The doors of Liverpool’s much loved Royal Court Theatre are back open and tonight we witness a new show “Homebaked the Musical” which has been produced by Liverpool’s Royal Court alongside Red Ladder Theatre Company.
Written by Boff Whalley, ‘Homebaked the Musical’, is a new piece of theatre based on the well-known bakery that borders Anfield and Everton. It celebrates the historic and heroic story of the Liverpool residents who fought to save their local bakery from demolition and evolves into a huge inspiring project that brings the whole community together.
Boff Whalley has done a fantastic job in writing something funny, heart-warming and emotive. The music is both touching and humorous which blends perfectly into the script. I particularly enjoyed the choral sound of ‘we rise’, the fun of ‘where there’s people, there’ll be pies’ and the buzz of ‘match day’ song.
The show has been well cast by director Rod Dixon as his group of expert performers are totally at home on the stage. The cleverly written ‘reds and blues’ banter was executed brilliantly by the talented George Jones who plays Evertonian Tony. Tony is a proper scouser, but thankfully not in the exaggerated form we often see. He is exactly like a local young football fan, and he wins the audiences hearts with his tough exterior and heart of gold. A massive congrats to George Jones on having the voice of an angel and for totally delivering on his first performance at The Royal Court stage.
Another character who stole our hearts was Dylan, played by George Caple. George opens the show bringing instant feel-good energy to the room. Dylan is a lost soul who George brings to life showing an array of qualities to his characterisation including warmth, sensitivity and humour. George is a pleasure to watch among this star-studded cast.
An individual mention must go to Liam Toblin who plays a huge range of characters including Colin the councilman, a policeman, a dog walker and an eccentric, over excited Liverpool fan. Liam’s diversity knows no limits as he absolutely nails each part with ease. Liam is naturally funny, and the audience can’t get enough of his charisma and amusement every time he’s on stage.
There are two key elements to this show which cannot be forgotten: the glorious set and the impressive band. The set leaves no stone unturned as it creates an element of space, time and authenticity which only adds to the magic of this musical. Likewise, Beccy Owen has done a stellar job with the musical direction; the band sounded flawless, and it was a wonderful addition to be able to see them through the cracks in the set.
The story itself is quite inspiring, not only because it is true but also because it is still evolving as we speak. The Homebaked Community Land Trust have moved on from saving their beloved bakery and are now focused on developing the whole street into environmentally friendly, quality homes and commercial spaces. The tagline, “Out of hard times, something magical can rise”, never felt so relevant!
There were a few more lengthy scenes/monologues that I felt could be cut and I wasn’t totally sure about the panto-like rhyming ending. However, it is totally in keeping with the Royal Court’s fashion and this is a theatre that knows what its audience likes. Time and time again, their loyal customers return for a slice of fun in this ‘home from home’ venue and I can completely see why. Homebaked the musical runs from the 1st until the 23rd of October and it is highly recommended for locals (although maybe not if you’re from Widnes!). A great night of entertainment and the Royal Court host like no other so get your tickets while you can at https://liverpoolsroyalcourt.com/whats-on/homebaked-the-musical/
Reviewer: Bláthíne Maguire
Reviewed: 29th September 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★