Liverpool Theatre Festival unveils line-up

Comedy, cabaret, drag, drama and opera are all included in the first eight shows at Liverpool Theatre Festival this autumn with tickets now on sale. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool Theatre Festival
Liverpool Theatre Festival returns this autumn. Picture by David Munn


Liverpool Theatre Festival has announced the first eight shows for this autumn’s extravaganza.

Running from August 31 to September 11, the festival takes place at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church for the third consecutive year. Tickets are now on sale for the first eight shows which encompass comedy, cabaret, drag, drama and opera.

Created by Bill Elms Associates in 2020, Liverpool Theatre Festival offered a lifeline for creatives in the dark days of the pandemic. It has proved to be an amazing success, winning awards and praise from the industry and the public.

The festival also now also includes new works fringe event Little LTF (Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works). This has been staged in spring 2021 and 2022 to give writers and performers a platform to stage new productions. 

First eight shows confirmed are Laughterhouse Comedy; Opera Beneath The Stars; Ma Joyce’s Tales From The Parlour; Dame Fanny & The Starlets – A Family Friendly Drag Show; Drag Me To ChurchDragstravaganza; Julie Madly Deeply; and Looking For Me Friend – The Music Of Victoria Wood.

Also confirmed is 97+ – a drama based on the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster, written by Tom Cain. The production premiered at Little LTF – Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works earlier this year.

This show has been chosen by festival director Bill Elms to perform at the main event due to its outstanding new writing and powerful and emotional performance. The show received “incredible reviews” from critics and audiences.

After a successful first year, the festival returned in 2021 welcoming 2,700 people across 12 days. It offered a programme featuring 23 performances of 16 shows. 

Bill Elms has worked in the theatre industry for more than 30 years. When live entertainment was ordered to close in 2020 he was determined to throw the sector a lifeline.

During the two events in 2021, a total of 30 local and regional diverse theatrical productions were staged. This resulted in almost 200 performers, musicians and creatives involved and working as the pandemic continued.

“It’s just two months to go until the curtain rises on the third annual Liverpool Theatre Festival, and we are thrilled to announce the first eight shows,” said Bill.


Liverpool Theatre Festival
Liverpool Theatre Festival is held at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church. Picture by David Munn
Julie Madly Deeply
Julie Madly Deeply will be performed at Liverpool Theatre Festival 2022


“The festival was created out of a love and need for live performance during a very difficult time. It gave creatives and performers a much-needed platform to entertain audiences once again.”

Liverpool Theatre Festival 2022 is sponsored by TicketQuarter and Victor Welsh Media and Entertainment Law. Partners for this year’s event include Fostering Solutions, Bills Elms Associates, Epstein Theatre and dBS Solutions. Liverpool children’s charity KIND is the festival’s official charity partner .

The festival is dedicated to the memory of baby Michael James who would have been celebrating his 21st birthday this September. Theatregoers are invited to get involved and support the event by joining the Friends Of Liverpool Theatre Festival.

Festival friends will be directly supporting the local arts scene and helping to maintain accessible, diverse, inclusive, affordable arts in Liverpool. Full details can be found by clicking here.

For for further details about the shows and to book tickets click here.

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