Twice Nightly, written, directed by and starring Maria Lovelady and Michael Alan Bailey, is a fun comedy which explores the world of variety entertainment in 1931 and the impact of film on the theatre industry.
Don (Bailey) and Madge (Lovelady) are down on their luck cabaret performers who are frustrated with their underappreciative employer and not being hailed as the superstars they deserve to be.
Opening with a synchronised song and dance number, both Bailey and Lovelady demonstrate excellent musical theatre skills throughout the piece. Live music is provided by musical director, Jessica Dives, with fun accordion melodies giving the piece a feeling of the 1930s music hall. A mischievous song about being criminal masterminds is surprisingly followed by the arrival of a policeman (Roy Carruthers) who arrests the pair and drags them away to face trial at the Bridewell. The pair relate the story of their first meeting and career so far, as they try and work out exactly what the charges against them are based on.
Cheeky Liverpool based humour and innuendo make the show very funny throughout. There are also a number of instances of physical comedy with Carruthers’ multiple roles creating some particularly comical moments, including his posturing strongman and exasperated Parisian magician.
Portable rotating scenery and onstage costume changes keep the pace up throughout with a sense of place being enhanced with strong body language and expression. Panto style audience participation enhance the fun atmosphere and create a real cabaret atmosphere.
Twice Nightly is a very funny piece of Liverpool theatre with a poignant heart reflecting on the current state of the theatre industry. Entertaining and colourful, this retro comedy has a wonderful range of characters and a fun story which takes you on a ride from Paris to prison with the legendary Don and Madge, Liverpool’s greatest 24 carat glitter variety performers.
Reviewer: Donna M Day
Reviewed: 13th July 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★