Monday, 9 July 2012

EPSTEIN, The Play - Epstein Theatre, Liverpool, Nov 15 - Dec 1



The producers of EPSTEIN The Play, which runs from 15 November until 1 December 2012, at the Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre can revealed CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) as the official charity for the eagerly anticipated production.

EPSTEIN The Play is brought to you by Bill Elms & Jen Heyes Productions Ltd (Tales from Haunted Liverpool, Tales From Charles Dickens), written by Andrew Sherlock (Wall Talks and The Shankly Show) and directed by Jen Heyes (Blood Wedding, I love Vinegar Vera and Wall Talks). The producers have partnered with CALM due to the well documented issues that Brian suffered in his last years and the similarities in the great work that CALM charity do to help men with depression and anxieties. 

Bill Elms co-producer of EPSTEIN said “We wanted to link EPSTEIN with a local charity and we were aware of the work that CALM does for young men going through tough times. CALM’s charity principles echo some of the problems that Brian himself may have suffered in the Sixties until his early death aged 32. Our aim is to give CALM visibility through our production and make people aware of the great work they do.”

Courtesy of Liverpool Echo
The play, charts Brian Epstein’s adult life and illustrious career from his drama school days to managing the world’s biggest pop group. Brian’s short life was crammed with success and controversy; he was an intelligent man whose presence, taste, vision and passion left a lifelong impact on the world. Born in Liverpool in 1934 to Jewish descent, he spent his early adult years working for the family business NEMS (North End Music Stores) before being drafted into the Royal Army Service Corps, after a brief stint in London joining RADA and living a more openly gay life he returned to Liverpool to manage the new NEMS city centre music store making it one of the biggest in the North. Not long after was the historic lunchtime visit to the famous Cavern Club to hear four Liverpool lads perform and the rest was history.

Immense rapid success, busy schedules and constant touring took its toll on Brian and depression and recreational drugs set-in. Brian Epstein died of a sleeping pill overdose in August 1967, he was aged just 32. His death was immediately felt, while the Beatles continued to make magnificent music, their business affairs rapidly crumbled and by 1970 it was all over.

Simon Howes, CALM Development Co-ordinator said “Men often find it hard to open up and talk about the things that are causing stress in their lives. Sadly, Brian's life was tragically cut short at 32; if CALM had existed during the 60s maybe we could have helped him through our confidential helpline and campaign work; but the good news is we can help people now and so we are thrilled to be the official charity partner of this stunning production.”

Simon continues “To partnership with Epstein the Play is another excellent example of how the creative community is helping to raise awareness of important issues that we all have a part to play in addressing. Every penny raised will help us to answer more calls and make more people aware of what we do and how we can help them."

Courtesy of Liverpool Echo
Brian Epstein was best known as a music entrepreneur and legendary manager of The Beatles and was the person responsible for their rise to mega-stardom all over the world. He also managed other popular artists such as Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer, The Foremost, The Dakotas and Cilla Black. 

Writer Andrew Sherlock said: “Wading through tons of information and interviews has been fascinating and slowly but surely, in the writing, researching and long creative chats with Jen, It feels like we have got to know the man and created a new show with a unique insight into what drove Brian to do the extraordinary things he did and what it felt like, through the good times and bad to be a man changing the way the world listens to music and coming to terms with himself. Working with our partners The Liverpool Echo, and the help of brilliant editor Ken Rogers, we have been given a unique opportunity to use and incorporate original archive of the 1960s Liverpool Echo News reports as the backbone of the production. . . In 1967 a young man from Liverpool with his fans’ scrap book tucked under his arm, meets his hero Brian Epstein one night in London and is granted an audience... For the rest you’ll have to come and see the show.”

“If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.”
Paul McCartney 

EPSTEIN the Play 
The Epstein Theatre 
Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DY 
Thu 15 November – Sat 1 December 2012 
Preview Performances: 15-17 November 2012 
Thu and Sat Matinees: 2.30pm | Mon – Sat Evenings: 7.30pm 
Ticket Prices: £10-£24 (Concessions Available) 

How to Book: 
Box Office: 0844 8000 410* Online at*/
or in person at the TicketQuarter, Queens Square, Liverpool* 
*Subject to booking fee. 

More information on Epstein the Play can be found at 
More Information on CALM can be found 

Produced by Bill Elms & Jen Heyes Productions Limited 
Written by Andrew Sherlock 
Directed by Jen Heyes 
Designed by Amanda Stoodley 
Marketing and PR – Bill Elms Associates Ltd 
Sponsored by Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP Solicitors 
Supported by The Liverpool Echo 

Andrew began his professional career as an Associate at the Liverpool Everyman theatre and has since worked extensively as a Theatre Writer and Director nationally, internationally and in the West End. He has won a Vivian Ellis Prize for his musical theatre writing and has numerous credits as a theatre writer and director.
His writing credits also include Sleepover Planet a multi-media download musical for BBC Online, Them’s The Breaks, a drama which received a North West Vision award, Capture The Moment a youth comedy drama which received a BBC new writing award, The Representative, a feature drama commissioned by the NIFTC. His drama/documentaries Digging Of The Tunnel and Best Of Order for BBC Radio Merseyside were both nominated for Sony awards and his afternoon play Jimmy’s Letters was broadcast on Radio 4. He has won new media awards for his work on the Echoes Of Ireland and The World In One City interactive CD-ROMs both commissioned by Liverpool City Council as heritage study aids for schools. He created the multi-media Shankly Show, hit of Liverpool 08 and its transfers to The Royal Court Liverpool and The Liverpool Arena currently out on DVD. His ITV 1 feature TV drama The Girls Who Came To Stay won Alun Armstrong a Royal Television Society Best Actor Award and followed winning a Granada new writing initiative for a feature drama On The Out, which also went on to win the Royal Television Society Award for Best Programme in the North West. He is currently developing new plays for the theatre, including Epstein a bio-dram commissioned for autumn 2012 and Ballroom Boys, a new film feature, based on a true story, about a transvestite ballroom dancer who falls in love with skinhead gang leader in 70’s Liverpool. Andrew has been a regular Drama/Arts adviser to the city of Liverpool and its winning European Capital of Culture team. He is currently Consultant Dramatist, Professional Partnership Specialist and Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University Drama and father to four Liverpool FC supporters.

Jen is founder and artistic director of Cut to the Chase Productions Most recently Jen collaborated with Young Tate as artistic director of Curiouser and Curiouser performed at Tate Liverpool (with creative input from Punchdrunk Enrichment) and co produced and directed I Love Vinegar Vera at Joshua Brooks, Manchester. As an artistic director Jen has worked regionally, nationally (touring and individual works) and internationally (Berlin, Porto, Lisbon, Luxembourg, and Hong Kong) working on small, medium and large scale productions. She specialises is multi media site specific theatre and always strives to use live music within her work. In the 2000 Liverpool Echo Arts and Entertainment awards her production of Therese Raquin won the Best Liverpool Production award and she was a finalist in the Best New Talent category as a director. She was the director in residence at the Unity Theatre in 2002. As a finalist in the 2006 Merseyside Women of the Year Awards she was highly commended for her work as a director. In 2007 she co - created Wall Talks with Andrew Sherlock, which earned a five star review in METRO, a large site specific multi media work commissioned by Liverpool Culture Company to mark the 800th birthday of the city and the abolition of the slave trade. Her production of Blood Wedding in 2008 at The Liverpool Playhouse earned a four star review in The Guardian, she commissioned world class Flamenco guitarist Juan Martin to write the music and play live in the production. From Feb to July 2010 she was the artistic director/ creative producer for the Four Corners of the City Exhibition at The Bluecoat Arts Centre - Four Corners is Culture Liverpool’s city wide major participatory arts project .Also in 2010 she worked closely with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in re- working their Spirit of Christmas Concerts with soprano/presenter Lesley Garrett, Dr Ian Tracey conducting, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The RLPO choir and the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir as well as a company of actors. In May 2011 her film These Streets won Best Overall Film Award in The Clapperboard Awards @ The Lowry, Salford Quay. She regularly commissions other artists to create new work for the company as well as bringing together production teams to work on theatre and film projects. As a freelance director Jen regularly works with North West Playwrights on script development, workshop days with up and coming writers. As a vocalist she has just appeared at the Tete a Tete Opera Festival, Riverside Studios, Hammersmith in Closing Schools for The Future directed by Nick Owen MD & composer Gary Carpenter (August 2011) . Jen is looking forward to a very successful and creative partnership as a joint director and founder of Bill Elms and Jen Heyes Productions Ltd.

Amanda trained at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and graduated with a first class honours degree in theatre and performance design, having previously studied and worked in illustration, graphic and interior design. Designs for theatre and exhibition include: Two (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Winterlong (Royal Exchange Studio & Soho Theatre); I Know Where The Dead Are Buried (24:7 Theatre Festival, Manchester); Dark Side Of The Building (Unity Theatre, Liverpool); Innovasion - Liverpool Biennial (Hope Street Ltd.); Four Corners (Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool); Wish You Were Here (Liverpool Everyman); Making An Exhibition Of Ourselves (At Home) (Royal Exchange Studio). Co-design and assistant design work includes: Beautiful Thing, Doctor Faustus, 1984, Blithe Spirit, Pub and Three Sisters (Royal Exchange Theatre); Basket Case (Royal & Derngate Theatre); Lucia Di Lammermoor (Grand Opera Houston); Canary (Liverpool Playhouse); Faith Healer (The Sydney Festival); Top Of The World (Spike Theatre - on tour); Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (Novello Theatre); Momo (Stadttheater Bern). Amanda is currently designing Manchester Lines (Manchester Library Theatre), Truth About Youth Festival and Black Roses (Royal Exchange Theatre), Fireface – winner of the JMK Award (Young Vic Theatre) and Epstein (Epstein Theatre, Liverpool).

Director Bill Elms has worked in the theatre industry locally and nationally for 25 years and left a 10 year position as ‘Head of Sales and Marketing’ at the Liverpool Empire Theatre in August 2008, to set up his own Marketing and PR Company based in Liverpool City Centre. Bill Elms Associates Ltd has grown from strength to strength into one of the region’s premier communications companies specialising in the Arts, that has been involved with and successfully managed the marketing and PR contracts of many high-profile events including theatre, music, comedy children’s shows and many festivals. They have also acquired Marketing and PR contracts with a series of high profile venues such as The Lowry in Salford, Manchester Palace and Opera House, Scarborough Open Air Theatre (Europe’s largest open air theatre), St Helens Theatre Royal, Birmingham Alexandra Theatre and in Bill’s previous role of Head of Marketing at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. Finally they work on National UK Tours and a wide range of theatrical productions in many theatres across the Northwest including various Christmas pantomimes. Bill has also co-produced many productions over the last few years including Ghost Stories – A Night Opera and Frankenstein with composer Neil Campbell and Tales From Haunted Liverpool and Tales From Charles Dickens with director Jen Heyes. Bill is proud that Epstein will be the first key production for new company Bill Elms & Jen Heyes Productions Limited. More information on Bill can be found on

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