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Epstein Theatre to reopen under new management

Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre is set to reopen its doors for the first time in nearly two years with a new management team at the helm.

Epstein Entertainments Ltd is a joint venture between Liverpool producers Bill Elms, Chantelle Nolan and Jane Joseph.

Elms, a theatre producer and PR specialist, has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry while mother and daughter team Joseph and Nolan run Regal Entertainments Ltd which manages St Helens Theatre Royal where Nolan is also general manager.

Nolan will become the Epstein’s artistic and operations director, while Elms will be artistic and communications director.

All the companies the three currently run will continue as normal.

Regal Entertainments will produce three in-house pantos a year at the Epstein, starting this Christmas – details are set to be revealed next week.

Elsewhere the Hanover Street venue will continue to act as a variety venue with a mixed programme of entertainment.

Bill Elms said: "This is a venue I have loved with a passion for so many years and is one of Liverpool's leading historical and cultural gems.

“I’m excited to play a part in both strengthening and reaffirming its future, with a vision to establish the venue among the most prolific theatres in the industry – we’ll be showcasing established favourites, revivals and new works, working with both local and national producers and production companies and exploring some mid-scale UK tours that currently tend to bypass the city.”

Top: Chantelle Nolan, Bill Elms and Jane Joseph. Photo by David Munn. Above: The Epstein Theatre.

And Nolan added: “The Epstein holds a very special place in people’s hearts, myself included. My mother Jane produced the annual panto for many years in the theatre’s previous incarnation as The Neptune, and I appeared in her first show there as a child. Performing there helped fuel my love of theatre, but little could I have known then that I’d be running the venue one day.”

The grade II listed theatre started life in 1913 as Crane’s Music Hall above Crane & Son’s music shop. In 1967 it was bought by the Liverpool Corporation and reopened the following year as the Neptune Theatre.

It closed in 2005, and when it was finally reopened in 2011 after refurbishment it was renamed again as the Epstein Theatre after Brian Epstein.

But in 2017 the venue collapsed into administration and while the theatre continued functioning, subsequent events behind the scenes hindered the transfer of the lease until now.

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