Friday, March 1

Tag: Royal Court

Cowbois – Royal Court
London

Cowbois – Royal Court

This is my desert island show. It’s only January and I’ve discovered the best play of 2024. Charlie Josephine (writer and co-director) finds a very welcoming new home in the Royal Court after their run before Christmas in Stratford-upon-Avon. We explore the Wild West, a struggling town after the ‘husbands’ of the town go off in search for gold and more supplies. The ‘Wives’ are left waiting but in hearing news of a nearby explosion, hold no hope in their return. Miss Lillian (Sophie Melville) holds the bar while her husband is away- praying every morning for his return when news of the famous criminal ‘Jack’ (Vinnie Heaven) is on route to town. What unfolds is a beautiful release between two people finding their joy, passion and reason to feeling happy and being alive. This town is ...
Boys From The Blackstuff – Liverpool’s Royal Court
North West

Boys From The Blackstuff – Liverpool’s Royal Court

A standing ovation was a given, and Alan Bleasedale here to enjoy it, but I've never seen individual scenes applauded before. It's an astounding piece about the bitter struggle between employers, employees (Dole Office sniffers) and unemployed; men, once so proud of their skills, engulfed by the darkness of poverty and despair. A grand scale tragi-comedy, filled with microcosms: the second half seems like a series of vignettes, monologues and dialogues: fraught scenes between husband and wife, father and son, etc. On the one hand: farce, Freda (Helen Carter) in her hallway, caught between Malloy (Dominic Carter) at the back door, Angie at the front, the phone constantly ringing. Then Yosser, seeking to discover the meaning of life from the churches at each end of hope Street. Th set is...
Word-Play – Royal Court
London

Word-Play – Royal Court

Artist – audience - resonance - reflection - WEIRD - discomfort - indifference - values - public - harm - community - responsible? – cracked - so many tiny pieces. Rabiah Hussain has made a masterpiece. Word- Play is evocative, heart-wrenching and poignant. Kudos to director Nimmo Ismail for the skilled use of light, space, and direction. Each of the actors painted with broad strokes scenes from across London. Some we have observed, some we have heard of and many that clawed into our skins and made us feel deeply. From scenes of bastions of power making guffaws to the playground to dinner-time social niceties, the drama uncovers the discomfort that often remains unexpressed in social interactions using words that give light to our unconscious biases and blind spots. Also, how we lea...
Cuckoo – Royal Court
London

Cuckoo – Royal Court

Michael Wynne's play delves into the lives of a typical family, examining the profound impact of mobile phones on their relationships. Seventeen-year-old Megyn barricades herself inside her grandmother's bedroom following a heated family discussion, leaving her mother Carmel and sister Sarah deeply concerned. The play explores the isolation caused by these devices, their psychological allure, the troubles they pose for teenagers, and the detachment experienced in online encounters, devoid of genuine emotion. While Carmel's character is well-developed, her dismissal of her sister, mother, and daughter presents subjective and intriguing reactions, leaving the audience yearning for deeper exploration. Under the direction of Vicky Featherstone, the staging of Cuckoo remains straightforward...
Vernons Girls – Liverpool’s Royal Court
North West

Vernons Girls – Liverpool’s Royal Court

What could be better on a hot Summer’s night than a feel good show celebrating 50’s red hot property, the Vernon Girls? Hot – weather that is: were this horror, the hairs on your neck would be too plastered down to stand up. Horror? Well, although a cheerful, intriguing blend of music and history, it is horrific, judging by the gasps from the audience at some points. On the one hand, a bunch of talented teenagers whose dreams come true, from company choir to showbiz glamour, on the other – the iron fist, barely clad in a velvet glove, their big bosses, manipulative (the usual platitudes about being one big happy family) and exploitative, don’t see their actions as such. It’s just the way it is. And what an easy way to make lots of money, for them. When Equity points out the girls are...
A Thong for Europe – Liverpool’s Royal Court
North West

A Thong for Europe – Liverpool’s Royal Court

One of the biggest things to happen to Liverpool is that Eurovision is coming to the city and because of this shows are popping up with the Eurovision theme. The Royal court was no exception. A Thong for Europe written by Johnathan Harvey and Directed by Stephen Fletcher. Set in Waterloo the show opens with Lulu (Lindzi Germain) giving a eulogy at her mum’s funeral Steph (Eithne Browne) who loved Eurovision. But was sadly taken to the other side by a death trap of a hanging basket. Steph came to Lulu, and requested her ashes be scattered on the Eurovision Stage. Lulu and her son Terry (Andro Cowperthwaite) opened their home so that they could get a bit of extra cash and even maybe tickets to Eurovision it's self so that they can forfill the wish of their dear mother and grandmother. So...
Black Superhero – Royal Court
London

Black Superhero – Royal Court

Danny Lee Wynter’s debut play at the Royal Court questions queerness, open relationships and loving your idols. David (Danny Lee Wynter) is unsettled by the route of his life. An actor occasionally auditioning, occasionally sleeping around and still recovering from a traumatic event that brought his life to a halt. Living with his sister Syd, (Rochenda Sandall) he can’t help but question his motive especially when comparing himself to friend and popular superhero in a movie franchise, King (Dyllón Burnside). However, when King reveals that he and his husband have decided to try an open marriage, David is plunged into something he might not be ready for. The action in the piece is highly driven, particularly in the first act. David, who is already vulnerable, creates chaos for himself b...
<strong>Sound of the Underground – Royal Court</strong>
London

Sound of the Underground – Royal Court

‘Sound of the Underground’ by Travis Alabanza [BURGERZ, Before I Step Outside [You Love Me] and co-created by Debbie Hannan [Constellations, The Panopticon] is an angry, ambivalent, and vibrant call to arms in a crisis of money, dignity, culture and community. This brilliant two act evening of radical art, comprised of some of the brightest stars in the current grass roots drag scene, presents us with these problems and the/a solution- radical art and the rejection of commodification. After a review style introduction to the show (heavily featuring the excellently crass Midgitte Bardot), we are presented with a one scene play. Informed by the traditional theatre setting and location (the salubrious Sloane Square) the curtain rises to a modern kitchen box set. The play begins: beige,...
The Scousetrap – Liverpool’s Royal Court
North West

The Scousetrap – Liverpool’s Royal Court

It’s press night for the Royal Court once again as they pack the auditorium and welcome to the stage their latest slice of comedy “Scousetrap”. This play was written by Kevin Fearon during the pandemic and has been adapted by the director Cal McCrystal (and most likely the cast!) to add their own stamp and humour. The show is set in Liverpool (of course) in 1940 when the war is in full flow. The people of Liverpool fear that the Germans are turning their attention to their beloved port and docklands. The only saving grace is that Adolf Hitler used to live in the city, but is this enough to stop the bombing? The storyline follows the city’s greatest private detective, Miss Inga Marble (Eithne Browne) in her quest to discover any German spies and indeed she has her work cut out for he...
That Is Not Who I Am – Royal Court
London

That Is Not Who I Am – Royal Court

"Just cos it's in your imagination doesn't mean it's not real." Dave Davidson's first (and possibly last) play is a conceit, wrapped in an enigma, inside just about every conspiracy theory on social media. Set in the style of those ever-popular true crime drama documentaries, the playwright acts as narrator, but he/she is also hiding in plain sight. Undercover due to alleged Government surveillance, writer Lucy Kirkwood (Chimerica, Mosquitoes) gives actor Priyana Burford the job of setting the scene and giving voice to the various possibilities of what actually happened. It's the account of Noah and Celeste Quilter, who meet on a blind date, banter, lie to each other, get married, have a much-wanted baby and then fall down the rabbit-hole of conspiracy theories, all while in the grip o...