The team behind Unity Theatre’s Build Unity Better project has announced that the reopening date for the building, currently undergoing a £845,000 capital development project, has been rescheduled.
Unity Theatre now aim to open with a short ‘soft launch’ summer season in June and July with the building officially opening in Autumn 2017.
On Friday 19th May, Unity Theatre will still be participating in LightNight, Open Culture’s citywide festival, where festivalgoers passing through Hope Place will see window projections and a revised programme of street theatre outside the building.
Aleasha Chaunte’s The Handless Project: Journey, 19th – 21st May, is still taking place, and the sleepover on 19th May, which was due to be held in Unity 2 has been relocated to Liverpool Cathedral, in atmospheric rooms in the oldest part of the building.
In terms of the previously announced summer season, Unity Theatre will reinstate its successful spring production model, Out of Space, producing or supporting productions and festivals in other Liverpool City Region venues.
Theatre lovers can still see The Damned United which has been rescheduled until later in the season and will now take place on Tuesday 25th July. Home has been relocated to Southport venue The Atkinson on Wednesday 24th May, Saturday Splatterdays will return to Unity Theatre on Saturday 10th June. Unity Theatre will be contacting all bookers from affected shows to inform them of the changes in programme from 1pm on Tuesday 9 May.
The theatre maintains its long term commitment to Tmesis Theatre’s Physical Fest (26th May – 3rd June) and will relocate the performance programme of the festival to The Arts Centre at City of Liverpool College and the Tmesis Theatre Training Company performances to Hope Street Theatre, 22 Hope St, Liverpool L1 9BY.
The International Festival of Physical Theatre is unique to the U.K. and presents an exciting programme of local, national and international artists such as Thom Monckton (Only Bones) and Belgium’s Chaliwate Company (Jetlag) performing in Liverpool for the first time. The spirit of Physical Fest remains unchanged with Tmesis Theatre and Unity transforming The Arts Centre at City of Liverpool College into this year’s festival hub. Festival goers should expect the usual amazing Physical Fest atmosphere with bar, DJ, street food, visual minutes, pop up performance and an exceptional immersive piece of theatre from Tmesis Training Company, moving to Hope Street Theatre for 2017.
The rescheduling of the opening, which has no long term effect on the Build Unity Better project, has been attributed to a number of issues with the redevelopment of the historic building, which have slowed progress in the final phase of the project.
Artistic Director and CEO of Unity Theatre Matthew Linley said, “Our ambition was always to keep our closure period as short as possible for our audiences, artists, staff and volunteers, and it is unfortunate that our plans have changed. However, we are staying focused on the end result, and what our revitalised venue will do for us as an organisation, and for the people of Liverpool and beyond.
I would like to thank the artists and artistic partners who have been involved in the rescheduling and programme reshuffle, for all their understanding and support – they truly have been terrific. Most of all I’d like to thank our own staff, who as ever have proved themselves to be exceptionally able and positive while we navigate our way through the logistics of revising the schedule.”
Unity Theatre will be announcing a full Autumn programme with an official opening celebration, a busy season of shows and the Christmas show. The box office will continue to be located at LIPA Monday – Friday, 10am – 3pm until the building is reopened.
Performances originally scheduled for Monday 5th June and beyond remain unaffected by the rescheduled opening of the venue.