Liverpool Theatre Festival returns in 2022

Liverpool Theatre Festival will return in autumn 2022 and this summer will also see Little LTF, the festival’s sister event, held for the second year. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool Theatre Festival will return in autumn 2022. Picture by David Munn


Both Liverpool Theatre Festival (LFT) and its sister event, Little LFT, will return to the city this year, organisers say.

LFT was first staged in September 2020 to boost the city’s live performance and creative sectors following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry. It then returned in 2021, welcoming 2,700 people to 23 performances of 16 shows.

Last year also saw the introduction of fringe event Little LTF, a seven-day mini festival to champion and showcase new works and talent, which attracted 1,200 festivalgoers in year one. The dates for this year’s two events have now been announced by organisers.

LFT 2022 will take place between Wednesday, August 31, and Sunday, September 11. It will be preceded by Little LTF (Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works) from Monday, May 2 to Sunday, May 8.

Both events will once again take place at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church in Liverpool city centre, the marquee as the backdrop for Little LTF, with the main festival taking place outdoors.

LFT has been praised for its diverse range and inclusive genre of live performance pieces, which each year have featured works of comedy, musicals, drama, opera, dance, LGBTQ, and children’s productions.

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It was created by Liverpool theatre producer Bill Elms, who has worked in the theatre industry for more than 30 years. Theatres and live entertainment venues were ordered to close immediately under the Government’s first national lockdown guidelines in March 2020.

Bill’s was determined to reinvigorate and boost the city’s live performance and creative arts sector, offering a lifeline when it was needed most. LFT was created in a matter of weeks. Its inaugural staging won praise from audiences and critics alike, as well as winning an award along the way.

Due to its ongoing success and continuing growth, Bill has been nominated for a Liverpool City Region Culture & Creativity Award for a second consecutive year. A new promotional trailer for Liverpool Theatre Festival has also been produced by Liverpool Film Initiative. Click here to watch.

The festival is committed to supporting local artists, creatives, and theatre companies. During the two events in 2021, a total of 30 local and regional diverse theatrical productions were staged – resulting in almost 200 performers, musicians and creatives involved and working as the pandemic continued.


A show at Liverpool Theatre Festival in 2021. Picture by David Munn
Bill Elms
Theatre director and producer Bill Elms. Picture by Wesley Storey


Shows for the main Liverpool Theatre Festival will be announced in the coming months. Creatives are now invited to submit new works for Little LTF, the deadline is Friday, March 18. Full details can be found at

Submissions are especially welcomed from Liverpool’s diverse communities and arts organisations to fully represent the cityscape, and children’s productions are also encouraged to apply. Scripts must be complete or already in development. Creatives must be linked to Liverpool City Region or the wider North West area.

The selection panel has been confirmed as Bill Elms; theatre director and producer James Baker; Francesca Peschier, head of new works at Everyman Playhouse; arts marketing professional Anthony Proctor; freelance arts consultant Sue Williams; and national theatre booker David Fry.

Bill said: “We are incredibly excited to announce the return of LFT. When the pandemic struck, the creative arts and live performance sector of Liverpool city region was hit hard. Live theatre has been my passion for more than 30 years and I just had to do something to help.

“Given the support we’ve received since we announced the first festival in August 2020, you can really feel just how much live performance and entertainment means to people. People were desperate to experience that thrill once again.

“And now we’re back with a main festival for established work and performers, and a fringe event to showcase and celebrate new work.

Sponsorship and partner opportunities for Liverpool Theatre Festival are also available to help grow and strengthen the future of the event. Funding and donations are also welcome.

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