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Liverpool Theatre Festival opens with sold-out opera show

1 year ago

Liverpool Theatre Festival opens with sold-out opera show
Viva Tenori at Liverpool Theatre Festival

The festival programme runs to Sunday 30 July 2023 at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church!

The fourth annual Liverpool Theatre Festival opened yesterday evening (Thursday 20 July) with a sold-out show of opera entertaining audiences in the warm Summer open air. 

The outdoor event now runs daily through to Sunday 30 July 2023 at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church in Liverpool city centre. 

Liverpool Theatre Festival 2023 is dedicated to Liverpool playwright Mark Davies Markham, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Mark premiered his one-woman play 2Gorgeous4U at last year’s LTF. This year the show is being staged again in memory of Mark. Funds from the performance will be donated to charity. 

The full programme features 17 shows spanning 22 performances covering the genres of comedy, drama, music, opera, musical theatre, drag – and the strongest family line-up to date since the festival was launched in 2020. 

This year’s festival was officially opened by Viva Tenori – A Celebration Of The Three Tenors, presented by Liverpool-based company Absolute Opera to a sold-out audience who enjoyed a spectacular evening of world-class entertainment. 

Absolute Opera has been involved with Liverpool Theatre Festival since it was first staged in 2020 – making this year’s event its fourth consecutive appearance at the event. 

The musical extravaganza featured some of the UK’s leading international and West End tenors – Absolute Opera’s Roy Locke with Rory Campbell and Anthony Flaum, who were joined by special guest soprano Leigh Rhiannon Coggins, who also appeared in previous Absolute Opera shows Opera Beneath The Stars at LTF in 2021 and 2022. The show celebrated the unforgettable music, romance, and spectacle of the original Three Tenors – Carreras, Domingo, and Pavarotti – alongside presenting a fresh approach to modern pop classics inspired by artists including Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban. 

Roy Locke from Absolute Opera commented: “It’s been a real privilege to be part of Liverpool Theatre Festival since it began in 2020, and to open this year’s event was a huge honour. Liverpool Theatre Festival has provided a much-needed lifeline for performers and creatives through a very dark time – and it continues to shine a light on live theatre through this very special event each year. We look forward to seeing you again in 2024.” 

The programme now continues for another 10 days, which includes three specially commissioned shows which will premiere at Liverpool Theatre Festival – Sober Companion starring Joe McGann and Jake Norton; and children’s shows The Oogy Boogy Man and Fred The Musical. 

This is the first time the festival has been staged during the school Summer holidays – and organisers have programmed nine family shows. Alongside brand new commissions The Oogy Boogy Man and Fred The Musical, the children’s shows are The Magic Bookmark With Mama G, Magic Gareth: Level Up!, Rubbish Romeo And Juliet, The Monkey With No Bum, Shout! The Mod Musical, Dame Fanny & Her Fabulous Friends, and The Tempest. 

Bill Elms at Liverpool Theatre Festival
Bill Elms at Liverpool Theatre Festival

The full line-up also Whatever Happened To Billy Kenny; Perfectly Frank; Locomotive For Murder: The Improvised Whodunnit; and Pauline Daniels – Get Me Before The Crematorium Does. 

A Night With Daniel Taylor – His Music And His Friends completes the programme. He will be joined on the evening by Brian Nash from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Grace Galloway from Blood Brothers, and popular Liverpool singer Asa Murphy. 

Liverpool Theatre Festival was created by Liverpool theatre producer Bill Elms, who has worked in the theatre industry for more than 30 years. Theatres and live entertainment venues were ordered to close immediately under the Government’s first national Covid-19 lockdown guidelines in March 2020. It was Bill’s mission and vision to reinvigorate and boost the city’s live performance and creative arts sector, offering a lifeline when it was needed most. Liverpool Theatre Festival was created in a matter of weeks. 

Since its inaugural staging in Autumn 2020, it has gone on to win praise from audiences and critics alike, as well as winning many awards along the way. Liverpool Theatre Festival is committed to supporting local artists, creatives, and theatre companies. 

This year’s festival partners are Liverpool BID Company, Edge Hill University, Morecrofts Solicitors, Bill Elms Associates, Ticket Quarter, and The Harrogate Group. 

This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority as the lead authority. Along with Liverpool City Council and Culture Liverpool. 

Liverpool Theatre Festival Producer and Artistic Director Bill Elms commented:“Liverpool Theatre Festival 2023 is here – it’s finally arrived and we can’t wait to welcome audiences! We’re so grateful that creatives, performers and audiences have fully embraced the event since it was introduced in 2020 during the pandemic and that support goes a very long way. 

“Absolute Opera opened this year’s festival in the most magical way – the most stunning live opera performance, outdoors on a Summer evening, in the heart of Liverpool. What a way to start Liverpool Theatre Festival 2023 – the audience were fully engaged and were swept away with the magic of the evening. 

“The LTF team, performers and creatives are looking forward to welcoming audiences to St Luke’s for another memorable festival – while we also remember our much-missed friend and writer Mark Davies Markham.” 

Fringe event Little LTF – Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works will take place in the Autumn, running between Tuesday 3 October and Sunday 8 October 2023.Performances will be staged within the more intimate marquee at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church. Further details about submitting work will be announced soon. 

For more info on Liverpool Theatre Festival click here.

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