All of us know someone or have some mental health issues on some level. A failing capitalist society makes us very unhealthy indeed. We are in a time of 'hyper attentiveness', always being connected to a screen based world. It is also a time of great efficiency with our technology, a kind of Utopia.
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"
You couldn't really wish for a livelier or more articulate advocate for the cause of women to be recognised as individuals in their own right - or their own write - than the author and actor Stella Duffy. She delivered a very entertaining hour at FACT as part of Homotopia week, reading excerpts from her own novels which span a variety of genres, but all promoting the same message of women's rights to be allowed the freedom and honesty to live their lives without prejudice or gratuitous criticism. Duffy's watchword is "no lying".
Mr Nice is the story of Howard Marks, an unassuming and likable Welshman who went on to become one of the worlds most wanted criminals and a cult hero to dope smokers around the globe. He was an International drug trafficker who experienced many things even the best fiction writer would struggle to make up. Marks is a man I know very well having read his autobiography (also titled Mr Nice) many years ago and seen him live. It's fair to say I was expecting and hoping for a lot going into this film. Nevertheless I'm not one to pre-judge.
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.
Review: From Beyond Iron Mountain
Directed by: Bob Moyler
I was really excited to be going to see a bit of Sci-fi theatre so when 35 of us crammed into a room suitable for 30, the atmosphere was heady to say the least. As the plastic blow up globe suspended by thick string and a bamboo pole appeared I knew I was going to enjoy it, when the cheap torch flicked on and shone across the room I was biting my knuckles with excitement.
The story was about a Doctor who is directed to buy a weather machine from a Professor to stop the awful weather conditions on an earth like planet. The action mostly takes place in the Professors laboratory, the Doctor is greeted by an ApeMan creature and inept Robot and lead to the professor. The only trouble is the weather machine is it doesn’t work, and the Prof’s rather attractive female assistant Boris knows it doesn’t but the Prof refuses to accept this and continues discussing the sale of the machine with the Doctor. After several fruitless attempts to repair the machine, a couple of wandering extra terrestrials finally manage to get it working after breaking the Prof’s leg.
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.