A programme of 14 new works to be premiered at the inaugural Little LTF event in Liverpool this Summer has been revealed. 

Little LTF is a new strand to the hugely successful Liverpool Theatre Festival, which was staged for the very first time last September in response to an ongoing need for live entertainment during Covid-19.

The outdoor festival at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church in Liverpool city centre was created by Liverpool theatre producer Bill Elms, who stepped in to bring entertainment back to audiences after theatres across the country were ordered to close their doors as part of the first Coronavirus lockdown in March 2020.

The festival was so well received last Autumn, that Bill was determined to take the event to the next level by introducing an open call for artists to submit new work with a chance to be premiered and showcased at its sister event.

Organisers were “overwhelmed by the incredible calibre of work and remarkable talent” of submissions.

Little LTF will run for seven days between Monday 12 July and Sunday 18 July 2021 – all productions included in the line-up will be seen by Liverpool audiences for the very first time at the festival. 

The outdoor event will be staged within the church walls at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church, a new set-up than the September festival, creating a more intimate, unique, covered Covid-secure performance space.

The 14 successful shows chosen for the Little LTF programme go on sale at 10am today (Friday). To book tickets visit the festival website here.  

A panel of industry professionals embarked on the difficult task of selecting the final line-up from works submitted. Media and industry professionals will be invited to see the productions first-hand at the festival. Accolades will also be given to outstanding productions in specific categories.

Genres represented in the diverse and inclusive programme covers Black arts, cabaret, comedy, disability arts, drama, family entertainment, LGBTQ, mental health, and musical theatre.

Producer and artistic director Bill Elms commented:

“The decision to introduce a sister event to Liverpool Theatre Festival for 2021 was most definitely a great move. Little LTF is unique as there are so few festivals who solely showcase new works. We had an excellent response to our call for submissions and the panel has been overwhelmed by the incredible calibre of work and remarkable talent across Liverpool City Region and the wider North West area.

“Creatives have really jumped on-board for this festival of new works, especially in this first year, so we’re excited for the future already. Work submitted was extremely creative, diverse, captivating and inspiring – it’s been a very uplifting experience and proved very difficult for the panel to select its final programme of shows.”

Little LTF will open on Monday 12 July with A Brief Conversation About The Inevitability Of Love by writer Ian Salmon; followed across the week by Twice Nightly from writers Michael Alan Bailey and Maria Lovelady and presented by Frame This; and The Forgotten Forest by writer Becky Brooks and presented by 3D Interact.

Writer Oliver Back, Naughty Corner Productions and Silent Gutter present a double bill with Trapped: 12×8 and String; followed by This Skin Of Mine by writer and producer Kai Jolley; Paul Robeson’s Love Song from writer and producer Tayo Aluko; ADHD The Musical – Can I Have Your Attention Please by writer Dora Colquhoun and presented by Violet Dora; and Superstar by actor, writer and producer Carl Rice.

The final shows are staged over the weekend of Saturday 17 July and Sunday 18 July, with Now by Anne Taft and David Paul; Tea Time by writer Graham Edgington presented by G&J Productions; Support Your Local Library – The Rock Opera by Keith Carter and Ruth Cockburn presented by Black Liver; writer and producer Asa Murphy presents The Monkey With No Bum – The Musical; and 12 – The Rainbow Monologues by Wes Williams and presented by Grin Theatre Company.

Little LTF 2021 is brought to a close with The Unforgettable Anna May Wong by writer Ross Ericson, presented by Red Dragonfly Productions and Grist To The Mill Productions.

The selection panel was made up of festival director Bill Elms who was joined by David Fry, UK theatre programmer and producer; theatre director and producer James Baker; Sue Williams who spent 22 years as Liverpool Unity Theatre’s Executive Director and is now Freelance; and Anthony Proctor, an arts marketing professional and theatre maker.

Bill Elms added:

“The pandemic and lockdown has proved a real challenge for everyone, especially those working in creative industries and live events. However, for some artists it has been a time to take a step back, take inspiration and create. Little LTF has really captured the imagination of writers and performers and we’re excited to provide the platform to help get artists and freelancers back into work and showcase this fantastic talent on our doorstep.”

Shows run between 50 minutes and 75 minutes (see individual show listings on the website), there are no intervals. The festival will adhere to all Covid-19 and Government guidelines required at the time.

Little LFT will be followed by the return of Liverpool Theatre Festival from Wednesday 1 September to Sunday 12 September 2021. The festival features more mainstream and established acts, artists, and productions. The line-up will be announced shortly.

Liverpool Theatre Festival is sponsored by Falconer Chester Hall and supported by Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres.

The line-up announcement comes in the same week as organisers launch the Friends of Liverpool Theatre Festival membership programme. The loyalty scheme will ensure that members become an integral role in helping the festival grow into one of the UK’s top arts festivals. Festival friends will be directly supporting the local arts scene and helping to maintain accessible, diverse, inclusive, affordable arts in Liverpool.

Find out more