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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2016-12-02

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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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!

When 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 December 2016.

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 Productions CIC.

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 1st 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 Victory Rolls!"


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