The Liverpool Playhouse is a theatre in Williamson Square in the city of Liverpool, England. It originated in 1866 as a music hall, and in 1911 developed into a repertory theatre. As such it nurtured the early careers of many actors and actresses, some of whom went on to achieve national and international reputations. Architectural changes have been made to the building over the years, the latest being in 1968 when a modern-style extension was added to the north of the theatre. In 1999 a trust was formed, joining the management of the Playhouse with that of the Everyman Theatre.
The present theatre on the site was designed by Edward Davies, and opened in 1866. It replaced an earlier theatre called the Star Concert Hall. The present theatre was originally named the Star Music Hall. In 1895 its name was changed to the Star Theatre of Varieties. The theatre was improved in 1898 by Harry Percival with a new auditorium and foyer, and electricity was installed. In 1911 the Liverpool Repertory Theatre Limited was established, with Basil Dean as its "controller and producer". The company could not afford to build a new theatre, and bought the Star Theatre for £28,000 equivalent to £2,620,000 in 2016). This made it the first repertory in Britain to own the freehold of a theatre. The company spent a further £4,000 on redesigning and modernising the theatre. The auditorium and the basement foyer were redesigned by Stanley Adshead, the Professor of Civic Design at the Liverpool School of Architecture. The theatre was for many years managed by Maud Carpenter. The theatre was renamed the Liverpool Repertory Theatre, and in 1916 renamed again, as the Liverpool Playhouse. Minor structural alterations were made to the theatre in 1961 and in 1966. In 1968 a modern-style extension was added to the north of the theatre to accommodate new foyers, bars, dressing rooms and a workshop. In the 1990s the theatre company went into liquidation. In 1999 the Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust Limited was established as a charity, and the theatre re-opened. It is managed jointly with the Everyman Theatre by Liverpool City Council.
Copyright: CC 3.0