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Review: Little Scouse on the Prairie @ Liverpool Royal Court

by Chris High. Published Fri 02 Dec 2011 12:27

Anticipating a Christmas show at The Royal Court is, to paraphrase Forest Gump, like guessing the soft centres from the toffees in a tin of similarly wrapped sweets, though whether it is the high-octane, traditional farce of Merry Ding-Dong or the pure craziness of Scouse Pacific, it usually entertains.

The fine cast keep things rolling with some fine writing being skilfully delivered. Rachel Rae is in superb form as Donna Marie and provides one of the standout moments, delivering The Eagles’ Desperado brilliantly.

Paul Duckworth slots comfortably into “Panto Baddie” mode with all the comfort of Cinders into a glass slipper as Mr Baddington, the man intent on repossessing St. Nick’s Catholic Club on Christmas Eve during the festive Western Karaoke Night that has been arranged – yes, we have all been there … haven’t we?

Alan Stocks, too, as the drunken / foul-mouthed / loveable priest, Father O’Flaherty, is superb and gives so much energy to the whole production it is almost worth seeing the show for his performance alone, along with a set and choreography that are simply stunning.

Oh, and lest we forget the return of the “Singing Only” Von Trappist Nuns who, once again, provide their own particular glitz and glamour to proceedings.

The only disappointment? Well, because most of the rapid-fire dialogue is only discernable during the second half of this Oz-induced, dream comedy.

From past experience, Lawless writes one-liners that are so slick they are positively greasy. Here, during the first half, these come across as though being amplified through an oil drum with the difference between the two parts being as identifiable as soggy sprouts and hot mince pies.

A shame for an ensemble who give their all, a writer of clear comic talent and the audience who clearly want to enjoy themselves fully but can’t quite as this is a show that would possibly have the lot if only it could be heard.

Click rating: 7/10

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November 25 – January 21

Author: Fred Lawless
Director: Bob Eaton
Producer: Royal Court



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"brilliant funny well put together play a must see 10 out of 10." carol, liverpool around 2 years, 7 months ago

 
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