Curtain up on new-look Epstein

Published: 17 October 2021
Reporter: David Upton

Chantelle Nolan, Bill Elms and Jane Joseph Credit: David Munn

Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre enters a new chapter with a new management team.

Epstein Entertainments Ltd is a joint venture between Liverpool producers Bill Elms, Chantelle Nolan and Jane Joseph, who have taken over the Hanover Street venue.

The team’s plans already include a Christmas pantomime Beauty And The Beast with Ben Richards—known for his West End appearances and television roles including Hollyoaks, Footballers Wives, Holby City and The Bill—in the lead role of Gaston. The full cast will be announced shortly.

The theatre will retain the same name and continue to run as a variety venue with a mixed programme.

Bill Elms has more than 30 years’ experience in the entertainment industry, both regionally and nationally; Chantelle Nolan, currently general manager at St Helens Theatre Royal, is the new artistic and operations director; her mother Jane Joseph, has run St Helens Theatre Royal for the past 20 years.

The Epstein is a 108-year-old, 380-seat proscenium arch theatre, originally opened as Crane’s Music Hall in 1913. It was renamed Crane Theatre in 1938. In 1967 Liverpool Corporation bought the venue to be run by local people and named The Neptune. It also became a comedy club and, after many years of uncertainty, eventually closed in 2005.

In July 2011, a £1 million refurbishment also saw it renamed The Epstein in honour of Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

The operator went into administration in December 2017 and it has been run by administrators, continuing a programme of music, comedy, drama and children’s entertainment.