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The programme kicks off with the very first Unity Christmas Festival.
Featuring 14 events over 3 weeks, this special programme has been pulled together to both celebrate and draw to a close a year of work that has placed supporting artists at its very centre.
The festival begins with the venues first Night Market – exhibiting the best of local food, drink, craft and art. The December programme also features the return of Nana Funk, 20 Stories High, Teatro Pomodoro, Sense of Sound and Kitchen Sink Live to the Unity stage, as well as brand-new shows from The Secret Circus, The Rockin’ Rhinos, local folk band Us Four.
The festival also features a very special Liverpool Schools Christmas Show Festival, where children across the city will be performing their end-of-year performances on the Unity stage.
From Spring 2022, Unity welcome back some of the very best companies and performers from across the UK to their stage. In February, award-winning dancer Aakash Odedra teams up with Spark Arts for Little Murmur, a stunning visual show for 7+ about the trials and tribulations of living with dyslexia. Also in February, Silvia Mercuriali presents
Macondo, a unique, audio show where the audience create the performance together.
In March, Vamos finally take to the Unity stage with Dead Good – a timely show about the importance of living every precious day to the full, which was the venue’s first cancelled show back in March 2020. March also sees the return of Graeae Theatre, the UK’s leading disabled led theatre company, with new show Kerbs. Kerbs is the debut play from Michael Southan exploring taboos around sex, romance and disability and is directed by Nickie Miles-Wildin (DadaFest Artistic Director).
Actors Touring Company also feature in Unity’s Spring programme with Rice, by acclaimed Asian-Australian playwright Michele Lee, directed by Matthew Xia (One Night in Miami, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, The Wiz). Figs in Wigs present Little Wimmin’ their smash-hit, feminist adaption of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women and Melissa John’s (Coronation Street) presents the highly-anticipated Snatched – her uplifting one woman show about how iCloud was hacked and explicit photos of her were released online.
The programme also includes a special-events series featuring award-winning comedians Mark Watson, Daliso Chaponda, Fern Brady and John Hegley.
Closer to home, Unity’s 2022 programme also features work from Liverpool-based performers such as Will Dickie who presents White Sun and All Things Considered return with new Unity co-production 8 Hours There and Back. Developed alongside national charity Time Matters UK and young people from Out There and Families Outside, this brand-new verbatim theatre production shines a light on the estimated 300,000 children affected by parental imprisonment.
Unity’s first Open Call Programme comes to an end this Spring. The celebrated programme, created to support 22 Liverpool-based artists with income and performance opportunity following the pandemic, concludes with three more works; More Than Blood – a new show from playwright Marjorie Morgan; Rowena Gander’s Barely Visible – an empowering physical solo performance that brings focus to common issues that queer women face; and Flood Theatre’s Touch.
Following the success of this first year-long programme, Unity are delighted to exclusively announce the return of the Open Call for 2022 – offering more Liverpool artists the chance to develop and perform. Applications will open in January and will feature a new community opportunity.
As part of their Winter / Spring season, Unity continue their commitment to online access. Having made nearly all of their 2021 live programme available online as well as in-venue, Unity have today announced an even more enhanced online offer to increase accessibility for both artists and audiences. Unity Online will include a £1-a-month On Demand platform, housing high-quality recordings of their live-events programme. Unity Online will also feature a new series of online training, workshops and round-table discussions from artist in the season, to support with talent development. The platform will be available to subscribe to from January.
This latest addition to Unity Online joins the previously announced ProPortal – a new platform connecting programmers and artists. Created in consultation with artists, ProPortal has been designed to diversify the UK touring circuit by removing some of the financial, geographical and access barriers faced by artists when trying to connect with industry and get work seen. Following it’s launch in September, ProPortal has already supported hundreds of artists across the whole of the UK to connect with over 200 programmers.
Finally, Unity’s Creative’pool Programme continues into 2022, supporting Liverpool-based artists with free training and development opportunities. With over 600 artists supported through Creative’pool in 2021, this next year sees a continuation of popular schemes including the Level-Up Producers Course, Nuts & Bolts in association with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and on-going training and networking events such as Walk and Talk, Homotopia’s Queer Creatives Meet Up and The Writers Salon.
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