A PARADE and housewarming will herald the re-opening of Liverpool's iconic Everyman theatre in March after a multi-million pound refurbishment.

The celebrations will take place at the Hope Street venue over the weekend of March 1-2.

The theatre's new season opens with Hoylake-based artistic director Gemma Bodinetz’s production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night on March 8.

It features Nick Woodeson as Malvolio and Matthew Kelly as Sir Toby Belch.

Looking forward to the theatre’s re-launch, Gemma said: "The Everyman has historically been a theatre that has represented the renegade and generous spirit of this city.

"It has held its arms wide open for the broadest section of humanity. It has always been fearless. It has always had a twinkle in its eye.

"When choosing the productions for this inaugural season I wanted plays that expressed these qualities; rebellious stories infused with wit and love. Stories for everyone that each in their different ways celebrate individualism."

The opening parade on Saturday March 1 will be a people’s celebration, created in collaboration with the Liverpool Lantern Company and Walk The Plank.

The theatre throws open its doors the following day with a Housewarming, to welcome everyone in to make themselves at home.

The central role of new Liverpool plays in the Everyman story is celebrated with the world première of Hope Place.

Specially commissioned for the opening season of the Everyman from acclaimed playwright Michael Wynne, the play is a story of myths, memories and secrets.

The inaugural season at the Everyman concludes with a collaboration with the irrepressible Kneehigh on a radical new version of John Gay’s musical satire The Beggar’s Opera, titled Dead Dog in A Suitcase (and other love songs).

Written by Carl Grose and directed by Mike Shepherd, with music by Charles Hazlewood, the production has its world première in Liverpool before moving to Kneehigh’s home performance space, the Asylum, in Cornwall.

The Playhouse season opens with Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge directed by Quercus Award-winning Everyman and Playhouse Associate Director Charlotte Gwinner.

Betty Blue Eyes, written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe with choreography by Andrew Wright, is a laugh-out-loud feel-good musical based on Alan Bennett’s A Private Function in a new co-production with Mercury Theatre Colchester, Salisbury Playhouse and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Spring will also see a range of work for families and younger audiences including Northern Ballet‘s Three Little Pigs; a stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ What The Ladybird Heard and Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful.