Liverpool Everyman premieres Jeff Young’s Bright Phoenix, a wild play about the carnival of the city at night.

Friday 3 to Saturday 25 October

Jeff Young’s new play, Bright Phoenix, has its world première at the Everyman in October and is inspired by a hidden Liverpool, a version of the city that is unauthorised and often unseen. The production is directed by Serdar Biliş, designed by Ti Green and features Paul Duckworth, Penny Layden, Rhodri Meilir and Cathy Tyson. The play runs from Friday 3 to Saturday 25 October.

Bright Phoenix is a wild play about the carnival of the city at night seen through different eyes. It is a love story tinged with tragedy about a gang of rebel kids who don’t fit in, who grow up to be a gang of rebel adults, who still don’t fit in. And about their love for a dying cinema and their mad plan to bring it back to life like a phoenix in the night.

Jeff Young’s work includes BBC dramas Eastenders, Doctors, Casualty and Holby City along with 35 radio plays. Jeff’s plays have been produced by Bristol Old Vic, Northern Stage, Kneehigh and Liverpool Everyman. He often works in collaboration with artists, musicians, choreographers and film makers and his work has been performed in a drained submarine dock, a disused power station, a derelict school, a bus station in Holland and haunted buildings. Over 10 years he worked on a variety of projects with Pete Townshend, including Lifehouse, a Radio 3 drama and book and a touring version of Quadrophenia.

Jeff Young said: “I wanted to show people a version of the city that is ‘unauthorised’ or ‘unofficial’ – a glimpse into the magical margins of the city and its characters that are hidden away down back alleys. I also wanted to write a kind of poetic hymn to my favourite building, which is the derelict Futurist cinema on Lime Street. So I chose to write a play that shines a light on the wonderful, nocturnal madness of the city and the characters that dwell in the half-light.”

Paul Duckworth plays Lucas Firebright who left Liverpool on the run from tragedy and has now returned. Paul recently appeared in Twelfth Night at the Everyman and his other credits include Beating Berlusconi (King’s Head, London) and Urban Legend (Liverpool Everyman). Penny Layden whose stage and screen credits include Beryl (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Edward II (National Theatre) and Call The Midwife (BBC) plays Lucas’ childhood sweetheart Lizzie Flynn. Cathy Tyson, who began her career in the Everyman Youth Theatre, plays Elsie Barmaid. Cathy was last at the Everyman in 2007’s The May Queen and her extensive screen credits include Band of Gold, Mona Lisa and Emmerdale.

The cast also includes Rhodri Meilir (Afterlife, ITV; Hogfather, Sky One) who is best known for his role in My Family (BBC), Carl Au (Waterloo Road, BBC; Jersey Boys, Piccadilly Theatre), Mark Rice-Oxley (The Kindness of Strangers, Liverpool Everyman; Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare’s Globe) Rhian Green (Captain Oates’ Left Sock, The Finborough Theatre; Duw a Wyr, Sherman Cymru) and Young Everyman Playhouse member Kieran Urquhart (The Grid, Young Everyman Playhouse).

The production will also feature live music from Laura J Martin and Vidar Norheim. Laura is a renowned multi-instrumentalist who has released a number of albums on the Static Caravan label and regularly tours the UK. Vidar performs regularly with Lizzie Nunnery, has toured worldwide as a member of Liverpool’s alt pop unit Wave Machines and works extensively as a jazz and folk musician. In 2011 he was named as Norway’s most promising song writing talent.

Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse present
By Jeff Young
Directed by Serdar Biliş
Designed by Ti Green
Composed by Martin Heslop
Sound Designed by Martin Heslop
Lighting Designed by Chahine Yavroyan
Video Designed by Louis Price
Movement Directed by Elinor Randle

Cast: Carl Au, Paul Duckworth, Rhian Green, Penny Layden, Rhodri Meilir, Mark Rice-Oxley, Cathy Tyson, Kieran Urquhart
Musicians: Laura J Martin, Vidar Norheim

Dates: Friday 3 to Saturday 25 October
Venue: Liverpool Everyman, 5 – 11 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BQ

Evenings: 7.30pm 7. (except Wed 15 Oct)
Matinées: 1.30pm on Wed 22 Oct
2pm on Sat 11 Oct, Sat 18 Oct & Sat 25 Oct
Twilight: Wed 15 Oct at 5.30pm

Tickets: £10 – £20 – No booking fees
Box Office: 0151 709 4776
Online Booking (24-hour):

The Everyman and Playhouse are supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England
The Everyman and Playhouse thank Liverpool City Council for its financial support it’s liverpool

Everyman thEATre – street café: Mon to Sat: 8.30am – 10.30pm, Sun: 11.30am – 5.30pm | bistro: Mon to Thu: 12pm – 11.30pm, Fri & Sat: 12pm – 2am | theatre bar: performance nights: 6.30pm – 11.30pm

Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres, 5-11 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BH
Administration: +44 (0)151 708 3700 Facsimile: +44 (0)151 708 3701
Email: Web:

Artistic Director: Gemma Bodinetz
Executive Director: Deborah Aydon

Click here for the Liverpool Echo Bright Phoenix interview with Jeff Young.

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