Michael Starke to star in new Playhouse ‘Music Hall’ Show

A new entertainment by Michael Wynne, The Star, will mark Liverpool Playhouse’s 150th anniversary this Christmas in honour of its origins as a Music Hall venue.

Packed full of classic songs like The Old Bull and Bush, The Marrow Song and The Boy I Love Is Up In The Gallery, and with more than a few magic tricks up its sleeve, The Star is at the Playhouse from Friday 9 December to Saturday 14 January.


Built in 1866, The Star Music Hall established itself as a leading venue for variety and Music Hall acts of the day before becoming the Liverpool Repertory Theatre in 1911. This new entertainment, The Star, by Olivier Award-winning writer Michael Wynne (Hope Place, The Knocky, The Priory) celebrates that rich history with onstage magic and backstage deception, a love story, a dastardly plot and all manner of drama and mayhem in the wings.


In 2014 Wynne’s Hope Place played to packed houses and great acclaim at the Everyman and now another piece of Liverpool history has inspired his work. Renowned Liverpool actor Michael Starke (Brookside, Channel 4; The Royal, ITV) returns to the Playhouse having previously appeared in Breezeblock Park and The Play What I Wrote among many others.


Michael Starke said: “I’m so happy to be back at Liverpool Playhouse in this, its 150th anniversary year, and to be appearing in The Star. Michael Wynne’s new play which celebrates that anniversary. I made my professional debut on this very stage in Cavern Of Dreams in 1984 and my last appearance here was in Breezeblock Park in 2003. It’s good to be back.”


The ensemble cast also includes Kevin Harvey (The Book of Mormon, West End; Decade, Headlong), Eithne Browne (Tartuffe; Blood Brothers, Liverpool Playhouse), Michelle Butterly (Noughts and Crosses, RSC; Benidorm, ITV), Helen Carter (Once Upon A Time at the Adelphi; No Wise Men, Liverpool Playhouse), Jack Rigby (Waterloo Road, BBC; Hitchhiker’s Guide of Fazakerley, Royal Court Liverpool) and Danny O’Brien(Bouncers; Stags and Hens, Royal Court Liverpool).

Playhouse 1935

Playhouse 1935

The production will be directed by Philip Wilson, who returns to the Playhouse following The Norman Conquests and Noises Off. Philip is the former Artistic Director of Salisbury Playhouse and his other productions include As You Like It (Chester Storyhouse) and The Three Lions (St James’ Theatre). The Musical Director and Arranger is Alex Smith (Betty Blue Eyes, Liverpool Playhouse). The production is choreographed by Cressida Carré whose credits include Avenue Q (Greenwich Theatre & UK Tour) and Titanic (Southwark Playhouse).


Following years of successful Relaxed Performances, including the first by a regional theatre of Shakespeare productions, the Everyman & Playhouse will be staging their first Dementia Friendly Performanceduring The Star on Monday 19 December at 5:30pm. Other accessible performances include Audio Described show on Thursday 22 December and a Captioned performance on Saturday 7 January.

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