Liverpool Everyman reveals first repertory 'cast' in 25 years

Theatre names 14 actors, including Richard Bremmer and Melanie La Barrie, in first in-house company since 1990s

The Liverpool Everyman theatre has named the actors who will perform in its first repertory company for 25 years.

During its golden age in the mid-1970s, the theatre’s repertory company launched the careers of actors such as Julie Walters, Jonathan Pryce, Pete Postlethwaite, Antony Sher and Bill Nighy.

As with many other theatres, the Everyman closed its resident company in the early 1990s because of a fall in public funding, but in April it announced plans to resuscitate the tradition of having in-house actors.

The 14 actors, seven men and seven women, will perform in five shows – ranging from Romeo and Juliet and Fiddler on the Roof, to a new Toxteth-set drama – between February and July next year.

The group, described as a “mix of local voices, renowned performers and emerging talent”, includes Richard Bremmer, who played Voldemort in the first Harry Potter film, and Melanie La Barrie, who played Mrs Phelps in the West End hit musical Matilda.

The company also includes Emily Hughes, 23, who was recruited through an open audition, and Elliott Davis, 19, who has risen through the Everyman youth theatre.

The artistic director, Gemma Bodinetz, said the actors would have a “massive shadow hanging over them of the glorious, wonderful mid-70s. And you ask yourself, was that just the time, was that just a phenomenal flowering that could never happen again?

“By having a rep company we’re creating a family that can really respond to the city, who will create a conversation with our audiences and will together create vibrant, vital work.

“There’s such a rich mix of experience and new talent, of performers from this city and those new to it, all of whom are extraordinary in their own way and I’m so excited to see them come together next year.”

The associate director, Nick Bagnall, said: “Through an incredibly rigorous casting process I believe we have found a group of multi-skilled and agile performers who will tell these beautiful stories with joy and an open heart. I cannot wait to see how the city responds to them and the tales we are about to tell together.”

In July 2011, the theatre closed for a £27m rebuild under the architects Haworth Tompkins. It reopened in February 2014 and in October that year it won the Stirling prize for best building of the year by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The full list of actors in the new Everyman company is: Richard Bremmer, Patrick Brennan, George Caple, Pauline Daniels, Elliott Davis, Laura dos Santos, Emily Hughes, Tom Kanji, Melanie La Barrie, Asha Kingsley, Dean Nolan, Zelina Rebeiro, Keddy Sutton and Liam Tobin.


Frances Perraudin North of England reporter

The GuardianTramp

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