The title of the play brings to mind ‘A Woman of No Importance’ by Oscar Wilde, when Lord Illingworth declared ‘Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future’. In context Wilde’s play is vastly different, as the subjects are from a privileged society, something that is not the case with this play.
Frank Scully is a 1960’s child, whose mother did the best she could for him under difficult circumstances. Scully comes from an era before ‘black lives matter’, skin colour mattered and if you didn’t fit in, you were going to find it very difficult to get on in the world. Like most young boys, Scully had dreams of what he would like to do, and when he was young his dream was to be a paperboy like the other boys. He had his chopper bike, but why wouldn’t Mr Patel the newsagent let him do the job? The answer was, ‘our people don’t want to see your people at their door at that time in the morning’. Well, say no more, it was made clear enough to Scully that he was considered to be a second-class citizen, and this type of prejudgment because of skin colour became a regular occurrence in Scully’s life as he grew up.
Frank Scully wrote and performed the play, with few props and no staging, he was there to tell his story and in doing so he needed to connect with the audience. With such a personal tale, his approach worked well, the storyteller must be a likeable character for the audience to connect, and Scully’s honesty charmed them.
The story never felt over embellished, but being such a personal story, he did sometimes seem overwhelmed by the memories, which could affect his delivery of the lines sometimes, but his ability to bond with his audience meant that no-one really noticed.
This play is an important one and should be seen, this is a brave thing for Scully to do, as he admits that he did wrong, that he became a criminal and served a 7-year jail term. Humour helps the play along and the direction by Nathanael Campbell to bring Scully toward the front of the stage and talk to the audience, almost making it feel like we are part of the conversation. There are plenty of oo’s and ah’s, laughter and camaraderie and it makes hearing this story easier somehow, and the writing helped to make this easier for Scully to convey these emotions and encourage an emotional reaction from the audience.
This was the first performance of a short run, and maybe there were some first night nerves, but it is a cleverly written, interesting auto-biographical story and I take my hat off to Scully for being able to have the strength of character to do this.
My first experience of the Golden Goose Theatre was a good one, the staff are very welcoming and there is a happy informal atmosphere which makes it a relaxed enjoyable evening. I shall definitely return, and I urge you to experience an evening of new writing to support this new theatre.
To book to see ‘Every Sinner Has a Future’ go to https://www.goldengoosetheatre.co.uk/every-sinner The play has one more performance on 29th July at 7.30pm.
Reviewer: Caroline Worswick
Reviewed: 29th July 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★