The Everyman is dead. Long live the Everyman.
The last time I saw Dave Morrissey on stage at the Liverpool Everyman, we were both members of the Everyman Youth Theatre. He often performed with his friend Ian Davies, later to call himself Ian Hart.
The pair were extraordinary for their great focus and clarity, focus that would be remarkable even in jobbing actors, and all the more so as they were teenagers improvising. Morrissey and Hart always had presence, and you knew, however young they were, that you were in the presence of talent that would out. (This was the same talent and intention we saw in our bare workshop space when a young woman did an absolutely captivating 10 minute improvisation on the unpromising theme of ‘feeding the ducks’. Even at 12, we were spellbound. She was Cathy Tyson, later to star in Mona Lisa.)
Morrissey’s Macbeth is a man’s man, very present and very solid, and the actor brings his full range of talents to bear.
Maria Barrett reviews Odedipus at the Liverpool Playhouse.
"this version works well and is moving and strong"
This years Global Ignite Week (GIW) celebrations here in liverpool UK, are coming up on the 8th Februray at the Liverpool Art and Design Academy and the line up for this match has just been announced. (sounds a bit like a contest but it isn't)
Ignite makes everyone a rock star for 5 minutes
Ignite is a global presenting phenomenon, summed up by the catch phrase - Enlighten us but make it quick. - And it is quick, 5 minutes per person for their presentation and as they talk sometimes at a racing pace the powerpoint slides are slowly changing, ticking down to the final flame screen which spells the end of there own personal presenting hell or their own personal victory over nerves and doubts. I think it is always a personal victory for everyone who has ever presented - even if some do have to be dragged to the front.
Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool
There are several good reasons to want to see Anthony and Cleopatra at the Liverpool Playhouse this month. The one the press like is Kim Cattrall of ‘Sex and the City’ fame as Cleopatra. While I’ve never watched the television show I am aware of the shoes associated with it and have more recently been impressed by Cattrall constantly reminding people that she’s from Liverpool, and yes I am both that shallow and that parochial. However the real draws for me are director Janet Suzman and actor Jefferey Kissoon as Anthony. Jefferey Kissoon was last (as far as I know) in Liverpool in Talawa Theatre’s The Gods Are Not to Blame at the Everyman. I was working there at the time and his performance was arresting to say the least; he was a powerful yet elegant actor who was a pleasure to watch each of the several times I saw the show. And he was a handsome man; all of us box office girls (and one of us was a boy) appreciated that; just to pass his dressing room added a frisson to our day. Perhaps more importantly (but only perhaps!), he has worked with Peter Brook, Robert Lepage, and Complicité, so don’t take my word for his prowess. Putting him together with Cattrall directed by the great Janet Suzman was surely going to produce special theatre.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Anthology when I approached the Everyman last night.
What I did know was that there were several different plays by several different authors being simultaneously performed offsite. I wasn’t sure how that would work, but was pretty keen on seeing how it turned out – plus, I really wanted to see Jeff Young’s piece. It turned out there are seven pieces in all, and choice is by random selection, either by throwing a seven-sided die (‘die’ is singular for ‘dice’, my Dad told me) or by selecting one of seven objects, among them a party popper, a feather, a letter and so on. My choice was a milk bottle with a flier in the top. This turned out to be play number 2, and I was given headphones and a receiver on a lanyard tuned to the appropriate station. All very exciting. However this was not Jeff’s piece, and I was not allowed to swap as it was already oversubscribed. I imagine not all audients are going to be open to this, at least some presumably choosing to come to the theatre because they like a particular playwright, actor or theme; and it certainly added an element of potential chaos that made me glad I was no longer a Front of House Manager. I think on the whole though that this potluck is a good thing; it adds to the sense of adventure, plus I saw a show by a writer I wasn’t aware of and probably wouldn’t have selected given a free choice, and that has to be good.
’Tis Pity She’s a Whore is a dark tale of lust and revenge, centring on sexual love between a brother and a sister. While this may sound like an average episode of Hollyoaks, actually it’s got more in common with one of those dark gothic movies from the 1940s starring Bette Davies, the ones you snuggle up on the couch to watch on a rainy Saturday afternoon and get lost in. Or I do anyway. The last time ’Tis Pity was on at Liverpool’s Everyman it was directed by John Doyle and known locally as ‘Tis Pity She’s a Horse’, so I was amused this time to see my ticket printed with ‘Tis Pity She’s a Who’, suggesting an element of time travel and shape shifting that writer John Ford could surely not have anticipated.
Grownups all over Liverpool have been searching for small relatives to take to In the Night Garden in Sefton Park this weekend. Not only might it be exciting to see live versions of these cute characters, the show is in a huge tent in the park, reminiscent of a giant igloo. Good eh? So, ever prepared, off I set with one I made earlier; I call her #smallgirl.
Review of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists at the Liverpool Everyman
I was really looking forward to seeing the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists at the Everyman. For one thing I'm a fan of Robert Tressel (or Noonan as he was also called - see, I know stuff), and for another I saw a fab production at the Liverpool Playhouse around 20 years ago. And when I got to the Everyman there was an additional surprise. This was a new adaptation by Howard Brenton. Now I do like Howard Brenton. Some many years ago I co-directed a small production of Christie in Love. Which in no way makes me an expert, but the play did make me a fan. But I digress.