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Liverpool Empire welcomes Chess the Musical for two knight date


Liverpool Empire Youth Theatre is back on the big stage at the Lime Street landmark this week as it presents Chess the Musical.

The hit show, written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of Abba in collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice, runs on August 13 and 14.

It is the first time in two summers the young actors will have had the chance to perform to live audiences with the theatre reopening last week for the first time since the March 2020 lockdown.

However, the Empire’s creative learning team has continued to work remotely with the young performers over the last year.

Senior creative learning manager Natalie Flynn explains: “Thanks to the generous support of the Liverpool Empire Theatre Trust and the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, we’ve continued to be connected to our young people during the past year.

“This has given them an opportunity to work creatively during this challenging period of time, combatting feelings of loneliness and isolation and providing a much-needed sense of normality.

“The group has put in an incredible effort working on the project; first online, and now, finally, in person.

“We’re sure this production will be very special when it’s performed this week on the Empire’s iconic stage, and such a reward for the young people after all the obstacles they’ve faced.”

Above and top: Liverpool Empire Youth Theatre rehearsals on the stage at Lime Street. Photos by Jonathan Peach


The musical, premiered in the West End in 1986, tells a story of love and political intrigue set against the background of the Cold War in which superpowers attempt to manipulate an international chess championship for political ends.

Two of the world’s greatest chess masters, one American, one Russian, are in danger of becoming the pawns of their governments as their battle for the world title gets under way.

At the same time, their lives are thrown into further confusion by a Hungarian refugee, a remarkable woman who becomes the centre of an emotional triangle which mirrors the heightened passions of the political struggles that threaten to destroy lives and loves.

The show includes the songs I Know Him So Well, One Night in Bangkok and Pity the Child.

Chess the Musical is at the Liverpool Empire on August 13-14. Tickets HERE