The reopening of Liverpool’s Unity Theatre has been delayed.
The Hope Place venue was due to re-launch its season on LightNight next week, following an £845,000 building project.
But although it will take part in the annual after-hours cultural celebration on May 19, it will not be permanently back in business now until October 2017.
A short ‘soft launch’ summer season will take place in June and July, including the staging of Katie Mulgrew’s Omnibus, which won the inaugural Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize.
But some of the planned summer programme of shows will now be either staged in different venues, or postponed until later in the season – such as The Damned United, which will now be performed at the Unity at the end of July.
The annual visit by Tmesis Theatre’s Physical Fest meanwhile will be relocated to the Arts Centre at the City of Liverpool College, which will be transformed in to the festival ‘hub’.
Unity artistic director Matthew Linley says: “Our ambition was always to keep our closure period as short as possible for our audiences, artists, staff and volunteers, and it’s unfortunate that our plans have changed.
“However, we’re staying focused on the end result, and what our revitalised venue will do for us as an organisation, and for the people of Liverpool and beyond.”
Work being carried out includes creating a new entrance to the building, opening out the bar and foyer, and improved sound-proofing to mean both performance spaces can be used simultaneously.
For more details on the revised programme, visit the Unity website HERE.