Graeme stands down at Liverpool's Unity

Published: 26 July 2015
Reporter: David Upton

Graeme Phillips with new Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Matthew Linley

Graeme Phillips, Unity Theatre's artistic director, retires this month after 33 years at the acclaimed Hope Place venue in Liverpool.

A well-respected member of the city’s artistic community, director, designer and mentor to many local, regional and national theatre companies, he will step aside at the end of July.

Graeme said: “My temporary stop-over in Liverpool has turned out to be more than 30 years. It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to shape an organisation virtually from scratch and to have worked with and brought to the City so many talented individuals, theatre-makers, and companies, who in their turn have inspired and provoked our own homegrown artists.

"Unity’s success has always been an ensemble effort and so I would like to say a big thank you to the current and past staff, board members, friends, funders, and others too numerous to mention, who have encouraged and supported me these past three decades.”

Graeme trained at Central School of Speech and Drama in London before working extensively throughout the country including Ipswich, Leeds, London and Crewe.

His support of LGBT arts in Liverpool led to the creation of the internationally-acclaimed Homotopia Festival, now in its 11th year.

He was awarded an MBE for services to the arts in Liverpool in the last New Year's Honours.

Unity Theatre's board appointed Matthew Linley as artistic director and chief executive Officer in February.

Matthew was previously General Manager with Eastern Angles, an acclaimed touring theatre company based in Ipswich. He also led venues in Leicester (Phoenix Arts), Reading (21 South Street) and Bath (Michael Tippett Centre).