Extraordinarily it’s less than a year since the new Everyman is due to open, seemingly not long at all since the curtain went down in a flurry of MacBeth and Deaf School.
We might still miss the Bistro and the Everyman’s creaking staircase and bum-numbing benches, but we’re certainly looking forward to seeing what’s replaced it all.
We’re basically on a countdown to the opening date and a significant new part of the rejuvenated Everyman was unveiled today – a Portrait Wall that will form the frontage of the Everyman on Hope Street.
It incorporates 105 portraits of people with a connection to the Everyman – “young children… theatre-going veterans, jugglers, cricketers, expectant mothers and whole families” according to Everyman and Playhouse Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz.
The selected images represent different walks of life in the city but are also chosen for how the portraits relate to one another aesthetically – they’re made from aluminum plates by a water jet and measure 800mm by 1900mm, having been taken by Liverpool-based portrait photographer Dan Kenyon.
We caught up with Rebecca Bowman to ask what it felt like to be incorporated into the bricks and mortar of Liverpool’s very own People’s Theatre.
SevenStreets: How did having your portrait on the front of the Everyman come about?
Rebecca Bowman: I was out shopping in town and my friend suggested I head over to the Playhouse to have my portrait taken and I just though “why not?”.
It was taken at the end of March last year, at which point I was around five months pregnant and I thought it would be a nice record of this stage of pregnancy. I never really expected to be chosen, although I suppose having a bump made me stand out a bit.
SS: How does it feel to you to be part of the new Everyman?
RB: I feel really proud as it’s such an important venue in Liverpool one that has been part of my growing up.
I’m also very pleased for my daughter when she grows up – she’s six months old now – and I will certainly be making sure she visits the theatre and enjoys the same kind of experiences I did.
I’m proud that she can look up and know that she’s a part of Liverpool history – both of her parents were involved in Liverpool’s arts and culture and now she will be too.
SS: What are your fondest memories of the Everyman?
RB: I remember going there to watch productions from quite a young age, either dance performances with school or being taken to plays by my dad. And I always enjoy the rock’n’roll panto!
I think the last thing I saw at the theatre was the Deaf School gig just before it closed. It was all quite poignant and I’m very excited to see what the new theatre will look like.
I also used to love going to the bistro and was very sad to see it go. I think the shutter where I will be is on the top row which, I think, is where the new bistro is – so in a way I’ll always be at the bar!
You can watch a webcam of the Everyman as it’s built over the next eleven months here
Rebecca Bowman portrait by Dan Kenyon