Five Liverpool theatres welcomed a huge number of audience members back into their venues, as people returned to enjoy live theatre post-lockdown.

After a long-period of quiet on stages across the country, the Liverpool Empire, Everyman, Liverpool’s Royal Court, the Playhouse and Unity Theatre sold a total of 169,767 tickets from May to October, as audiences supported local venues and in doing so also enjoyed a great night out.

The city’s theatre-making talent was celebrated across the city’s stages, as Liverpool’s Royal Court returned with brand new comedy Ellen & Rigby and the Playhouse sent a love letter to the city with their production of Love, Liverpool. Unity showcased a range of local talent through the Open Call Programme and the Everyman returned to full-capacity audiences with the return of Jonathan Harvey’s Our Lady of Blundellsands.

Theatre-goers were not only able to celebrate the work of local artists, as national and international talent returned to the city. At the Liverpool Empire, touring theatre shows returned and in September, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast wowed audiences in their droves. The Playhouse showcased Matthew Bourne’s brand new production The Midnight Bell on its stage.

In a joint statement, Gordon Millar, artistic director and CEO at Unity, Gillian Miller, chief executive at Liverpool’s Royal Court, Mark Da Vanzo, chief executive at Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust and Diane Belding, theatre director at Liverpool Empire, said:

“We are truly grateful to everyone who visited our theatres following a very tough period for our industry. Since opening our doors, we have seen a huge number of people in our venues, in socially-distanced shows and sold out auditoriums – all celebrating the huge wealth of talent and a varied programme of shows across Liverpool stages over the past six months.

“We are cautiously optimistic for the future, but we know that we would not be able to continue without your support. So a huge thank you to you all – see you over Christmas!”

Across the festive period, all five theatres will present a varied programme of events. The Everyman’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto returns following a two year hiatus with Robin Hood; the Royal Court opens Christmas early this year with Scouse Sleeping Beauty; Unity presents a selection box of Christmas fun across December, the Empire welcomes hit-musical Dreamgirls to its stage and the Playhouse welcomes Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World to its stage.

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