In amongst all the high quality drama that the Liverpool Playhouse produces and actively promotes, its nights of comedy performances and plays are always keenly anticipated and enjoyed by those who attend.

Next year will see this tradition continue with the Playhouse theatre playing host to three of the countries favourite wordsmiths as they take centre stage for one-night performances. Mark Thomas brings his award-winning show Bravo Figaro! to the Playhouse on Wednesday 30th January. Liverpool’s Roger McGough, ahead of his new adaptation of The Misanthrope, will perform poems from his latest collection As Far As I Know on Friday 1st February, whilst John Shuttleworth returns the following evening with Out of Our Sheds.    

After walking the wall in the West Bank, becoming Guinness World Record holder for political protests and chasing arms dealers around the country Mark Thomas turns his attention to matters closer to home with a show about his father. First commissioned by the Royal Opera house Bravo Figaro! is the true tale of a self-employed builder’s love of opera, degenerative illness and how to put opera on in a bungalow in Bournemouth. It is about love, death and the search for peace in an imperfect world, with some gags thrown in for luck and told by one of the finest storytellers in the country.

A new book of poems by Roger McGough is always an event. Published just ahead of his 75th birthday, As Far as I Know is cause for celebration. Hilarious and surreal, he is a poet of many voices. Menace and melancholy there may be but with plenty of McGough’s wit and wordplay too.

McGough will be reading poems from this new book, which include a series of haiku on a London tube strike and a striking reworking of his famous 60s poem ‘Let Me Die a Youngman’s Death’ – this time entitled ‘Not For Me a Youngman’s Death’. Following this one-night performance Liverpool’s Poet Laureate will return with the last in the trilogy of Molière adaptations, The Misanthrope, opening mid-February at the Playhouse.

Following sold-out Everyman shows A Man With No More Rolls, Beyond Our Kennel and The Minor Tour, ‘Sheffield’s finest comedy synthesizer and twaddle-talker’ makes a welcome visit to the Playhouse. This time he ventures beyond the garden gate to tread the mean streets of Britain. Which is better: city life or country living? Supermarket or village shop? Or is it better to sit in your shed and count the cobwebs?

Tickets for these three incredible shows are priced from £12-£18. Tickets can be purchased from the Liverpool Playhouse Box office, by telephone on 0151 7094776 or online at

Ian D. Hall