Wednesday, August 10

Tag: Liverpool Playhouse

One Man, Two Guvnors – Liverpool Playhouse
North West

One Man, Two Guvnors – Liverpool Playhouse

Liverpool Playhouse Theatre welcomes The West End and Broadway hit comedy “One Man, Two Guvnors”.  Following its roaring success when the show was first performed in 2011 and starred James Cordon, it is a delight to see production companies ‘Octagon Theatre Bolton’ and ‘Theatre by the Lake’ have taken this show on the road and is gracing our Liverpool Playhouse stage this summer.  The audience are welcomed by the sweet tones of the cast who also make up the house band in this production. Elevated on the first floor of a striking set, the band set the mood for this fun, energetic production set in 1963. The theatre is alight with flashing bulbs that give fantastic seaside holiday vibes, in keeping with the Brighton setting. The story begins in the home of Charlie (Rodney Ma...
As You Like It – Liverpool Playhouse
North West

As You Like It – Liverpool Playhouse

In their 30th anniversary production, Northern Broadsides, under the direction of Laurie Sansom, bring a bold approach to Shakespeare’s most musical and much-loved comedy. Unfortunately, we are met more with a misguided fantasy than a great production. In a stylish but stifling court, where the Duke (Tom Shaw) is all powerful and brute strength is championed over basic human decency, the high-spirited Rosalind (Em Williams) and devoted cousin Celia (Isobel Coward) are no longer welcome. When they escape into the forest in disguise, accompanied by Touchstone (Joe Morrow), they bump into the recent object of Rosalind’s affection, Orlando (Shaban Dar), who has fallen foul of Oliver (Aron Julius) but is supported by Adam (Claire Hackett), leading to an elaborate game of fluid identity w...
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice – Liverpool Playhouse
North West

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice – Liverpool Playhouse

A Cinderella story where Cinders never wanted to go to the ball in the first place, and is much happier at home, listening to music in her PJs with a cup of tea thank-you-very-much, sounds like a very modern take for a fairy tale. Yet ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ has solidly morphed into period theatre. Penned by Jim Cartwright, this regularly revived tale introduces us Laura ‘LV’ Hoff, a reclusive young girl who retreats from the world dominated by her brash and bawdy mother, Mari, preferring the company of her late father’s record collection of ‘diva’ songstresses – Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Shirley Bassey and more. Her hidden talent for mimicking the singers soon catches the ear of wannabe empresario Ray Say, who pushes LV to perform publicly. The show’s success live...
The Meaning of Zong – Liverpool Playhouse
North West

The Meaning of Zong – Liverpool Playhouse

The Meaning of Zong, written and directed by Giles Terera, is an extraordinary reflection on slavery, its effect on society then and now, and today’s climate of performative allyship, protest and privilege, and their role in today’s racism. Incorporating music, dance and unique theatrical techniques, along with traditional stagecraft and storytelling, to create a mesmerising show which shines a light into a bleak and often sanitised history, and creates a spark of hope that, while we aren’t there yet, we are moving towards a better world. Before the play opens, some members of the cast greet audience members, with each of them looking excited and hopeful. This is followed by the onstage Musical Director, Sidiki Dembele performing a brilliant drum solo with audience participatory clappi...
Animal Farm – Liverpool Playhouse
North West

Animal Farm – Liverpool Playhouse

In a feat of technical brilliance and creativity, this show makes the impossible possible through exceptional puppetry and characterisation. A contemporary re-imagining of George Orwell’s classic text, this adaptation does not disappoint. Charting the rise of a fictional revolution and its aftermath, the plot of Animal Farm is just as relevant now as it was when first published, if not more so. Adults and children over 11 years are best-placed to engage with this experience. This is not a tale for the feint-hearted. We begin with a bloodied farmer carrying carcasses across the stage, going about his daily business on Manor Farm. It quickly becomes apparent he’s not a pleasant character. The animals are scared when he’s around, treated as work units and considered expendable when the...
Sheila’s Island – Liverpool Playhouse
North West

Sheila’s Island – Liverpool Playhouse

It’s Bonfire night and Sheila (Tracy Collier), Denise (Abigail Thaw), Julie (Rina Fatania), and Fay (Emily Jane Kerr) are Team C in Pennine Mineral Water Ltd.’s annual outward-bound team-building weekend. Somehow, Sheila has been nominated team leader, and, using her cryptic crossword solving skills, has unwittingly stranded her team on an island in the Lake District. Our intrepid heroines find themselves manufacturing weapons from cable ties and spatulas and create a rescue flag with plastic plates and a toasting fork. Questions are asked; truths are told; dirty washing is aired. Is it possible to build an adequate night shelter with a prom dress and a sleeveless jumper? What is Julie’s husband really up to in Aldi? And why are they on this bloody team building exercise when the...
Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World – Liverpool Playhouse
North West

Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World – Liverpool Playhouse

I absolutely loved this show! Fantastically Great Women, a musical based on the picture book by Kate Pankhurst, aims to inspire children with stories about women who have claimed their place in history in a whole range of different fields. The concept is simple but effective. Jade (last night played by the outstanding Eva-Marie Saffrey), a 10-year-old girl on a school trip to the museum, is tired of restrictions and of never being listened to, and, we later find, is having difficulty coming to terms with her parents’ imminent divorce. Hence, she has decided to hide away in an off-limits section of the museum, the soon to be opened ‘Gallery of Greatness’. Picking up a toy plane, she wishes she could have an adventure – which is the cue for Amelia Earhart to make an appearance, quickl...
Matthew Bourne’s The Midnight Bell – Liverpool Playhouse
North West

Matthew Bourne’s The Midnight Bell – Liverpool Playhouse

The bad boy of ballet is back with a sultry, sensual tale of lonely hearts and hedonism in 1930s London. Delivered by Bourne’s New Adventures company, we’re introduced to a multitude of characters from the underbelly of Soho, who congregate at night in a local pub, the Midnight Bell, trying to escape the mundanity of their daily lives and connect with whoever may have them. Heavily inspired by the novels of Patrick Hamilton, each distinct personality dances straight out of the pages of his work, to present an often-bleak view of the very human desire for love and acceptance. A true ensemble piece, our dancers weave in and out of each other’s spaces and stories with wonderful fluidity and awareness of each other. Immaculate choreography and timing pulls us into each picture pos...
Dracula: The Untold Story – Liverpool Playhouse
North West

Dracula: The Untold Story – Liverpool Playhouse

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and here we are on Route 66 (or should that be 666?), since that's their year (read on...), and a young lady has just walked into a police station to confess to murder. But she says her name is Mina Harker... And goodness, can she name drop - an affair with Picasso? And literally, because many of the people she encounters hit the deck. But is she as it were victim turned vigilante, seeking to rid the world of evil? Or does Dracula actually have a hand in this, not that the title isn't a dead giveaway. Yet having slayed Dracula, she is seemingly possessed by him. Mina travels the world hunting down the people from her nightmares who are plotting some kind of uprising. The police officers are bewildered by the murder of unknowns (keep re...
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Liverpool Playhouse
North West

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Liverpool Playhouse

Tennessee Williams' searing masterpiece is brought back to the stage with this joint production between Curve Leicester, The English Touring Theatre and Liverpool Everyman/Playhouse. It’s a play about deception, greed, sexual desire, self- delusion and how lies seem so much more important than truth. Set on one hot Mississippi night, the highly dysfunctional Pollitt family meet up to celebrate Big Daddy’s 65th birthday and from the start all the characters begin their gameplay in earnest. Williams’s beautifully constructed play has many elaborate and intoxicating layers and explores each fractured character in great depth – his dialogue is always stark and unrelenting, and director (Anthony Almeida) lets each of the actors shine in all the iconic parts. Big Daddy played by (Pe...