about us

About Unity Theatre

about us

unitytheatre is Liverpool's small-scale theatre with big ambitions. Our work is challenging, innovative, risky and unusual. Our mission is to increase the quality and quanitity of the performing arts available on Merseyside by encouraging creativity, participation, innovation and diversity. 
 
One of the best loved theatres in Liverpool we won the Best Performing Venue award at the Mersey Partnership Tourism Awards. unitytheatre is proud to be core funded by Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council.
 
We work extensively throughout our local community, offering bespoke workshops, access to the arts and are the open and embracing arms for those who are interested in pursuing, developing or establishing themselves creatively.

Artistic Director & CEO

Matthew Linley is Artistic Director and CEO of unitytheatre.

Matthew was formerly General Manager with Eastern Angles – an acclaimed touring theatre company based in Ipswich. He has previously led venues in Leicester (Phoenix Arts), Reading (21 South Street) and Bath (Michael Tippett Centre). Previous to that he was a freelance producer and consultant working across a wide range of projects including venue programming, organisational development, business planning and project management.

He succeeded Graeme Phillips in 2015, who had guided Unity Theatre for the previous 34 years maintaining its tradition of staging radical but accessible work that stretches back to the 1930s.

history

The Unity name is one of the last reminders of a national theatre movement that played an important role in the theatrical and political life of the country.
 
Merseyside Left Theatre was formed in the 1930s and became Merseyside Unity Theatre in 1944. From the start the company was radical and experimental, however, unlike many Unity Theatres, the Merseyside group staged classics alongside contemporary left wing theatre.
 
The Unity Theatre movement, along with many theatre clubs, started to disappear with the abolition of licensing in the 1960s as mainstream theatres met the demand for radical theatre. Merseyside Unity Theatre survived into the early 1980s with one of the last initiatives to develop the current Unity Theatre on Hope Place, to convert the former synagogue from a photographic studio to a theatre.
 
Merseyside Unity Theatre ended in the mid 1980s. The theatre was already well established under Hope Place Community Association management and it continued to expand as a base for professional touring theatre, later becoming unitytheatre. Linking both organisations was Graham Frood who joined Merseyside Left Theatre in the 1930s. Graham continued his involvement with unity until his death in 2003.
 
In 1994 unitytheatre received funding from the Arts Council of England for development: A Foundation for Sport and the Arts award and £1.6m from the Arts Council of England Lottery panel and the Government Office of Merseyside. The refurbishment was completed in August 1998.
 
2010 saw unity's 30th birthday at Hope Place and still is one of the best loved theatres in Liverpool and has won the Best Performing Venue award at the Mersey Partnership Tourism Awards.
 

access

We are always looking at how we make the theatre accessible and ways we can improve.

Unity is wheelchair accessible with key features including:

· A wide, graded slip-resistant ramp.
· A wide easy open main door.
· The corridors are wide and obstruction free.
· There is a  lift to all levels. 
· Evacu-chairs are available emergency evaucations.
· There are alarmed accessible toilets on each level.
· Spaces for wheelchair users are on the front row.

To book a wheelchair space please call Box Office before you arrive so we can best accommodate your needs.

· We have a loop system at our box office.
· We have recently installed a new radio hearing system in both theatre spaces.
· We occasionally offer signed and captioned performances - contact box office for more.
· Scripts may be available for some productions in advance for those with hearing impairments.  

· We welcome guide and hearing dogs, water bowls are available.

Please inform Box Office when booking to ensure suitable seating is available.

Contact Us: 0844 873 2888 or e-mail tickets@unitytheatre.co.uk