What people have to say about Hope Street

Over the years, Hope Street has collected feedback from a cross section of its Peers, Alumni and Audiences.


Since the announcement that Hope Street will be closing later this year, we have been inundated messages from people across the world. Thank you so much for all the wonderful things you have said about us.

Here are some of the messages we've received:


“I can't imagine a Liverpool without you but the legacy is spread far and wide as you know! I have many happy memories of my time at Hope Street and always say that you are the heart of the arts in Liverpool.” Alice Robinson, Director, Parklife


“I know how hard you've all worked to keep Hope Street going even with all the odds against you. I've such happy memories of my time at Hope Street, I can't really believe it won't be there anymore. Someone needs to write a book about this wondrous place and the wondrous people who kept it going. I'm gutted by the news, but I think it's unfair for your immense talent and experience to be constantly directed at fighting to keep Hope Street afloat. Onwards and upwards for you all, Peter. Your legacy will burn bright.” Beatrice McEvoy, Actor

 “Hope Street made me believe anything was possible. Thanks for all your hard work over the years.  I appreciate all your support.” Grace Stead, Theatre Practitioner

“I just wanted to say how sorry I am about the closure of Hope Street. Your organisation has done amazing work. The Market of Optimism is still a highlight - one of the best days out EVER with my then teenage son.” Sarah McLennan, Lecturer, Liverpool Community College.


“I am so very proud that I was a part of Hope Street Limited and continue to be proud as an alumni. I will attend the last show with joy and sadness.” Samantha Airey, Theatre Designer


“A journey ends, a journey begins - this is always the way. One feeds the other. Everything connects & flows, visible or invisible. MASSIVE congratulations and ETERNAL gratitude for EVERYTHING you have done and meant for me, for others, for Liverpool, for the Creative Soul. Forever Hope-full.” Jürgen Wendelen, Actor


“Congratulations on having the nerve to stop, rather than stagger on!” Nicholas Stanley, brainchild of Hope Street Project and director of Annexe Inc.


“I agree very much with Nick here. But I will also miss your Unity Christmas shows, the many ‘weird & wonderful’ outdoor extravaganzas and the brilliant international stuff you were instrumental in bringing over! Thanks to you and the whole Hope Street Ltd team for 30 years of radiant energy!” Han Duijvendak, Producer/Director, HANDSTAND Films


“Just a note to say how sorry I am to hear this - I always loved working on projects with you and your lovely team. Standing on Leeds station watching Suitcase is one of my most treasured and powerful memories of years of working in arts and heritage. I hope you have something interesting and wonderful lined up to do next - good luck!” Kate Rodenhurst, freelance consultant & evaluator.


“I’m devastated to hear this news. Will definitely be there for the show and hope to pop in sometime soon. Love to you all.” Sian Gardiner, freelance Stage Manager


“This is such sad news to read today. I know how hard you and the team work and what a devastating loss this will be for many people - not least those that won't have the chance to develop with Hope Street. I am definitely indebted to Hope Street for my career path, motivation and journey. I am the Production Coordinator at National Theatre Wales and am on the way to becoming a General Manager.” Fiona Curtis, Production Manager, National Theatre of Wales


“I am so sorry to hear this – it’s such a blow for the city and for our artists, we will definitely miss having Hope Street there to call upon and to work with.” Kate Cotterall, Director, Altru Creative Education


“I was so sad/angry/disappointed to hear how things have turned out regarding Hope Street - also a little taken aback at the recent announcement from Unity Theatre and the emerging artist couldn't be more blatant, could it? You have been, and still are, an amazing person and an inspiration to many of us in Liverpool. You certainly gave me some opportunities in the past and I will always be grateful for that. I hope that this does not spell the end to your creative, nurturing and organisational skills - that you are thinking 'what next?'...” Denise Kennedy, Actor


“That’s such heart-breaking news! I’m really sorry to hear that. The organisation will definitely be sorely missed by everyone in the city.” Charlene Davies, Project Manager, Liverpool Comedy Festival


I have known Hope Street for the last 28 years as a participant, partner and more recently as a funder. I have seen it grow and change and I can’t imagine my generation of culture professionals being still in Liverpool without them. This is a great way to end the Hope Street story but its memory will live on in the thousands of people it touched throughout its history. A special mention to Peter Word – a true Liverpool spirit, a true professional and a brilliant inspirational leader. Claire McColgan, Director, Culture Liverpool, Liverpool City Council


“Just wanted to echo what Charlene has said. You guys have been a pleasure to work with and I hope our paths will cross again sometime in the future.” Sam Avery, Director, Liverpool Comedy Festival


“I’m actually in tears here. What a legacy Hope St will leave. I am really saddened that Hope St will be no more. You are a wonderful man Peter and your teams over the years have changed people’s lives. Hope st changed my life Peter! It made me who I am today and that is why I do what I do.Iif I can change 1 persons’ life through the arts, then I’ll be happy! It’s so sad.. I always said if I won the lottery... Hope St would be top of my list.  I love you Peter and I wish you the best in whatever you do next. I’m absolutely devastated for you xxx” Paula Prytherch, Acting Up trainee 1989, founder of Hope Street Harmonies and Hip & Harmony


“This is sad news indeed. It’s a real loss to the city.” Frances Disley, Bluecoat Display Centre


“I am so sorry, such devastating and sad news. I feel quite lost at the thought of no Hope Street. I can't thank you all enough at Hope Street for your support, love, guidance and wisdom. I honestly believe that without On The Verge Festival Mooncup Theatre would not be here today. Thank you for the amazing opportunity. Hope Street lives on in all of us and we will carry it forward into our creative futures. Lydia Ellen Parsons, Freelance Actor, Theatre Maker & Performance Artist. Co-Founder, Co-Producer and performer at Mooncup Theatre


“Oh love... What a crying fooking bloody shame this is. I am so sad to know that your doors will no longer be open for the likes of me and all the rest of us.  Thank you for all of the work and support that you and the team offered me over the years. I was always truly grateful and loved every single one of the projects I worked on. I have very fond memories as will so many other lucky folks who had the pleasure of being involved with Hope Street. I wish you lots of luck and happiness in your new adventures, wherever they will take you. I probably won't be able to make it back to the show and party but I will be thinking of you all.” Dee Shepherd, Actor


“I want to congratulate you on some wonderful achievements over the last 30yrs and also for your courage in letting Hope St Ltd come to an end with such dignity and celebrating what has been achieved.  I trust you yourself will go on to exciting new ventures.  You have been a great company and provided a wonderful network to have had in Liverpool.  thanks.” Annie Spiers Creative Director, In Another Place


“I read your recent announcement that Hope Street Limited will close in September with sadness, although not totally surprised, given what has happened to your funding. On behalf of Liverpool Network Theatre Group, I'd like to pass on our appreciation of the very large number of times we have used your facilities, and we'll be sorry to lose the connection as well as the space - the latter, of course, we'll manage to replace more easily. We're not finished with connecting yet, as we hope and intend that some of our members will be involved with your final project, the street theatre building up to and on 21 July. I hope we'll be able to keep in touch. With my Everton History hat on, thanks for our contacts regarding Everton library, and I share your own hopes! All best wishes” Frank Kennedy, Network Theatre


“This morning I read your fb post about Hope St closing in Sept. After reading all the messages in response to your post I've dried my eyes and decided to finally reply to the January email. Though I did not continue in Theatre the time I spent at Hope St was one of the most educational, creative, nurturing and fun times of my life. Hope St, thank you for allowing me to do what I needed to do creatively and teaching me invaluable lessons about life, work, groups and myself. X Peter, thank you for personally encouraging me and being so kind to me by trying to help me stay on the theatre design path. X At the time life was so overwhelming I needed the predictable routine of a permanent contract to enable me to cope with the unpredictability of my family life. Regular pay slips from Wirral libraries and the Youth Offending Service genuinely saved my sanity. Throughout all this time Hope St has held a very special place in my heart. I have pointed young people in your direction over the years and I dispair at the future losses to individuals and the wider creative community/industry and audiences. All of this said I imagine you have a plan(s) for completely new ventures. In my head I see you working abroad on something brilliant and deeply fulfilling. Whatever it is you do make sure it's all about you,  you have more than done your bit and right now I hope it's totally about Peter. Since Sept 2017 I've not been well but I'm getting better now. It was a scary time as I've had the same breast cancer my sister had, HOWEVER, I learned to let it all be about me, therefore I'm qualified to tell you to do the same . I've spent 6 months sitting on the edge of the cliff, it was terrifying at first but eventually I learned to enjoy the view.  My treatment finished last Tuesday,  my hair is growing back and in the Autumn I will apply to do an MA in Art Therapy. New health , new beginnings and new clarity for me. Best of luck with all your new things Peter you really are a diamond geeza and deserve the best. Have loads of fun.” Much love – Jessica Keeler

“I'm so sorry that Hope Street is having to cease trading. I'm sure you are proud of all you have achieved; it has made a difference to many creative lives. Wishing you all the best for your own future plans.” Cath Shea, Arts Development Manager, St Helens Council


"Gutted to hear the news about Hope Street. I hope you're doing ok. Fucking huge loss to Liverpool. If there's anything we can do, please let me know. Andy Cooper, Director, Draw & Code


“Oh no! I’ve been away and just picked this up… so sorry to hear the news! You’ve done amazing work over 30 years! Such a difficult decision… I know how hard it was for Dad as Chair when MYPT/Fuse faced their future. I hope you’re doing ok and send hugs. Will aim to catch the show next month.” Sarah Ogle, Marketing & Communications Director, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse


“I am very sad that Hope Street is ceasing its activities. You did a lot for me involving me in your activities, offering support and advice and making me smile, think and laugh a lot. I can't thank you enough for what you are and what you did. You should be very very proud of what you did in these pasr years and I am sure that you will use this chance for a change to make other amazing things. Best of luck,” Simone Tani, Teatro Pomodoro


“Sorry to hear that this news is definite but hope you have some peace/relief/contentment about it. Your influence in the City will certainly be missed and I am sad that the opportunities Hope Street gave to those starting out are not going to be there in future. Keep your chin up and keep me posted on what you get up to post Climate Change is Rubbish.” Anne Edwards, PH Holt Trust

Anne Edwards, Administrator, PH Holt Foundation


“The end of an incredible, inspiring, transformative era. Sad and frustrating that it is by necessity rather than choice. A lack of recognition from ACE, and at other levels of funding of the HUGE impact that Hope Street has had, and could continue to have on the city and region (and beyond). Thank you Hope Street and Peter for all of the support, opportunities and investment that you have given me, and for the impact that you have had on me as a person and on develping my career. So much love, Glenn (Actor's Centre participant, PTP Trainee, Unity Xmas Show Performer, Turkish Co-production Deviser/Performer x2yrs, Deviser/Director, Physical theatre course coordinator, Workshop leader, Director of Spike Theatre... THANK YOU) xxxx” Glenn Noble, Senior Lecturer, Warwick University


“A big loss for Liverpool”

“No words. Gutted.” Lisa Tyrer, Singer


Josh Thomas: “This is a real end of an era for Liverpool!! It has changed so many lives and produced the most relevant physical work in the city for decades” 

Callum Pearce: “A massive loss to Liverpool, you have all done amazing work over the years, I will never forget my time there,I learnt so much not just about theatre and workshop leading but about working so closely with a team of people, living and working with people from around europe in their countries and again when they came to liverpool , we Made friends for life and I remember it all as just the happiest most confidence building time anyone could have at that age. You will be missed but you have changed the art scene in that city permanently and helped so many people”.


Wendy Plummer: “An achievement to be proud of. Well done.”


Amanda Rogan: “So sad to hear this 😢 Loved my time working with you and have watched over the years at the amazing work you have been doing. Such a shame x”


Sesmin Banasko Ewing, Drama Therapist: “Sad, Shitty News! 😢 

Mark Smith, Lecturer, LJMU: “This makes me very sad, but the memories and skills created will live on. Awful that another company in the city felt it was professionally ok to plan a course that mimics Hope Street’s. Shame on them and it won’t be forgotten.”


Jenny Deo, Drama Therapist: “So sad, an absolutely amazing place xx”


Emma Melati Wee, Cake Designer: “Definitely the end of a magnificent era. Proud to have been a part of it…."


Claire Macready: “I was a student at hope street many years ago. I still think of that time fondly and am grateful for the help and guidance given by the amazing staff there. Thank you! You will be missed”


Veronica Kelly, Designer “Oh no! This is awful news. So sorry Peter. Xx”


Graham Geoffrey Hicks, Theatre Maker: “Devasted to see this end of era. Liverpool will be lost without this huge influx of emerging artists!  shall miss the Mavericks but will grip onto the baton and try to achieve a drop of what you and hope street have done. Take a bow Sir Peter”


Michaela Fenwick: “O no !! Really enjoyed the Francis Tate play at The Tate xx”


Philip S. McGuinness, Actor: “Huge congratulations to all that you have achieved. LOVED seeing so many people I know doing so well at Hope street. What a wonderful legacy and hope it can find a new life in the future x”


Ann Smith: “What a terrible shame.”


Rebecca Kilbey: “So sad to see this go. First Bite Tie Co recruited most of our performers through Hope Street and benefited so much from Peter's support. Congratulations on your immense achievements over the past 30 years. Liverpool's loss.”


Cath Cullinane, Lighting Designer: “This is such sad news. Xcx”


Kate Stewart devastating :-( what a legacy though! good luck to the team xx


Lis Burbage, Head Teacher:  “So sad to hear this, particularly as funding issues are at the root. Still, hopefully as one door ....... etc Much love and hopes for the future. xxx”


Karen Gallagher, Director, Merseyside Dance Initiative & co-founder of Club55:”Our cultural fabric is falling apart, its so sad but inevitable due to the circumstances, such talented people doing a sterling job with minimal resources - much love the the team and board - and new adventures I hope #freeatlast xxx”


Claire Glare, Labour Councillor, “Huge loss to the city; we have all benefitted from your investment and dedication to the arts and providing an opportunity for small organisations to work together. Much love x”


Sally Abbott, Writer “This is awful news. I was on the second ever year of Acting Out. I felt for the first time in my life I’d found my tribe. I’m still in weekly contact with many people I met 28 years ago. It inspired and informed me and lay the foundations for the person and artist I would become. I can not emphasise just how much it shaped me. After Hope Street I joined English Touring Theatre where I founded their community department - directly influenced by my time at Hope Street. Every job I’ve ever had - whether that’s in Theatre or television where I now mainly work - I talk about Hope Street and the profound effect it and its brilliant supportive and inspirational staff and artists had on me. Thank you from the very bottom of my soul. You changed me. You made me. This is such a sad loss but your legacy will live on forever ❤️❤️


Lynne Harwood, Director, First Take: “First Take is honoured to be part of Hope Street Limited's last show. But it is a huge loss to lose this amazing organisation that has helped so many individuals and organisations, which shouldn't be happening. First Take has worked with and known Hope Street Limited since they commissioned us in 1999 for the wonderful Minds Eye film directed by Paula Simms, which was the first time we met Paula who went on to make a feature film with us (amongst so many other things). All the Dreamticket films we did through Healthy Arts were commissioned by Hope Street over several years. Stephen Barr, one of our Worker/Directors from 1999 to 2009 came from Hope Street Limited. First Take owes so much to Hope Street and the beautiful man that is Peter Ward, who also set up COoL and invited us to join at the very beginning back in 2006, which led to some fantastic collaborations working with MDI, Tmesis, Pagoda Arts, Milapfest, and nearly every other organisation in COoL. Thank you Peter, thank you Hope Street. JOB DONE - we can't thank you enough for the JOB DONE xxx”


Uma Ramanathan, Director, Brouhaha International: “The loss will leaving a gaping hole in the City’s cultural landscape. Hope St gave me so much more than just the skills. It gave me the people I hold dear to me. I know it was an inevitable choice due to the NPO cuts but you have all created magic with limited resources. Much love and hugs to all of you. ❤️


Laura Hall,  Marketing & Evaluation Officer, MDI: “Incredibly sad news! Xxx”


“It's taken me a while to get round to writing this email. Not because I've been too busy or because I haven't wanted to - but because I didn't quite know where to begin. It's hard to know how to put into words what Hope Street has meant to me. It's been such a big part of my life - because of course I not only trained there, but later worked as a freelancer and then finally as a member of staff. In one way or another Hope Street must've featured in about a third of my professional life in the arts! (At this point you phoned me)! And what I think is true for most people is that you are synonymous with Hope Street. Other staff have come and gone - including me! - but you have ably steered the Hope Street ship with insight, humour and grace.  You might not know this but when I applied to Hope Street I actually had a job offer for an HR agency on the table at the same time. Having been out of university for a year, tired of being poor, and uncertain about exactly what Hope Street might be able to do for my career, I nearly took that job. It was Adam and Aislinn who persuaded me that Hope Street was the better option. How right they were. I am quite convinced that had I not secured a place at Hope Street as a trainee production manager, I would never have forged a career in the arts. My whole life would look very different. Hope Street gave me the skills, confidence and connections to do something that I loved and that I was good at. What an incredible gift to give someone - thank you.  To be able to return a few years later as a member of staff and to support new generations of emerging artists, was a pleasure and a privilege. When we were on the Hope Street course, we used to say, 'if you can do this, you can do anything!’ I would extend that to working at Hope Street, as well! When I think about how much we produced and delivered as such a tiny team it really is remarkable. The scale of some of the events we produced in the time I was there - the Egyptian school tour, Alice through the Winter Gardens, Suitcase, the first On the Verge festival - all alongside the emerging artist core work - are testament to your leadership. As Hope Street now prepares to close her doors, all I can think is - what a success story Hope Street is! I can't think of another organisation that has so positively impacted the lives of so many people in a way that creates lasting and meaningful change for them in their lives. Hope Street's alumni are her success story and her legacy. I hope you know the great respect and high regard in which you, personally, are held by so many. The city of Liverpool, the cultural sector around the UK (and beyond) and the lives of so many hundreds of artists are all the richer as a result of your hard work, dedication and passionate commitment to development within the arts. Personally, I am deeply grateful for all the opportunities Hope Street has offered me over the years. But what I'd really like to say is a heartfelt THANK YOU, to you. I hope that, in a few months time, when the final page of this chapter is done, you will look back on the past 30 years with much satisfaction and joy at all you have achieved. And I hope that the first page of the next chapter starts a story that will bring you great happiness and more time to put yourself first.” Laura Cockett, Life Coach

“Big love to the both of you let’s hope the universe presents something beautiful out of this mess for you ❤️” Rachael Mutch, Writer/Actor


“I love you all very much xxxxxx” Annemarie Martin. 


“I am so sorry to hear this. I truly value my experiences with Hope Street and believe my time on the EAP and with On the Verge had major parts to play in my development as a practitioner. Training with Hope Street gave me the confidence to call myself an artist and pursue a career which I am passionate about. The principles of collaboration, accessibility and creativity which felt so strong during the EAP are with me wherever I work and have served me well whilst creating theatre in prisons, schools and community centres all over the North. So just to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU! For all the work over the years and know that so many like me are proud to say we trained with Hope Street and are sorry to see it go. Best wishes and love to the whole company xx" Tamsin Cook, Director


“Oh Peter! Such sad news! I shall try my very best to get back from Glasgow for the final show. I’m keeping this news quite close to my chest at the moment until I cross all the I's and dot all the T's but it I'm sure you guys will be happy to hear that I've accepted a conditional offer to join the Royal Scottish Conservatoire's Contemporary Performance Practice degree in September. Definitely something that Hope Street has been part of in the building blocks to arrive at an amazing new opportunity and adventure for me!  Much love.” Frankii Panchoo, Actor


“Aw Peter, I feel so sad seeing it there in black and white but so proud too, to have been a part of the wonderful creative creature that is Hope Street. All Hail you, Sarah, Montse and all the Hope Street gang past and present. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all that you gave Rejects - we would not and could not have happened without Hope Street.  Thank you for all the support, advice, nurturing, generosity of spirit, friendship and flipping’ good times. Happy, happy days. Catch up soon. Lots of love to you all.” Ann Farrar, Actor/Lecturer


“Would not miss it for the world. So proud to have trained at hope street. So proud that you are my friend. Very sad it’s ending but very excited for your new chapter. Amen brother - viva la future! “ Liz Young, Art Therapist xxx


“Wow Peter I don’t know what to say.  Such mixed feelings reading this. Gutted that such a great organisation will be no more, moved by the legacy and in some ways glad that you will have some pressure removed (as I know since ACE and for many years before that you have had such pressure on your shoulders).  Wow - very heavy heart reading this. But what a marvellous way to take the last bow.  You have been a fucking legend making all of that happen all these years. What an incredible body of work you have instigated and supported. The numbers are staggering but the memories you have helped create and the opportunities for artists are even more incredible.  Peter I have so much respect for you. What an incredible journey.  Still lost for words!  You are a total superstar and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings.  .... maybe we can open a helium balloon shop in Liverpool?  Of course I am on holidays at the minute (India), but would love to catch up soon.  Really really moved by this press release and brings to the fore what an absolute force of nature you are.  Hats off. Loads of love” Adam McGuigan, Actor/Director x x 


“Apologies for such a delayed response. Was very sorry to hear about the end of Hope Street, not least because I know from Ros and some of your alumni what an important role it’s played in the cultural life of Liverpool and beyond. It seems particularly short-sighted for the Arts Council to cut your funding when you have clearly played such an effective and creative role in the arts community. I will be eternally grateful to Hope Street for being our partners in Suitcase (which may be revived in a very small way for the 80th anniversary in Dec 2018……!) – we could never have done it without you. With best wishes for whatever the future holds for you.” Jane Merkin, Executive & Series Producer, BBC x


“It's a shame to hear, I'm sorry the organisation won't be running anymore. It's great and I know a part of the community too. All the best. Kind regards” Rosanna, Yoga Teacher


Keith Saha, Co-Artistic Director, 20 Stories High: “Sending you all lots of love and Congrats for 30 years! I remember being at Hope Street in 1994 , and politically and artistically, it was life changing. I owe so much to my time there, it was unlike anything else I had experienced. It gave a chance to us people on the dole, many of whom weren't graduates or had any formal education, and opened up our worlds to companies like Black Mime, Sense of Sound, Kaboodle, Karen Simpson, Mike Kenny and the whole TIE and political theatre movement. I didn't know this kind of theatre existed. I also remember workshops which were also non arts based but were purely political , where we discussed gender, sexuality, race and class in a non judgemental and safe space. And then being taken to Madrid by Giles Agis where we made work that explored these political themes in a completely beautiful anarchic way. Its where I was mentored by Stephen Givnan who first taught me to direct, he then put me in touch with Denise Kennedy Debbie Howard and Liam Tobin who then gave me a leg up to be an actor at Rattlebag! Hope St inspired me to go and find those political theatre companies such as Red Ladder Contact Cardboard Citizens and then eventually come back to Liverpool and set up 20 Stories High. Hope St has inspired so many artists and practitioners from Liverpool and beyond over the years, and hopefully with the work we are all making we can continue to cross pollinate, share our knowledge, create opportunities for the next generation of artists and companies, and also remember our political and theatre histories. Big shout out and Big love to Peter Ward and the 94 crew Carmen Browne Katie Cross Andy Smith Guy Christiansen Amie Vaughan Helen McAnenny Tony Blaney Jenni McCartney xxxxx”


Amie Vaughan: “I loved Hope st! one of the best times Ive ever had! First time i went abroad,Met some amazing people! x


Debbie Howard So very sad to hear this awful news. Big love Peter Ward and all those who’ve been part of Hope Street. Xxx


Maria Barrett, Lecturer, Leeds University: “This is so sad. Hope Street has made an amazing difference to the city, to so many in it, and has had such an influence beyond it. It was a great partner in the old Theatre Resource Centre days. Thanks to everyone for all their hard work, what an amazing legacy you're leaving xxx”


Liam Tobin, Actor: “A terrible casualty in the ongoing cut backs to the Arts. I'm proud to have worked with so many of the companies and individuals that emerged from this fantastic training ground. Many of whom I consider dear friends and one of whom I married! My heart goes out to Peter Ward and also my admiration for so many years of creativity and success. A true end of an era x”


Leila Chebbi, Actor, Travelled Companions Theatre Company: “So gutted to hear this. Well done to Peter Ward and all the team past and present at hope street. I am so grateful for all the support and opportunities that Hope Street have offered me and many many others. Thank you”


Andy Smith, Film Maker: “Sad news indeed! Hope St played a key part in shaping my career path and offered me lots opportunities to both work and travel in the creative arts sector. If I ever give an oscar speech;) HSL will most certainly be in it. Hats off to all staff past and present. My memories will never fade-Happy Days-Thank you for your generous support and guidance over the years-Big Love Always X”


Fay Hallam, Actors’ Agent “So sorry to hear this but sadly not surprised. It's getting harder and harder to work in The Arts - I'm often at the end of my tether with the way things have been going. It's an amazing achievement to have done what you have x"


Stewart Hulme: “Very sad news, but leaving a lasting legacy all involved can be proud of!”


“Much love and respect to one of my favourite people. the very best to all of your team, at what must be a very emotional time.  You have all done the City and the art form a great service over the years and brought joy to many. I was at hope st many years ago. Made some lovely and life long friends. Such good memories!! 
Thank you for being an awesome experience!! XXx” Claire Jones, Actor & Choir Leader of Hope Street Harmonies 


“There can never be a YOU HOPE INSPIRATION OR CREATIVITY SO SAD XXX ❤️❤️❤️Absolutely devastated xxxx” Gaynor Spearritt


“I’m saddened to read the Statement form Hope Street. You and Hope Street Limited have brought so much values to the arts scene in Liverpool and have taken a leading role in shaping the sector. I wish you well for your final performance and I hope to be there depending on the date. You have been and ally and an important voice.  I personally will miss you very much. I hope we can meet for a drink and that you will still be involved in the sector is some capacity. Lots of Love.” Madeline Heneghan, Director, Writing on the Wall xxx


“I was so sorry to hear your news.  Your company has obviously had a big impact across the city and inspired many people in the field over the years and it’s such a shame that it has come to this.  I hope you’re both ok. I’d like to say a proper goodbye to you so could I pop up for a coffee at some point this week if either/both of you are available?  You’ve been amazing, supportive neighbours and everybody at the BID will miss you all!” Michelle Bacon, Finance & Admin Manager, Liverpool BID Company


“This is very sad news Peter. I / we at FoEP are sorry.” John Hutchison, Friends of Everton Park


“I was saddened to read your last email about the winding up of Hope Street Limited. Hope Street provide a cultural lung that kept me breathing as an artist and has been a key part of the cultural respiration of the city. For me the most significant part has been the hosting of Liverpool Network Theatre which continues to offer the most affordable acting training and opportunities to perform. Most recently I've enjoyed teaching workshops and seeing the fire in the eyes of participants with new insight. I enjoyed being part of EAP 2016 who can forget being chased semi naked round building by an oversized todger. More significant was being taken seriously as an artist in workshops that form landmarks on my journey into full time work with the imagination. I especially enjoyed the chance to work with Jos Houben and John Beedell from Desperate Men.” Adrian Rawsthorne, Actor


“I wouldn't be who I am today without Hope Street. In fact, I wouldn't even be here without Hope St. Hope St not only made artists, created ground-breaking theatre and provided a safe space for creative literally changed and saved lives for 30 years by providing a sanctuary for young aspiring artists - regardless of background - to flourish and survive within the professional arts world. The stats speak for themselves. But most of all, their alumni speak for them. This is the greatest loss to the arts on Merseyside I could imagine. I wish I could do more and I wish the memories, careers created and friendships for life didn't have to stop. I've pledged. Make sure you do too.” Michelle O’Callaghan, Producer xx


Peta Lily, Theatre Maker “The amazing Hope Street!!!!! - inspiring and equipping theatre-makers and animateurs for years. Enriching British theatre for years. Encouraging thinking and feeling for years.\[‘


Wendy Hollander, Artistic Director, Tutti Frutti “Peter you have left an amazing legacy and Hope Street inspired so many and provided opportunity and platforms for so many creatives. This legacy will live on through the work that happens nationally and internationally from the artists who benefited from Hope street and its team of people. I hope you see this as an opportunity to have new adventures and take your leadership skills and put them to good use. Wishing all the Hope street team every future success in their own endeavours. A sad farewell to Hope street and all who sailed with her. Xx”


Carolyn Murphy, Director, WordFest “You can walk away with your head held high but it stings that such a key, trusted organisation has been closed.”


Gaynor Lunt, Volunteer & Advice Coordiantor “What a fantastic achievement Peter Ward well done! Xxx”


Chloe Darke, Actor “Thank-you Hope Street Limited for all of the fabulous opportunities you have given to all of the creatives involved. Very sad this is organisation close. X”


Rachael Anne Clark, Actor “So proud to have been part of such an integral part of the arts culture in Liverpool. The finale is going to be one hell of a party 🙌 Alumni at the ready x”


Joanne McMahon, Administrator, Annexe Inc. “Hi Peter end of an era wish you and Sarah and everyone all the luck and every happiness for the future xxx”


Ties Ten Bosch, Artist/Film Maker “It was great to work with peter, laura, sarah, adam, montse and all of the others there. Great memories and I hope we’ll meet again in a beautiful future!”


Laura Spark, Animator & Film Maker “Jaw dropping figures!!!”


Tina Malone, Actor/Producer “Incredible work by an incredible man you gave people like myself time, energy snd belief to follow our dreams for that I’m forever grateful xxxx”


Yaprak Selin Onat, Ac tor “It was one of the best years of my life…”


Heather Robson, Writer “You are an amazing wonderful man Peter Ward. X


Paul Wady “The Rathbone Community Theatre Unit that was the start of it all back in 1983-4 determined my future. Thank you Peter Ward and everyone who was involved back then. I loved you all and in that reunion we had the other month, I still did! It meant people could suddenly be in repertory theatre who might never get that experience, security and team work again. Now I've founded me own company. Lovely to see you Peter and you take care of yourself and keep that head polished xxx”


Kim Murphy “Thank you Peter for being you X, loved you 30 years ago, still love you now, what a beautiful soul you are, you must feel so proud of all your achievements, thank you for teaching me how to tread the boards, dress up, paint my face, write songs and have the confidence to get up there and perform, my life has led me into the medical world and sometimes you have to stand up and give talks to a lot of people, when I have to do these talks I always think of Peter Ward, what this stupid government doesn't realise is that by closing places down like Hope Street it effects so many other services indirectly by not giving people a chance to learn and express themselve, I am very lucky to have met and worked with you lovely man xxx well done so go hang your knickers up and have a rest xxxxxx”


Jessica Bockler “To Peter and the Hope Street team: thank you for your inspiring and selfless work for all these years. You have inspired and supported so many, including me, with your boundless energy enthusiasm and love. The loss of Hope Street seems unreal... it's a blow to the heart of Liverpool's cultural community. But you live on, Hope Street, your spirit has given us wings! Love to you, Peter Ward!!"


"As the only organisation in Liverpool solely dedicated to developing emerging artistic talent, the cultural sector benefits enormously from HSL. The Bluecoat has worked with HSL since 2010. Each time the creative team has produced inventive, accessible and entertaining high quality performances by professional, emerging and community artists. There are few small organisations that cement exceptional, meaningful partnerships with the larger organisations in the city. HSL is the exception, having initiated partnerships with the Bluecoat, Everyman/Playhouse, Unity, FACT, Tate, NML, Biennial."

Mary Cloake, CEO - The Bluecoat


"Since arriving in Liverpool, I've been struck by the seemingly quiet but oh-so-vital role that Hope Street Ltd has in the cultural life of Liverpool and beyond.  So many of the artists and creatives we work with here at Unity have been involved or touched by Hope Street in one way or another (often through the EAP).  And then there's the fact that in their brilliant and maverick way, Hope Street manage to engage with so many COoL and LARC organisations in genuine partnerships.  On the Verge, their site-responsive festival is raw, edgy and exciting.  From being handcuffed in a toilet to experiencing the life of a blind person through a beautiful sensory performance, you quite simply don't know what will happen next.  All in all Hope Street's work is ambitious, invigorating and always punches above its weight. Bring it on."

Matthew Linley, Artistic Director/CEO - Unity Theatre


"As ever your project was amazing and very enjoyable . A great big thanks to the whole team."

“Hope Street  worked with the Tate Community Collective in making and using masks for The Many Faces of Francis Bacon, (July 2016, EAP) and they’ve become so enthusiastic about the masks that they insisted in using them for their next project, a musical.”

Lindsey Fryer, Head of Learning - Tate Liverpool


"You have supported me since I first came to the city. Very proud to be associated with an organisation that is able to use its energy and resources to help people thrive. Without Hope Street I think that the cultural landscape of the city would look very different. You give space for creativity in a way I haven't seen in many other organisations and I think your open ethos has influenced the way the artistic scene operates here." 

Aleasha Chaunte, Associate Artist, 2016/17


"Hope Street is the perfect creative producer. They nurture artists, train them to be brilliant, and then employ them to create amazing performances. We have commissioned Hope Street often. They are exceptional." 

Charlotte Corrie, Director - Open Culture


"Liverpool Biennial values Hope Street both as a partner and a unique part of the region’s cultural life. The innovative, cross genre work that Hope Street produces has helped the Biennial to reach new audiences and to present work in different formats, such as an immersive gaming experience and has advanced the dynamic of the arts that are available to people across the city. We are particularly pleased to recognise Hope Street’s work with emerging artists." 

Paul Smith, Executive Director - Liverpool Biennial


"It was great working with Hope Street again - another successful collaboration!"

Alison Jones, Programme Manager: Public and Community Learning - Tate Liverpool


"I know that previous 20StoriesHigh participants have gained a lot from participating in Hope Street projects. One of our youth theatre members Manoka Mbolokele was a performer in 'The Last Utopian'. He talked to me about how much he loved working with the young people from other companies, as well as the emerging artists and established professionals from Hope Street. He felt it really expanded his horizons and his links in the industry. He said that he's had opportunities since the project which have come via those networks and links. He felt it was a really valuable addition to his experience, and is really glad he took the opportunity to get involved.

I look forward to our other youth theatre members being able to engage in your next project!"

Julia Samuels, Co-Artistic Director - 20 Stories High




Audience feedback - On the Verge, 2017:

"Fantastic use of dance and football to articulate the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, gender divides, preconceived notions of gender etc. Beautiful choreography, tender moments, tension, conflict and humour"
(The Match)

"This was absolutely fantastic. Honest, humble, beautiful storytelling in a fantastic immersive setting. I loved it!"
(Karaoke Tales)

"Probably the most powerful, emotional performance I have ever seen"

"Unique, engaging and incredibly strongly performed.This is one of the best things I've ever seen. Please keep doing it all over. Brilliant concept, SO well executed. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening."

Audience feedback - HeartBrokers/On the Verge festival, 2015 


Audience feedback - On the Verge, 2015:

"Unusual and intimate, amazing experience, playful, fun and just a bit weird; innovative, provocative, nurturing and shocking."



"Wonderful immersive experience, touching, funny and visually beautiful."



"Loved how you incorporated the environment, difficult to imagine it happening in another location."

(Flowerpot Women) 


"Very moving and insightful experience. Very clever switch. Very well looked after. Brilliant audience experience. Felt held and in safe hands. Brilliant."



"The actors made this experience truly magical. A lovely time tour throughout the magical forest. The children were mesmerised the entire the time. Great job Blakemere."

Audience feedback - Blakemere's Christmas Woodland, 2015


“You leave university thinking and hoping you can walk into a job. This is not the case, however this is the case with Hope St. You are practising what it is like in the industry constantly whilst being supported to explore yourself as an artist. I would not have the confidence, skills and experience to become a theatre director if it wasn’t for Hope St believing in me and reassuring my dream can become a reality.”

Samuel Erskine, Director - Emerging Artists Programme, 2016


"The Emerging Artists Programme is an integral part of the theatre ecology within Liverpool and fits incredibly well as a partner organisation for Young Everyman Playhouse.  It has provided performance opportunities for our young actors enabling them to experience styles of theatre that they would not encounter with us, therefore increasing their skills set and employability within the city.   One of our Young Directors was fortunate enough to become the trainee director on the Emerging Artist Programme.  This hugely aided his development and has enabled him to start gaining employment in both our theatres and the wider Liverpool theatrical community.  This type of progression route is also very strong when it comes to our young producers course with our young people becoming industry ready through the Hope Street Ltd programme." 

Matt Rutter, Young Everyman Playhouse Director / Actor - Physical Theatre Programme, 1999 - Endorsed by Deborah Aydon


"Hi Peter and gang. Just letting you know I have made a small donation in support of all the amazing work you do. Back in 1995 I moved to Liverpool with a bunch of mates because we had heard what a fabulous city Liverpool was for the arts and Hope Street was our first port of call. Everything I did from then on was because of the work I did with you and the connections I made. You guys trained me on the physical theatre course, sent me to Madrid and employed me for 2 TIE tours. You also supported me and Ciaus to set up Major Motion giving us advice and space to work. The community arts work I went on to with Splatterdays, setting up Unity Youth theatre with Helen, Lantern workshops, Aspire and so much more all started with you. I then had to move away but went on to run youth theatre and work in community arts in Dorset and London but I still thank you for making it possible. I now work in special effects and for a puppet education company and still draw on skills I learnt with you and the network I made. Hope Street is the heart and sole of arts in Liverpool and I wish you all the best for the future. x x Bianca."  

Bianca Judd, Facebook message


"Keep the beautiful spirit of the programme. It was refreshing to be reminded how special the experience is for all involved. This was the most successful year/project I have worked on with integrated volunteer performers. As always I felt fully supported by the Hope Street staff." 

Adam McGuigan, Lead Artist - Emerging Artists Programme, 2016 / Director - Emerging Artists Programme, 2004


"This company championed / mentored me as a young person before I went to Drama School...many moons ago...and when I left Drama school I updated my skills with their workshops and expertise...20 years on I still participate in their workshops and have worked on truly amazing projects and productions. I continue to learn from their amazing team...They have always a been a valued source to me and my career...and I consider them as dear friends as well as well as treasured life coaches. Thank you, Hope Street." 

Keddy Sutton, Facebook message


“I learned that it was okay to have fun and play, even at the grand old age of 43. I left feeling more confident about my skills, and about myself. Thank you for the best six months of my life that have taken 20 years off me; maybe not in appearance, but definitely in the way I feel!” 

Jackie Byrne, Actor - Emerging Artists Programme, 2012


“The programme is really, really great. I am getting more out of it than I could have imagined. And Hope Street as a company fills me with only enthusiasm going forward with my career.”

Steffi Sweeney, Actor - Emerging Artists Programme, 2016


"Hope Street is key to the city as it retains and trains emerging artists, developing an excellent community of artists over the past 25 years. I originally trained at Hope Street and it has been invaluable in my development and that of Tmesis and I was very happy to be invited to be a lead artist of one of the excellent EAP projects in 2016. As a festival, we have worked with many fantastic local artists who trained at Hope Street, and who may not be in the city creating work if it were not for the training and community Hope Street provides." 

Elinor Randle, Artistic Director - Tmesis / Emerging Artists Programme, 2002


"I finished university (theatre design) and moved back to Liverpool realising I had no practical skills or local knowledge or connections - university was very theory based. I participated in the Hope Street Emerging Artists Programme (about 15 years ago!) and I gained an amazing amount of practical experience and skills, as well as links with organisations and professionals within the arts. The relationship did not stop there. Hope Street Ltd have continued to mentor me and develop my career through hiring me to design shows and puppets, to giving me unscheduled advice and assistance with funding applications, practical issues, space to work in and practical help. Also indirectly utilising the huge network of connections I have made through Hope Street within the arts, from hiring making assistants, designers and performers, to the contacts who hire my company for work. I was taught to make my first giant puppet as part of the Hope Street Emerging Artists Programme. I now run my own giant puppet company, making and touring shows to huge events, nationally and internationally, as well as running workshops within the local community. Returning to Hope Street as a professional artist to mentor their current students has been a recent highlight, as well as running workshops around the globe (including to homeless children in Zambia with Barefeet Theatre (another Hope Street connection). None of this would have been possible without Hope Street’s continued support through my career."

Rowan Watts, VIP Puppets / Designer - Emerging Artists Programme, 2003


“Definitely the most valuable experience I’ve had as an artist and maybe as a person in my life”

“Pushed me to be better than I thought I was”

Jake Szuplewski, Actor - Emerging Artists Programme, 2016



Hope Street is a charity and we rely on public funding to deliver our exceptional programmes for free. Please show your support by giving what you can: