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At the Playhouse, we offer bold productions of great plays in the three-tier main house, and intimate, intense staging of new plays in the 70-seat Studio.

The building began life as the Star Music Hall in 1866, and became a theatre in 1911 on the formation of the Liverpool Repertory Company - one of the first and soon one of the most prestigious ‘reps’ in the country.

Playhouse 1959

In its first half-century the Playhouse’s acting roster included Robert Donat, Michael Redgrave, Rachel Kempson, John Thaw, Anthony Hopkins, Patricia Routledge, Michael Gambon, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and many, many more. The latter part of the 20th century featured many high points, one of the most celebrated being the tenure of the Gang of Four – Alan Bleasdale, Chris Bond, Bill Morrison and Willy Russell.

Since it joined forces with the Everyman in 1999, the Playhouse has produced a rich and acclaimed programme including classic drama (such as Kim Cattrall’s Liverpool homecoming in Antony and Cleopatra), new plays (including commissions by Jonathan Harvey and Frank Cottrell-Boyce) and adaptations (such as Roger McGough’s delicious and delirious new versions of Molière).

In 2011, we celebrated the Playhouse’s Centenary with a full season of home-produced work, a Gala performance of The Ladykillers; the publication of a new book (see right), and our most special birthday present to the theatre was the reopening of the Studio as a performance space, with the world première of The Swallowing Dark by Lizzie Nunnery.

recent playhouse productions


  • Tartuffe by Roger McGough after Moliére
  • Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi by Phil Willmott
  • Proper Clever by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
  • Boeing Boeing by Marc Camoletti & Beverley Cross
  • The Price by Arthur Miller
  • When We Are Married by J B Priestley
  • The Hypochondriac by Roger McGough after Moliére
  • Kes by Lawrence Till
  • John Buchan's The 39 Steps adapted by Patrick Barlow
  • Ghost Stories By Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman
  • Canary by Jonathan Harvey © Helen Warner
  • Kim Cattrall and Jeffery Kissoon (c) Stephen Vaughan
  • NO WISE MEN_ Javier Marzan, John Nicolson and Annabelle Dowler © Joel Chester Fildes
  • Oedipus - Louise Jameson + Simon Merrells
  • Roald Dahl's Twisted Tales_Jonathan Danciger as Young Perkins and George Rainsford as Foxley_Photo Alastair Muir
  • TARTUFFE_Colin Tierney (Photograph by Robert Day)
  • The Swallowing Dark_Allyson Ava-Brown & Wil Johnson (c) Christian Smith
  • The Ladykillers_Peter Capaldi, Ben Miller, Beverley Walding & Clive Rowe © Manuel Harlan
  • Cinderella_Francis Tucker and Adam Keast (c)Robert Day
  • Amanda Drew as Blanche DuBois - A Streetcar Named Desire © Stephen Vaughan
  • Jamie Parker as Henry V (c) Stephen Vaughan
  • Illyria by Bryony Lavery (c) Brian Roberts
  • Philip Cumbus as Norman & Tom Davey as Tom in Table Manners (c) Jonathan Keenan
  • Leanne Best  in The Match Box (c) Christian Smith3
  • The Alchemist - Nicholas Tennant (Face) & Ian Bartholomew (Subtle)
  • Pauline Daniels as Mary & Ged McKenna as David in Held (c) ChristianSmith
  • Jack and the Beanstalk 2012  Francis Tucker & Adam Keast 4 © Robert Day WEB
  • Daniel Goode & Colin Tierney in The Misanthrope © Robert Day
  • Ralf Little & Rebecca Johnson in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg © Simon Annand
  • Ben Turner as Amir & Farshid Rokey as Hassan in The Kite Runner (c) Robert Day
  • Remmie Milner in 'Melody Loses Her Mojo'  (c) Robert Day
  •   Adam Best in Crime & Punishment (c) Tim Morozzo 2.jpg

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Liverpool Playhouse - A Theatre and Its City

by Ros Merkin (Liverpool University Press, 2011)

Centenary Book

Compiled by Ros Merkin to celebrate 100 years of the Liverpool Playhouse, with contributions and stories from those who have been part of the extraordinary journey of the theatre.

We have a limited number of hardback copies at the special rate of £20 (rrp £25). Buy Online.

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