The Award Winning Everyman Theatre

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Everyman Portrait Wall
Photo by Philip Vile

 

 You may well have seen pictures of the amazing Everyman Theatre in Liverpool already; it did win the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture after all, but following a touching email received from a family member of one of the 105 portraits to gain a place on the feature wall, we thought it would be fitting to write a piece on the theatre, the design and the manufacturing processes behind this work and how it has touched those involved.


The Everyman Theatre

Situated on Hope Street, between the two cathedrals, the new Everyman opened in March 2014 to great acclaim from audiences and critics, winning the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture. Accessible and environmentally sustainable, the new theatre combines the trademark wrap-around auditorium and basement bistro with many new facilities.

The striking frontage of the new Everyman is a large-scale artwork created to be a powerful expression of the fact the Everyman is and always will be for everyone. It features 105 portraits of people of all ages and backgrounds from across the city, selected from over 4,000 photographs taken during 2012 by photographer Dan Kenyon. The images have been cut from aluminum plates using pioneering water jet technology to create a functional shutter screen to provide light and shade to the building

Please follow the following link to see more about this fantastic building and the portrait wall.

http://www.everymanplayhouse.com/the-portrait-wall

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Image by Dan Kenyon

 

Manufacturing the Portrait Panels

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Photo by Dan Kenyon

 

It goes without saying that the panels required for this feature piece needed to be of the highest quality which is why waterjet cutting was chosen as the manufacturing technique used to make this iconic piece of art. We are proud to have been selected to carry out work on this interesting and unique project to be enjoyed by the public of Liverpool and its visitors from around the world.

As a market leading sub-contractor of laser and waterjet cut products, Lasershape has invested heavily in the latest technology enabling the high quality required for prestigious projects such as this.

Our Flow Mach 3 waterjet cutting machines pressurise water at 200 times that of a jet wash, which is then forced through a hole the size of a pin head. The water jet produced can cut materials up to 150mm thick. This efficient and highly effective method of cutting is suitable for a wide range of applications and we have provided this service to clients from across a range of industries and sectors who are all looking for the finest results quickly and efficiently.

Cut Panels
Photo by Dan Kenyon

 

Taper is a persistent issue on the cut edge of profiled materials; to counter this our machinery is equipped with Dynamic Head Technology which ‘tilts’ the head to compensate for this common problem, producing a square, high quality cut edge at faster cut speeds than ever before.

Learn more about our waterjet cutting process here: http://www.lasershape.com/waterjet-cutting/


Kate

Before Christmas, we received a touching email from Laurie Stocks-Moore, the son of Kate whose portrait featured on the wall, explaining what the Everyman Theatre means to him and his family.

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“It was my dad who first spotted an advert in the local paper. It invited normal local people to be photographed by a professional with a view to a select few being chosen to be represented on the rebuilt Everyman theatre. My parents, Alan and Kate, had actually gone on their first date at the Everyman in the 1970s and enjoyed many happy times there over the years including taking me and my siblings to pantomimes, so while mum was reluctant at first, dad eventually persuaded her to go along.

On the day, dad went kitted out in full cricket whites, pads and bat included, in the hope that he would stand out from the crowd – but mum just went along as herself.

Knowing that many people had turned up for the open sessions over a number of days, mum and dad thought little more of the portrait wall in the next few months, knowing that their chances of inclusion were slim.

It was in the months that followed that we got the devastating news that mum had breast cancer for a third time, and soon after we were told that this time it was terminal. The doctors said we should not expect her to make it to Christmas that year, 2012. At the time, my wife was expecting our first child and mum’s first grandchild, due in January 2013, so we were all desperate that she should live to meet him. And the impending birth seemed to spur her on because meet him she did. Our son Ezra was born on January 10 and mum stuck it out until January 29, when she passed away peacefully at home.

Just two days later, out of the blue, a letter arrived on the doormat addressed to mum. We opened it thinking it was junk mail or a bill – but it was a letter informing her she had been chosen to be one of 105 people on the Everyman’s portrait wall. We passed the letter around with a mixture of disbelief and pure joy. Dad wasn’t chosen but we didn’t care! The news mum has been lifted our spirits immeasurably at such a difficult time, and the knowledge she would be looking down permanently from a theatre she loved was a fantastic thought.

News of the full list of 105 names chosen were revealed to the public on what would have been mum’s 62nd birthday and the whole idea just seemed such a fitting memorial to her.

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After that, I would pass the theatre to work every day, always checking to see if the panel of mum could be seen. When I finally caught a glimpse of it I don’t mind admitting that I welled up. Being in public I quickly pulled myself together, but it was a wonderful moment and we all beamed with pride when we attended the official unveiling in March 2014. Even when the building won the Stirling Prize, I like to think mum played a small part!

While they could have had no idea of how poignant mum’s appearance on the wall would become for our family, I would like to put on record my gratitude to everyone involved: from the theatre, to the photographer and the architect, and to Lasershape for creating such a beautiful and lasting reminder of what a brilliant woman mum was. And the company’s amazing gesture to give our family four scaled down versions of the panel to proudly display in our homes has blown us away. We are so grateful.”


All of us at Lasershape are extremely proud to have been involved in such an interesting and attractive project and especially touched to have had the opportunity to help Laurie and his family remember their Mum, Kate, in such a memorable way. All the best to you and your family.

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Image kindly supplied by Laurie Stocks-Moore