Friday, January 27

Val from Anfield – Greenside @ Infirmary Street

‘Everyone’s gettin’ pregnant,’ says our Kayleigh, ‘must be sumthin’ in the air round ‘ere?’

‘Just your legs,’ says Val.

Val is every bit the modern-day Liver Bird, but with one over-riding problem; one of the biggest football clubs in the world is just around the corner and needs to expand its stadium complex… and now they’re building more student flats. She’s been fighting a long campaign against her (and her neighbours’) eviction as the developers seek to demolish the old streets of L4 but finally the day has come and she sits surrounded by boxes awaiting the move to sister Pauline’s. Her demeanour makes one think straightaway of ‘Our Lucian’, except instead of rabbits Val has a cat (Bowie) and a hamster (Queenie). Dressed in Queen t-shirt and leopard-skin leggings (matching a discarded shopping bag) she’s definitely ‘under pressure’.

Photo: David Catterall – Quarter House Pictures

Actor Claire Crossland performs the show single-handedly, her creation Val reminiscing as her search for the key to the biscuit tin takes her from box to box, unearthing memories along the way; tour guide in Prague, bit-parts in soap operas (mistaken for a stuntperson during the shooting of the Emmerdale plane crash), a stint on the set of Vicar Of Dibley (until the unfortunate incident involving the plastic cutlery), drugs mule (until the unfortunate incident involving an aborted delivery of chocolate brownies) and an almost-successful attempt to represent Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s a gentle, charming piece, the Scouse patter sharp but never offensive and thoroughly engaging throughout. And the audience loved the Joe Anderson moment.

If you like the sound of this bear in mind it’s only four more nights, last performance at Greenside (Infirmary Street) Aug 20th.

Running Aug 15 – 20 inclusive (17.20pm) at Greenside@Infirmary Street (Mint Studio).

Tickets https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/val-from-anfield

Reviewer: Roger Jacobs

Reviewed: 16th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★

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