about us

About Unity Theatre

about us

Unity Theatre gives audiences and participants opportunities to engage with live performances that excite, entertain and inspire. Our theatre spaces are intimate, allowing visitors to experience the exhilaration of live performance, up close.

We’ve been behaving radically onstage since the 1930’s and to this day, our theatre serves as a counterpoint to the mainstream, championing equality for diverse audiences and artists.

Our programme is innovative, and we invite acclaimed and emerging artists to explore the personal, social and political. We develop theatre-makers at every stage of their careers and love introducing our audiences to exciting new artists, making work which sets trends, breaks boundaries, and champions the community.

We provide participants with creative opportunities across Merseyside and develop their interests, skills, confidence and careers. The Unity is ideally located off Hope Street in central Liverpool, and following a £850,000 capital redevelopment in 2017, accommodates two theatres, rehearsal space, conference facilities, meeting spaces, a bar and lecture rooms.

Unity Theatre is a National Portfolio organisation, funded and supported by Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council.

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 Unity Theatre 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