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Epstein Theatre time warps
audiences to the 1940's at the premiere of 'Liverpool Blitz Musical' Photographs by Dave Munn
AUDIENCES at The Epstein Theatre
must have thought they had stepped into a time machine when they attended the
opening night of 'Liver Birdsong' on 29 November 2016!
audiences arrived at the Theatre, on Hanover Street, Liverpool, they found out
that it had been transformed back into its previous guise as the Cranes Theatre. The ushers and theatre staff were decked out in vintage 1940's uniforms to greet
the audiences who had to come to see the premiere of a brand new Blitz Musical.
The Epstein had turned back the hands of time to the 1940's as part of a
Heritage Lottery Funded project:- 'Celebrating the Epstein.'
The Theatre has received £46,300.00 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to
launch the project which focuses on the theatre's history and the central role
that it played in forming the City's artistic heritage.
The Epstein has been entertaining audiences in Liverpool for 100 years. It has
had several different names since it 1st opened as The Crane's Music Hall in
1913. It soon became a space for local amateur theatre groups and went on to
become Cranes Theatre. It then changed its name again to The Neptune Theatre to
honour the City's sea fairing tradition and then once more in 2012 to The
Epstein Theatre in honour of Brian Epstein, the man who made The Beatles.
The Epstein Theatre has turned back the clock to the 1940's just in time for the
premiere of a new commemorative war time musical; Liver Birdsong; The Liverpool
Blitz Musical opened, on Tuesday, 29 November 2016 and ends, on Saturday, 3
For the duration of the show, audiences arriving at the Epstein,
which will be renamed Cranes Theatre for the occasion, will be greeted by ushers
in their 1940's uniforms and serenaded by bluegrass artists whilst enjoying food
and drink from the 40's including a glass of London Pride and authentic wartime
sweets to munch on while they enjoy the show.
The Theatre felt that the premiere of the new Blitz Musical would be the perfect
opportunity to explore the Theatre's heritage and are encouraging the audience
to participate by dressing in 1940's attire!
Liver Birdsong – The Liverpool Blitz Musical commemorates the 75th Anniversary
of 'The Blitz', and is brought to the stage by Birdsong Live
The story of 'Liver Birdsong' remembers
'The Blitz', when Liverpool was bombarded by the German Luftwaffe during
World War II.
Theatre manager, Rebekah Pichilingi, said:- “We have been busy researching
the history of the Epstein which has had several different names since it first
opened as The Crane's Music Hall in 1913. At every point in its history the
theatre has been an essential part of Liverpool's creative scene and has left
visitors from all over the world with countless happy and life enriching
memories. Liver Birdsong tells the story of The Liverpool Blitz which gave us
the perfect excuse to turns back the clock and transform the Epstein back into
Cranes Theatre. We've had great fun dressing up and we hope the audience will
join in the spirit of the 1940's with their tea dresses, peplums, Zoot Suits and
Panto set to spread some
festive magic as Aladdin to open at Epstein Theatre
most magical Christmas panto is almost set to lift the curtains, at the Epstein Theatre, when LHK Productions'
Aladdin, opens on Thursday, 8 December 2016 and will be entertaining audiences
throughout the festive season until, Sunday, 8 January 2017. It's that time of
year again (oh yes it is!), so get set to be whisked off on a magic carpet ride
with LHK's biggest and most star studded show to date featuring a dazzling line
up of celebrities including:- Natasha Hamilton, Jordan Davies, Sean Smith and
Audiences will also be thrilled to hear that resident favourites Michael
Chapman, Tom Burroughs and Lewis Pryor will also be returning to the Epstein
stage to bring their usual mixture of mirth and mayhem and all the essential
ingredients of a magical family panto!
Headlining Aladdin is singer, TV personality and businesswoman Natasha Hamilton,
famous for being 1 ⅓ of successful girl group Atomic Kitten, and more recently
playing the lead role Mrs Johnstone in the highly acclaimed West End musical
Flame haired beauty Natasha made her pantomime debut when she played the title
role in Peter Pan at the Liverpool Empire and is looking forward to exercising
her sultry vocals again when she plays the feisty Princess Jasmine.
Reality TV star Jordan Davies will be granting lots of wishes when he shows off
his highly toned 6 pack in his role as the Genie of the Lamp. The Welsh hunk and
star of Magaluf Weekender and Ex On The Beach is guaranteed to have all the
X Factor finalist, Sean Smith, is flying high in his role as street urchin
Aladdin. The singer from Portsmouth was 1 ½ of pop duo Same Difference which
came ⅓ in the live final in 2007. Performing with his sister Sarah, the siblings
have since split and Sean is awaiting the release of his debut solo album.
No stranger to the stage, Sean began performing at an early age, appearing in
Evita alongside Marti Webb at the age of 7 he left home at 17 to perform on
cruise ships and has appeared in numerous pantomimes. Now he is looking forward
to entertaining the people of Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Merseyside's Mark Byron will be on a power trip as the Slave of the
Ring. This larger than life Liverpool lad rose to fame on Big Brother Power Trip
in 2014 when the public fell in love with his lively personality, funny
catchphrases and over the top reactions. Following the show, Mark has maintained
a high profile appearing in national magazines, newspapers and regular
appearances on Big Brother's Bit On The Side.
Crowned Liverpool's Most Stylish Scouser in the Juice FM Style Awards, Mark is
looking forward to flaunting his flamboyant costumes as Slave of the Ring!
There is nothing like a dame, especially when she's played by the hilarious
Michael Chapman and audiences will be delighted to know that their favourite
panto dame will be back to play Widow Twankey.
Tom Burroughs will have the audience booing aplenty as the evil Abanazar and
billed as the one to watch, Lewis Pryor will provide lots of laughs as the
cheeky Wishy Washy.
Hot on the heels of its eggcellent Easter panto, Snow White, and last year's
smash hit festive production of Cinderella, expect even more fun and laughter
that audiences have come to know and love from LHK, as well as stunning scenery,
slapstick comedy, sparkling costumes and plenty of glamour provided by the
galaxy of stars.
Tickets are selling fast for this festive family panto so be sure to get yours
quick and let LHK Productions whisk you on a magic carpet ride to an exotic land
filled with all powerful genies, beautiful Princesses, wondrous caves and 3
wishes which might just make a young man's dreams come true…
Producer Lee Kelly said:- “We are well under way with rehearsals and it is
looking amazing. The cast are incredible and all having a great time; they are
working tirelessly to ensure everything is perfect, and everyone is super
excited to open next week and entertain audiences of Liverpool over the festive
period. We always want to ensure our productions have the wow factor to give
audiences a show that they will remember, especially for the kids as panto is
all about giving them a magical experience. As ever we have lots of treats and
surprises in store, and it is set to be our biggest and best show yet.”
Aladdin runs from Thursday, 8 December 2016 to Sunday, 8 January 2017.
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