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Tags: Liverpool_Everyman_Theatre, Hope_Street, Bistro, Street_cafe, Sarah_OHara

Everyman ThEATre opens to all in style

After two years of construction and a multi-million pound refurbishment, the new Everyman Theatre re-opened on March 1st with a glorious ‘lights up’ parade and event. I was lucky enough to go along on a tour of the beautiful new building and to taste its delightful new food menu. Needless to say that delightful doesn’t even begin to describe how amazing it all is.

 

Located on the site of the original Everyman Theatre, the clear glass windows allow immense amounts of daylight into all areas of the building whilst its interior is much more spacious than that of its predecessor, which allows ease of access for disabled theatre goers. More notably in the theatre bar the use of bricks from the original Everyman building and recycled stage lights bring the refurbishment full circle - reuniting the past with the history that is waiting to be made.  Designed by architect Haworth Tompkins (National Theatre, Royal Court), his vision for the Everyman has come to life in a beautiful reworking that welcomes the theatre into a new period of its existence whilst retaining the warmth and welcoming atmosphere of the original.

 

This spacious venture has also allowed for the installation of new rooms that celebrate all areas of the creative industries. The costume workshop is an impressive space that allows garments and wigs to be made in-house for both Everyman and Playhouse productions. If anything this is not only an area for the current costume designers to practise their craft, but a world of inspiration for future generations to become involved with the technical aspects of theatre production. There’s even a writers room full of plays and transcripts where the productions of tomorrow can be created. Plus it’s absolutely free to book and use. Liverpool has always been a hub of creativity and artistic experiment, and the Everyman’s new production rooms are ideal places to continue this fabulous legacy for years to come.

 

Of course the Everyman was as well known for its tasty cuisine as it was for its superb productions, and the launch of the Everyman ThEATre  is an absolute triumph of culinary delights. The infamous bistro is back with a menu that combines locally sourced ingredients with team members especially handpicked by restaurant enthusiast Tom Lang. Local suppliers including Liverpool Organic Brewery have joined forces with the Everyman to provide the drinks, whilst the food choices are wider, more varied and the team couldn’t do more to make you feel welcome. Their Everyman pate with poached pear chutney and olives is a perfect appetiser (available on a shared board), and you can instantly taste how fresh the food is. With a menu including butternut, sage and walnut risotto in addition to classics such as sausage and mash, there’s a dish to suit all tastes and I will definitely be coming back for more!

Of course the bistro isn’t the only new eatery in the venue. Their new street cafe is the height of modern chic, complete with a pavement area to sit out in the summer and an ingenious sandwich invention. Ever ordered a sandwich and you can’t finish it? Well the Everyman have solved that problem - you can order it by the inch. Yes, by the inch!  So whether it’s a light bite or a full lunch you fancy, you can take in the magnificent architecture (and the wonderful Hope Street during the summer), knowing that you have ordered a sandwich suited to your taste. Plus they’re absolutely delicious.


Aside from the Bistro and the street cafe, no theatre would be complete without a bar. Open before the show and during intervals, there’s plenty of space to chat about the production and relax with your evening drink. The ceiling is a masterpiece to behold; a mesmerising combination of patterns amidst a sea of red colour. Reflecting the light perfectly, its design was crafted by Antoni Malinowski and is the perfect precursor to the Hope Street Balcony. Open during summer evenings the balcony is decorated with panels that depict the people of Liverpool, which further cements the Everyman’s dedication towards providing theatre and community activities for all. Creativity truly is at the heart of our city.


There’s so much to say and celebrate about the new Everyman theatre that it truly needs to be experienced for yourself. The wait may have been long but the result is magnificent. Here’s to the future of the Everyman - it looks set to be spectacular.


Photographs (in order): Bistro (C) Brian Roberts & Housewarming Bistro (C) Steve Aland

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    Sarah's posts By Sarah O' Hara
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