Friday, February 23

Woyzeck – Hope Street Theatre

‘A rollercoaster journey from the heights of black comedy to the depths of Freudian despair.’

With the challenge of picking only one show, I shall stick with the first one I saw as a full preview performance on 2nd January and which, rarely for me, I returned to see again when it played at Hope Street Theatre in Liverpool in the last week of January. Step forward Old Fruit Jar Productions and their debut production, a take on Jack Thorne’s 2017 adaptation of Georg Büchner’s classic play, Woyzeck, with this its first performance since its inaugural West End run by kind permission of the writer himself.

It was a delight to see this new young company grabbing the opportunity to do something different and tackle real issues – class divide; poverty; exploitation; mental health – that were sadly to become all too prevalent as 2020 itself unravelled, with a performance that made me laugh out loud so much that I cried one minute before the action turned and my tears became all too real, at a venue that was imagined with exactly this type of ground-breaking performance in mind.

Hats off to director Alex Carr and the cast from Old Fruit Jar Productions – Jordan Barkley; Josh Ennis; Florence King; Rachel McGrath; Jamie Peacock; Anthony Roberts; Christina Rose – who collectively make up this company. I look forward to what 2021 brings for them and for us.

Read Mark Davoren’s preview here