, defeating mean Queens, unusual friendships, and learning that some litter isn’t as rubbish as everyone may think.

Audiences are invited to join the animals and help tell their story by celebrating friendship, togetherness, environment, and the power of community. This is a family friendly, feel-good interactive show. Theatregoers are invited to attend dressed as their favourite animal.

SATURDAY 10 SEPTEMBER AT 4PM

DAME FANNY & THE STARLETS – A FAMILY FRIENDLY DRAG SHOW

LGBT+ Arts Family | 8+ | Tickets £15 / Children £12.50

Come out, come out, wherever you are, and meet some great drag queens that have not come that far. The new Fab Four will be high heeling it to LTF this September, bringing an event for all lovers of drag of all ages.

Join hair-larious hostess and Liverpool lass Dame Fanny De Faux, the magnificent Mystique, beautiful Brooke Spears, and incredible Iva Bouquet for a fabulous 90 mins of dragtastic music, dance, comedy, games, and general gorgeousness.

Anything goes at Dame Fanny shows, produced by TBC Events, and if a younger audience member has a special skill they’d love to share, this will be the perfect opportunity in the Talent Show  section of the afternoon. They should feel free to blow their trumpet, twerk it out on the dance floor, lip sync to their heart’s content, or do whatever it is they do best. During this fun-filled family event, the performers will choose a member of the audience to be beautifully transformed, before taking to their throne and being crowned Queen for a Day.

SATURDAY 10 SEPTEMBER AT 8PM

DRAG ME TO CHURCH – A DRAGSTRAVAGANZA

LGBT+ Arts | 18+ | Tickets £18

The only drag show that guarantees, if audiences don’t have fun, they will fully refund their dull life back to them!

Following hilarity in 2021 and a mini tour for 2022 of Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham, the aka Keller Kweens are high heeling it to Liverpool Theatre Festival with a truly unique dragstravaganza of a night. Produced by TBC Events, the show is hosted by the darling divinity Dame Fanny De Faux, joined by the heavenly sensational The Starlets. Join the magnificent Mystique, beautifully blessed Brooke Spears, and the incredible Iva Bouquet for a lash-tastic evening of sinfully shameless shenanigans, live performance, games, giveaways, high jinks, and gratuitous gorgeousness. There will also be the chance for a volunteer audience member to take to the stage and compete in a lip sync challenge. While another will be chosen to be transformed into a Queen for the night.

SUNDAY 11 SEPTEMBER AT 3PM

JULIE MADLY DEEPLY

Musical | 8+ | Tickets £20

The West End and Off-Broadway smash-hit show.

My cheeks hurt with smiling” – Daily Telegraph.

Dame Julie, you suspect, would approve. This is an evening that ends in triumph, not in tears” – The Times.

Adored by millions, Dame Julie Andrews is a genuine showbiz icon. This charming yet cheeky cabaret takes a look at fame and fandom through the eyes and voice of award-winning performer Sarah-Louise Young (Fascinating Aida, An Evening Without Kate Bush).

Julie’s songs from musicals including Mary Poppins, The Sound Of Music, and My Fair Lady are intertwined with stories and anecdotes about her life, from beginnings as a child star to the challenges of losing her famous singing voice. What emerges is a delightfully funny and candid love letter to a true showbusiness survivor. Sarah-Louise is joined on piano by long-term collaborator Michael Roulston (Fascinating Aida, The Now Show).

SUNDAY 11 SEPTEMBER AT 7PM

LOOKING FOR ME FRIEND – THE MUSIC OF VICTORIA WOOD

Musical | 12+ | Tickets £20

“This show is a highlight of my year and I’d love to go again!” – ***** LondonTheatre1.

Cabaret performer and television personality, Paulus enters his 30th year in entertainment with a loving tribute to his idol – the late, great Victoria Wood. Joined on stage by musical director and old friend Michael Roulston, together they prove what many have known for decades – that it takes two men to do the work of one woman, and half as well.

Paulus will remind audiences of Victoria’s best-loved songs through the decades including It Would Never Have Worked, Reincarnation, and of course, the classic Ballad of Barry & Freda (Let’s Do It). As well as the songs, he explores the musicality of Victoria’s sketches and catchphrases, the Northern accent, and the modern ‘Polari’ that has evolved amongst her legions of fans through the quoting of her enormous body of work. This nostalgic hour of entertainment is filled with love, laughter, and fabulous memories for Victoria Wood fans.

LIVERPOOL THEATRE FESTIVAL 2022 SHOW LISTINGS

LIVERPOOL THEATRE FESTIVAL 2022

Wednesday 31 August – Sunday 11 September 2022

St Luke’s Bombed Out Church, Leece Street, Liverpool, L1 2TR

 

I WISH MY LIFE WERE LIKE A MUSICAL

Date: Wednesday 31 August

Times: 6pm / 8pm

Tickets: £18

Genre / Audience: Musical | 12+

 

FEAR AND MISERY OF THE THIRD REICH

Date: Thursday 1 September

Times: 7.30pm

Tickets: £20

Genre / Audience: Theatre | 12+

 

LAUGHTERHOUSE COMEDY

Date: Friday 2 September

Times: 6pm / 8.30pm

Tickets: £22

Genre / Audience: Comedy | 16+

 

NOT DRUNK BUT DISORDERLY

Date: Saturday 3 September

Times: 5pm

Tickets: £18

Genre / Audience: Comedy | 16+

 

HOLY MOLY CABARET

Date: Saturday 3 September

Times: 7.30pm

Tickets: £20

Genre / Audience: Cabaret | 16+

 

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

Date: Sunday 4 September

Times: 12pm

Tickets: £14 / Children £10

Genre / Audience: Family | 3+

 

MA JOYCE’S TALES FROM THE PARLOUR

Date: Sunday 4 September

Time: 3pm

Tickets: £18

Genre / Audience: Black Arts | 12+

 

VENUS RISING

Date: Monday 5 September

Times: 6pm / 8.30pm

Tickets: £22

Genre / Audience: Drama | 14+

 

THE CROWN DUELS – GANGS OF HOPE

Date: Tuesday 6 September

Times: 7.30pm

Tickets: £18

Genre / Audience: Interactive | 16+

 

STOP THE WORLD, WE’RE GETTING OFF

Date: Wednesday 7 September

Times: 8pm

Tickets: £18

Genre / Audience: Drama | 14+

 

OPERA BENEATH THE STARS

Date: Thursday 8 September

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: £28

Genre / Audience: Music | 12+

 

97+ – A DRAMA BASED ON THE 1989 HILLSBOROUGH DISASTER

Date: Friday 9 September

Time: 6pm / 8.30pm

Tickets: £20

Genre / Audience: Drama | 16+

 

THE FORGOTTEN FOREST

Date: Saturday 10 September

Times: 12pm

Tickets: £12 / Children £10

Genre / Audience: Family | 3+

 

DAME FANNY & THE STARLETS – A FAMILY FRIENDLY DRAG SHOW

Date: Saturday 10 September

Time: 4pm

Tickets: £15 / Children £12.50

Genre / Audience: LGBT+ Arts Family | 8+

 

DRAG ME TO CHURCH – DAME FANNY DE FAUX’S DRAGSTRAVAGANZA

Date: Saturday 10 September

Time: 8pm

Tickets: £18

Genre / Audience: LGBT+ Arts | 18+

 

JULIE MADLY DEEPLY

Date: Sunday 11 September

Time: 3pm

Tickets: £20

Genre / Audience: Musical | 8+

 

LOOKING FOR ME FRIEND – THE MUSIC OF VICTORIA WOOD

Date: Sunday 11 September

Time: 7pm

Tickets: £20

Genre / Audience: Musical | 12+

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