Unity Theatre is open to everybody to be inspired and entertained, and to enjoy outstanding live experiences, up-close.

We invite established and emerging artists to explore our world, presenting work that asks questions, breaks boundaries and challenges accepted norms. We are passionate about championing our community. The stories and lives of Liverpool residents are reflected on our stages, presenting art by the people – not just about the people.

Unity helps develop diverse theatre-makers at every stage of their careers, providing creative opportunities across Merseyside to develop artists’ interests, skills, confidence and careers.

We help you to get more out of your experience at Unity; to spark debate, explore ideas and make sense of our world. Whether you join us for a post-show Q&A, attend a screening or download a podcast, your journey doesn’t have to end with the performance. We hope you leave stimulated, open-minded and with renewed compassion for everybody around you.

Unity Theatre is most grateful to our supporters, especially our main funders Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council, who also funded our 2017 capital redevelopment along with Garfield Weston Foundation, P.H. Holt, The Granada Foundation, The Ravensdale Trust and The Rex Makin Family.

Unity Theatre is open to everybody to be inspired and entertained, and to enjoy outstanding live experiences, up-close.

We invite established and emerging artists to explore our world, presenting work that asks questions, breaks boundaries and challenges accepted norms. We are passionate about championing our community. The stories and lives of Liverpool residents are reflected on our stages, presenting art by the people – not just about the people.

Unity helps develop diverse theatre-makers at every stage of their careers, providing creative opportunities across Merseyside to develop artists’ interests, skills, confidence and careers.

We help you to get more out of your experience at Unity; to spark debate, explore ideas and make sense of our world. Whether you join us for a post-show Q&A, attend a screening or download a podcast, your journey doesn’t have to end with the performance. We hope you leave stimulated, open-minded and with renewed compassion for everybody around you.

Unity Theatre is most grateful to our supporters, especially our main funders Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council, who also funded our 2017 capital redevelopment along with Garfield Weston Foundation, P.H. Holt, The Granada Foundation, The Ravensdale Trust and The Rex Makin Family.

Our building on Hope Place was originally built as a synagogue by the New Hebrew Congregation, later renamed Hope Place Synagogue. President Isaac Schwerzensky laid the founding stone in 1856, and the building was completed in 1857. The congregation moved in 1937 and the Liberal Jewish Synagogue moved into the building until 1965.

In 1979 the building on Hope Place was officially leased to Merseyside Unity Theatre and they launched their opening festival in June 1980. In the year 1982, Graeme Philips joined the movement and later became the first ever Artistic Director of Unity Theatre in the early 1990’s.

Unity has a fascinating history, with its roots in a national theatre movement that played a vital role in the theatrical and political life of the UK.

The Unity Theatre movement was born in the 1930s, producing politically left-wing work by and for working-class audiences. Merseyside Left Theatre was formed in this period, later becoming Merseyside Unity Theatre in 1944. The company was audaciously radical and experimental, and unlike many Unity Theatres, the Merseyside group staged classics alongside contemporary theatre.

In the 1960s, things began to change. Mainstream venues started to meet the demand for radical theatre and the Unity Theatre movement started to disappear along with many theatre clubs. Merseyside Unity Theatre survived, and moved to its current home of a former synagogue on Hope Place in 1980, later becoming the Unity Theatre it is today.

Now, Unity has developed into a thriving combined arts venue, and hub for Merseyside-based creatives. With an emphasis on investing in and supporting incredible local work, Unity has been able to provide opportunity and guidance to an ever-growing number of artists and companies. Unity’s activity now extends far beyond the world of traditional theatre and programming, with a vibrant exhibition space, music events, film screenings, creative workshops and dedicated talent development programme.

Staff:

Administrator: Annemarie Martin

Interim Artistic Director: Elinor Randle

Interim CEO: Matthew Brown

Executive Director (Trusts & Foundations): Eleanor Manson-Sawko

Front of House Operations Manager: Julie Filain

Front of House Operations Manager: Lauren Pitchford (Maternity Cover)

Front of House Operations Administrator: Reg Edwards

Marketing Lead: Luke Bryant

Marketing & Digital Lead: Emily Maguire

Technical and Facilities Manager: Xenia Bayer

Technician: Beccy Hillam

 

Board:

Alecia Marshall

Blue Saint

David Fletcher

Gitika Buttoo

Graham Pengelly

Lauren Mooney

Laurence Clark

Liz Edwards (Acting Chair)

Richie Perera

Sarah Jones

 

Patrons:
Josette Bushell Mingo OBE – Actor and Director
David Morrissey – Actor, Director and Producer
Andrew Lancel – Actor and Producer
John Bishop – Comedian and Actor

We are especially grateful to all our casual staff and Duty Manager teams for all they contribute.

 

Contact Staff:

The administration office is open Monday, Wednesday and  Thursday 10am – 5pm. Call 0151 709 6502 to contact a member of staff or email info@unitytheatre.co.uk

Our Spaces

Unique and affordable Unique and affordable spaces in the heart of Liverpool’s Georgian quarter. Our venue is located right in the middle of a striking Georgian terrace, just off Liverpool’s bustling Hope Street. We are 10 minutes’ walk from Lime Street and Central train stations and on the city’s major bus routes. Originally built as a […]

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