Liverpool Network Theatre Group (formerly The Network) is a locally well-known non-professional company. LNTG was set up in 1984, nearly fifty years after the birth of its ‘grandparent’, the Merseyside Left Theatre Group (MLTG), to continue its work of encouraging participation, performance and new theatrical writing in Liverpool.
Network directly replaced MLTG’s successor, the Merseyside Unity Theatre group (MUT) as an itinerant acting company, upon the establishment of the Unity Theatre building in Hope Place.
The group was born out of the idea of theatre as a political force, with the power to change society for the better. This was epitomized by the dedication of our former chair, Graham Frood – a founder member of MLTG in the 1930s – who died, aged 88, in September 2003, within three months of giving his final Network performance.
Liverpool Network Theatre Group is committed to staging high quality productions, accessible to ordinary people. Our plays range from Shakespeare and other classical works to modern dramas and comedies, including new local writing on occasion. We intend the issues in our productions to be relevant today, whatever the style and origin of the play.
Typically, LNTG stages three or four public productions per year, in a variety of venues, including a summer show with performances in some of Liverpool’s parks and gardens. Open auditions are held for these. At the same time, many of our members contribute – both on and off stage – to other local professional, amateur and community theatre productions.
LNTG offers low-cost weekly workshops on a “drop-in” basis, open to any member of the public over 18 years of age, These workshops, led by members or guests and covering a variety of acting ideas and techniques, run independently of any productions or rehearsal schedules. However, the director of a forthcoming show is always asked to lead a relevant workshop ahead of the audition process.
It is the weekly, informal and varied workshop pattern which probably most distinguishes Network from other non-professional groups. An average workshop may be attended by 12-24 people, whose experience can range from fully-trained actors to first-time visitors. More often than not, complete newcomers, recent “regulars” and long-time members will take part in a workshop and socialise afterwards.
Formal membership of LNTG is only required of those who take part in our public productions. Our Facebook group currently has over 1,900 members and our email list for bulletins includes almost 400 people.
Facebook Group: Liverpool Network Theatre
You can download the Liverpool Network Theatre Group Constitution below: