Royal Mail delivers first class honours in red letter day for theatre

Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre has been given Royal Mail’s seal of approval in a series of postage stamps issued today to celebrate contemporary architecture in Britain.

As well as the Everyman, the set of 10 stamps portrays a number of other landmark buildings, including Tate Modern in London, the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh and the London Aquatic Centre.

Royal Mail describes the Everyman as a much-loved Liverpool institution.

Philip Parker, the Royal Mail’s “stamp strategy manager” said: “These new stamps celebrate visionary buildings which combine stunning architecture with great engineering.

 “The images on the stamps capture the distinctive lines and shapes of the structures that have become famous landmarks.”

The stamps have been introduced as a way of marking the renaissance in recent years of contemporary architecture in Britain.

The past two decades has seen a surge in the construction of new public buildings in the UK.

The Everyman Theatre was the winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize for Building of the Year in 2014.

Rehoused in a new building that year, after Hope Hall was demolished, theatre architects Haworth Tompkins used “a rich and tactile palette of rough and smooth materials”, including concrete, reused bricks, timber, cork, red leather, copper and plywood.

On the street façade, 105 life-size portraits of Liverpool residents by local photographer Dan Kenyon were etched onto moveable aluminium sunshades.

Gemma Bodinetz, artistic director at Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres (main pic, top, with MP Louise Ellman and Deborah Aydon), said: “We are hugely honoured to see our beloved Everyman celebrated in this way. Through the design and construction process our sights were firmly fixed on creating the perfect theatre for our audiences and artists; it never occurred to us that one day it would be winning major architectural awards let alone being licked and stuck on envelopes.

“Everyone at the Everyman is completely thrilled.” 

Deborah Aydon, executive director at Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres, said:  “The Everyman was a ten-year labour of love for us all.

“It’s absolutely thrilling.”

The collection of stamps showing fine examples of newish British architecture

A spokesman for Royal Mail said: “A great many of these adventurous and innovative structures, serving culture, sport, government and business, have since become popular and integral parts of their local landscapes, often playing a part in regeneration.

“There has also been a renewal of confidence in British architecture led by world-famous architects including Dame Zaha Hadid, Lord Richard Rogers and Lord Norman Foster, along with a host of other talents.”

* The buildings celebrated in the postage stamps are: The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh which opened in 2004: IWM North, the Imperial War Museum of the North in Manchester by the Polish–American architect Daniel Libeskind who made his name with the Jewish Museum in Berlin:   The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre in Northern Ireland built at a Unesco World Heritage Site,  The new Library of Birmingham described as a “cathedral of nowadays”, The London Aquatics Centre built for the London 2012 Olympics and designed by the famous architect Dame Zaha Hadid who died in 2016, The National Assembly of Wales in Cardiff, known as The Senedd, the Blavatnik Building at the Tate Modern gallery in London, the striking conference centre known as the Sec Armadillo in Glasgow, the geodesic domes of the Eden Project at St Austell, in Cornwall, and the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool.