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Epstein Theatre opens - so party time

Former Neptune is all sparkly and shiny

Written by . Published on May 10th 2012.

Epstein Theatre opens - so party time

THERE they all were, arty types, media types and Mrs Butler's Eldest too,  all gathered together last night to toast the re-opening of the Neptune Theatre.

No, it's The Epstein Theatre to you, and it has recently undergone a £1.2m refurbishment of the foyer, bar and 380 seater auditorium.

The theatre, whose programme highlights include a gong show of wannabe comics, was officially opened by Mayor Joe who recalled how, less than a week ago, he was stood alongside 11 comedians himself as the race for citizen numero uno took place.

Elsewhere, Merseybeat legend Joe Flannery was mistaken for Sir John Gielgud. It was the carefully trimmed beard that did it, rather than the lightsabre.

Joe Flannery with the pic he's donated to the theatre of his old mucker BrianJoe Flannery with the pic he's donated to the theatre of his old mucker Brian

Liverpool City Council opened out tenders for the management contract, which was won in 2011 by the organisers of Liverpool Sound City. Its CEO Dave Pichilingi, last night revealed his plans for the theatre.

A full programme of theatre, music, comedy and dance will be announced for the main auditorium soon, say organisers, but highlights of the year are already in place for the autumn season, with the world premiere of a play based on the life of Brian Epstein titled EPSTEIN, which runs from 15 Nov – 1 Dec, penned by local writer Andrew Sherlock.  The theatre will also see a Christmas panto with LHK Productions promising a lavish production of Cinderella, from 6 Dec – 6 Jan.  

Dave Pichilingi: SupremoDave Pichilingi: Supremo

Plans have also been revealed to have regular entertainment in the theatre bar, named Brian’s Bar.  The bar will open throughout the day, there are plans for open mic comedy and poetry nights and a a showcase for new bands.  Food wise, the aim is to specialise in cheeses, pates and cooked meats.

The bar will host art and photography exhibitions and opens with a show by photographer Mark McNulty and his work over the past 25 years.

Joe Flannery, 81, a lifelong friend of Brian Epstein has donated a large photograph of Brian which hangs in the theatre bar.

On attending last night’s event, he said: “Brian would have been so proud.” Not “May the force be with you," or anything like that.

Here are some pictures Freeloader took.

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Yaffle ChucklebuttyMay 11th 2012.

I'm not bothered what they call it (it's actually Crane's Music Theatre isn't it?) it's just splendid to see it brought back to life. Last show I saw there was Omid Djalili and before that I think it was Carl Brisson.

What happened to the Tardis that used to be in the bar? that's the important question. I used to stroke it when nobody was looking. I'm still talking about the Tardis by the way!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Prof ChucklebuttyMay 11th 2012.

I tell a lie, last thing I saw was the Reduced Shakespeare Company, but they cut bits out.

AnonymousMay 11th 2012.

Last show I saw there was Guys and Dolls produced by the Crawford Arts Centre. It was, as many a wasp noted at the time: "The Acorn Antiques of theatre".

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