Little LTF, an event to showcase and celebrate new writing and performing talent from across the North West, opens in Liverpool next week.
The countdown is now on until the event returns for its second consecutive year. Little LTF is the sister event to the main Liverpool Theatre Festival which returns for a third year this Summer.
Little LTF opens next Tuesday, 3 May, at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church in Liverpool city centre, and runs through to Sunday 8 May 2022. Twelve shows over 6 days will be presented and tickets for all shows are on sale.
Genres represented in the diverse and inclusive programme include cabaret, comedy, disability arts, ghost stories, drama, family entertainment, LGBTQ, and musical theatre.
The Little LTF line-up for 2022 features Megan Hindley and Beth Amos’ murder mystery comedy Not Drunk But Disorderly; heartwarming musical play Grandmother by Asa Murphy; comedy Keeping Mum by Karl Voden; Mark Heller’s drama Killing Mice; Paul Daley’s saucy, warm-hearted romantic comedy It Must Be Love; and Angie Waller and Claire Jones’ cabaret show An Evening With Nana Funk.
The programme continues across the weekend with children’s show Murder, Mayhem and Magic by Kate Allerston; drama Around the World in 72 Days: The Story of Nellie Bly by writer Rebekah McLoughlin; outrageous festive comedy Sh*t Faced Santa by All Day Breakfast Theatre Company; writer and director Victoria Evaristo’s disability arts drama Just Aretha; Rebecca Casey and company’s musical theatre extravaganza Bigger Than Broadway; and powerful Hillsborough play 97+ by Tom Cain.
Liverpool Theatre Festival was created by award-winning Liverpool theatre producer Bill Elms in Summer 2020 to support the entertainment and creative arts industries during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when live venues were ordered to close their doors. The festival was hailed a huge success, and returns for its third consecutive year this August.
Little LTF was introduced as a new strand to LTF last year, dedicated to nurturing new talent and giving new works a platform to seen for the first time. Last year’s inaugural Little LTF attracted 1,200 festivalgoers.
The new productions were chosen from more than 30 entries by an experienced panel of industry professionals featuring LTF Festival Director Bill Elms; theatre director and producer James Baker; Francesca Peschier, Head of New Works at Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse; arts marketing professional Anthony Proctor; freelance arts consultant Sue Williams; and national theatre booker David Fry.
Liverpool Theatre Festival Director, Bill Elms, commented, “We’re incredibly excited that next week we open the second annual Little LTF event to showcase and celebrate new writing and performing talent from across Liverpool City Region and the wider North West.
“We knew last year when we first introduced Little LTF to run alongside Liverpool Theatre Festival that we were creating a vital and exciting new strand to encourage creatives to come forward and show their work. The final programme of 12 productions are diverse, inspiring and ambitious so we can’t wait to see them brought to life on stage in the wonderful setting of St Luke’s Bombed Out Church.”
ABOUT THE SHOWS…
TUESDAY 3 MAY AT 8PM – NOT DRUNK BUT DISORDERLY
By Megan Hindley & Beth Amos | Comedy | 16+
Howard and Geoffrey are local police officers who don’t know how to office. Nine residents, one murder. Two actors, nine characters. Trouble is easy to find, but a murderer isn’t. When called to the scene, Howard and Geoffrey not only have to find the perpetrator but also find the dead body that they somehow managed to lose. Not Drunk but Disorderly is a physical comedy that entertains, humours, and mocks each other and the society we live in. Murder mystery meets Dumb & Dumber. But they’re both Dumber. Whodunit? Dunno. But they’ll find out. The long way round. Megan Hindley plays the roles Howard, Tracey, Mr Mulroy, Big Boss, and Bigger Boss. Beth Amos play the roles Geoffrey, Cheryl, Ruby, and Finley.
WEDNESDAY 4 MAY AT 8PM – GRANDMOTHER
By Asa Murphy | Play with music | 18+
Grandmother is a heartwarming musical play all about the journey a new Grandmother and her daughter share when the happy news of a new baby is announced. They both have exciting expectations about how the new arrival will affect everyone’s lives, but it turns out not necessarily the same ones. Both new Grandmother and daughter learn valuable lessons about compromise and forgiveness, but most of all the importance of family and love. Pauline Donovan plays Grandmother, Clare Alexandra Campbell plays Becky, with Nathan Murphy as Dad and doctor.
THURSDAY 5 MAY AT 6.30PM – KEEPING MUM
By Karl Voden | Comedy | 14+
Keeping Mum is a comedy-drama set in present-day Liverpool about the attempts of a son-in-law to acquire residential care for his wife’s mother – without having to give up his long-held desire to inherit her attractive 3-bedroom house. When he learns that his close friend has secured accommodation for his own mother who suffers from Vascular Dementia, without apparent cost, he decides on a plan of action that he thinks will solve all his problems. However, the outcome will instead see everything he holds of value, including his liberty, get thrown into jeopardy. The cast are Reginald Edwards as Denny; Gillian Thompson as Jean; Mike Sanders as Tony; Jeanette Jarrel as Betty; Sheila Jones as Mrs Birtwhistle; and Karl Voden as Dr Lang. Written and directed by Karl Voden.
THURSDAY 5 MAY AT 9PM – KILLING MICE
By Mark Heller | Drama | 18+
An original haunting play inspired by true events in the Victorian era. Mabel and Summer are lifelong friends. Their relationship has endured marriage, pregnancy, agoraphobia and more. Mabel has got Summer a Victorian pram for her new arrival, which she intends to up-cycle, and give to her as an amazing one-of-a-kind baby gift. However, when dark and strange things start to happen to Mabel, they discover where this Victorian artefact originated from and what evil events may have taken place in its presence. Is Mabel losing her mind? And can Mabel and Summer’s friendship survive something that happened over 100 years ago? Jennie Crum plays Mabel, with Rachael Wood as Summer, and Phil Hunter as Simon. The play is directed by Mark Heller.
FRIDAY 6 MAY AT 6.30PM – IT MUST BE LOVE
By Paul Daley | Comedy | 18+
This saucy, warm-hearted romantic comedy will leave you in stitches. Set in the 1970s, this is what happened when hopeless romantic Shirley and ever patient boyfriend Phillip go to the pictures to see Shirley’s favourite film, Love Story. Shirley dreams of a fairy-tale wedding and wants her big day to be the best day of her life, and that includes her wedding night, much to the disappointment of Phillip, who wishes she would give him just a little bit of encouragement. Shirley’s mother Pamela and her fella Joe, can’t see what all the fuss is about. An awkward encounter leaves Shirley wondering if it is love her Phillip is after or just a good time. The cast features Natasha Hale as Shirley, Sean Radford as Phillip, Rebecca Casey as Pamela, and Ethan Madds as Joe. It is written by Paul Daley, directed by Kai Jolley.
FRIDAY 6 MAY AT 9PM – AN EVENING WITH NANA FUNK
By Angie Waller | Cabaret | 16+
The time has come for Nana to get intimate. She’s sick of the stadium life and is now touring to smaller scale venues so she can get up close and personal with her army of fans. She’s got a bee in her bonnet and wants you to get on it. This is no tea-time with your granny, this is An Evening With Nana Funk. Prepare to be taken on a hilarious and emotional musical rollercoaster as Nana challenges ageism and how aged/aging people are portrayed in society. From delicate ballads to 90s dance, and all the way through to full-on rock. Nana gives her not so subtle opinions on what it means to be “age appropriate”. Angie Waller appears as Nana Funk, with Claire Jones as Val.
SATURDAY 7 MAY AT 2.30PM – MURDER, MAYHEM & MAGIC
By A Place For Us | Family | 7+
Shakespeare’s lost his script, his cast, and his mojo. There’s going be murder and mayhem in the Elizabethan Court, but he needs some theatre magic and a lot of help from his friends. Shakespeare arrives to stage his latest play for Queenie, only to realise the actors aren’t coming, the plays have been misplaced, and the only two people to help are women who were banned from acting. Over one hour, audiences will experience some of The Bard’s most iconic scenes as the trio create a show from what they remember. Anything to not lose their heads. Katie Fry plays Dame Judi (and other characters), Colin Kiyani plays Shakespeare (and other characters), and Roz Norbury plays Dame Maggie (other characters).
SATURDAY 7 MAY AT 6.30PM – AROUND THE WORLD IN 72 DAYS: THE STORY OF NELLIE BLY
By Rebekah McLoughlin | Drama | 12+
It’s 1889, and American journalist Nellie Bly thinks she can circumnavigate world in less time than Jules Verne’s famous novel Around The World In Eighty Days. There’s only one problem – she’s a woman. While writing up the notes of her adventures, Nellie gives an insight into her remarkable journey and determination to prove that if a man can do it, so can she. Originally written as a 20-minute devised piece and based on Nellie Bly’s book and journals, Around The World In 72 Days was first performed at Guildford School Of Acting in December 2021. Rebekah McLoughlin plays Nellie Bly, with Jack Bolton as the voice of Mr Bailey.
SATURDAY 7 MAY AT 9PM – SH*T FACED SANTA
By All Day Breakfast Theatre Company | Comedy | 18+
Santa has had enough of playing second fiddle. He works himself to the bone one day a year, only for people to spend it thanking Jesus, or Satan (thank you dyslexics), or worse – their families. He reckons it’s about time he gets some credit. However, not everyone supports his dreams. His elves are sceptical about this new Santa-mas direction. In fact, it’s not just the Santa-mas they don’t trust, Santa himself is acting like an entirely different person. Dust off your Christmas jumpers and discover if Santa-mas has arrived early or if Christmas is running late. The cast features Rory Gillan as Santa, Georgie Lomax-Ford as Snowflake, Adan Osborne as Legolas, Anastasia Kulaeva as Holly, and Arthur Noah as Mittens.
SUNDAY 8 MAY AT 2PM – JUST ARETHA
By Victoria Evaristo | Drama | 16+
Just Aretha tells the story of a black disabled woman’s life as she navigates an able-bodied world striving to hold onto her African and disabled identity. Just Aretha is a comic semi-biographical, observation of disability and culture. Meet the people in her life who have shaped her, including her mother who just wants to “carry my grandchild”, to her Auntie who says “if only she had two hands”. Just Aretha explores the lived experience of a disabled black woman, and what it means in Britain in the 21st Century. Just Aretha is played by Aretha Nortey anddirected by Victoria Everisto.
SUNDAY 8 MAY AT 5PM – BIGGER THAN BROADWAY
By Rebecca Casey and Company | Musical Theatre | 10+
Gear up to be taken on a journey Bigger Than Broadway, a brand new production featuring some of the best musical talent in the North West. Song and dance from the most popular movie musicals bringing the best of stage and screen to the stage in Liverpool. A talented team will bring you numbers from hit shows including Les Misérables, West Side Story, Wicked, Phantom Of The Opera, We Will Rock You, and The Greatest Showman. Featuring outstanding four-part harmony, beautiful costumes, choreography, and a night of entertainment to remember on a journey to Broadway. Performers include Michelle Terri Almgill, Rebecca Casey, Jake Holroyd, and Andrew Geater.
SUNDAY 8 MAY AT 8PM – 97+
By Tom Cain | Drama | 16+
The play 97+ is based on the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, in which severe injuries lead to 97 lives lost. Set in 2012 and haunted by their memories, two Hillsborough survivors each deal with the trauma they suffered as young boys who are now as middle-aged men. Despite countless setbacks, the Hillsborough survivors continue their fight for justice. The play is presented in collaboration with The Hillsborough Survivors Association, written and directed by Tom Cain, and brought to the stage by Tom Cain Theatre. Tom submitted his piece as an Edge Hill University Dissertation, achieving a First-Class BA HONS Degree in Drama, this is its debut performance. The cast are Colin Kilbride as John, Leslie Longley as Steve, Julie McCabe as Liz, and Alice McKillop as Nancy.
Shows run between 50 minutes and 75 minutes (see individual show listings on the website), and there are no intervals. The festival will adhere to any Covid-19 guidelines required at the time.
Media and industry professionals will be invited to see the shows first-hand at the festival and accolades will also be given to outstanding productions in specific categories.
Liverpool Theatre Festival is supported by The Granada Foundation, sponsored by Victor Welsh Media & Entertainment Law, Falconer Chester Hall architects, and partners include Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, Epstein Theatre, St Luke’s Bombed Out Church, and dBS Solutions.
Visit www.liverpooltheatrefestival.com for the latest news updates.