Liverpool's Unity Theatre is delighted to announce the appointment of Gordon Millar as Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer.
Gordon is currently the Theatre Director at the Lyceum Theatre, Crewe, operated by HQ Theatres and was previously Producer at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, his tenure included Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008.
Prior to this he was a Programmer and Producer at London’s Barbican Centre and was General Manager of innovative theatre company Frantic Assembly, having graduated from Liverpool John Moores University.
Unity Theatre is grateful to current Artistic Director, Matthew Linley, who led the recent capital redevelopment programme #BuildUnityBetter, which sawUnity Theatre revitalised for the 21st Century, ensuring the venue’s sustainability for years to come.
Mr Linley also moulded the theatre’s producing and touring potential with productions including the critically acclaimed Nina - a story about me and Nina Simone, co-produced with Riksteatern (Sweden) and the development of Unity Theatre’s ever popular Christmas show, co-produced with Action Transport Theatre.
Unity Theatre’s founding Artistic Director Graeme Phillips, guided the venue for 33 years and maintained its tradition of staging radical but accessible work which stretches back to the 1930s.
Gordon Millar said on his appointment:
“I am delighted to be joining Liverpool’s Unity Theatre where I have been an audience member for more than twenty years. This city has a proud tradition of promoting culture and the Unity Theatre has a key role in providing a home for emerging and established artists, innovative productions and radical festivals.”
“Unity Theatre is loved by its audiences and communities. With them at the heart of our work we will successfully continue to produce and present groundbreaking work and bold collaborations. I look forward to working with Unity Theatre’s dedicated staff and volunteer team to support local, national and international performers and creatives.
“Having previously produced events during the incredible European Capital of Culture year in 2008, I look forward to being part of the 2018 celebrations which commemorate that great time, but importantly look ahead to 2028 as Liverpool’s further development as a cultural destination”.
Unity Theatre's Chair of Board, Chris Bliss, commented:
“Gordon was the outstanding candidate from a very a strong field of contenders. Gordon joins us from the Lyceum Theatre in Crewe where he is Director and where he has played an essential role in transforming the theatre and the venue through programming, artistic direction and managing change. He has skills, experience and values that we feel are a fantastic fit for Unity Theatre now and for the future.”
Ian Tabbron, Senior Relationship Manager, Arts Council England commented:
“We’re pleased to note that Gordon Millar is to take over the key leadership role at the Unity Theatre. We are aware that Gordon has deep understanding of the theatre sector in Liverpool and that he will build on Matthew Linley’s excellent work in recent years.”
Unity Theatre was formed by directors Gerry Dawson and Edgar Criddle as the Merseyside Left Theatre in the 1930s. In 1944 it became Merseyside Unity Theatre. The company was radical and experimentalist, staging classics alongside contemporary left wing theatre and an aim was to make theatre accessible to the working class. Today it is based in a converted Synagogue in Liverpool's Hope Street area, a Georgian promenade linking the city's two cathedrals.
The 2017 programme is characteristically challenging, innovative and unusual - and Unity will continue to work extensively throughout the local community, offering bespoke workshops and access to the arts. Liverpool Unity Theatre is proud to be core funded by Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council.