by Jeff Young lyrics by Martin Heslop.
Everyman Theatre Hope Street To 25 October 2014.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm Mat Wed 1.30pm Sat 2pm.
Captioned 25 Oct 2pm.
Runs 1hr 50min No interval.
TICKETS: 0151 709 4776.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 15 October.
Drama, poetry, song combine in bright urban fantasy.
It’s Liverpool, but not as most people know it. After a brief glimpse of a smart red-suited guide selling urban regeneration, the underclass takes over, celebrating a hyper-illusionary Lime Street that fits the reality of their dreams and hopes.
Here are the poets, the high-flyers, the mythologically-minded, with a rationale of logic and behaviour all their own. And, as the Everyman’s new building beats the competition for a major architectural award so the work produced inside follows the structure itself in building on the past as it looks to the future, while constantly being something that could be nowhere but in Liverpool.
For playwright Geoff Young’s characters, those free of society, cinema dreams match reality, as, amid the old grandeur and new gleam Lime Street spreads across the feet of its railway-station, with the derelict, ironically named Futurist Cinema among its buildings.
Alan Flynn believes he can fly, recalling Powell and Pressburger’s 1946 film A Matter of Life and Death, which opens with a pilot crash-landing and finding heaven can wait. The optimistic fantasy of the film imbues the play, as does the ambition of Icarus, whose waxen wings melted too near the sun
Director Serdar Bilis reconfigures the auditorium for his production, placing the action in an irregular space amidst the audience, with towers, steps and ladder dotted around, ready to be populated in the restless action that shifts between times and locations.
Rhodri Mellir’s Spike might seem drug-demented at first but there’s a visionary element to his thinking that’s only emphasised by his single eye (late in the play a look back shows how he accidentally lost the other one). Cathy Tyson’s Elsie Barmaid sits on the steps – later identified as her bus-shelter home, from which she’s called by the group.
Mellir’s physical energy and Tyson’s vocal dignity exemplify the commitment of a cast who trip the light fantastic of Young’s script in perfect harmony with the Everyman’s first new play, Michael Wynne’s very different, but equally Liverpool-essential Hope Place, showing that, under Gemma Bodinetz and Deborah Aydon’s management, the Everyman knows where it is and what it’s for.
Alan ‘Icarus’Flynn: Carl Au.
Lucas Firebright: Paul Duckworth.
The entire population of Lime Street: Rhian Green.
Lizzie Flynn: Penny Layden.
Spike Smith: Rhodri Mellir.
Stephen Shakey: Mark Rice-Oxley.
Elsie Barmaid: Cathy Tyson.
Calumn Flynn: Kieran Urquhart.
Musicians: Laura J Martin, Vidar Norhelm.
Director: Serdar Bilis.
Designer: Ti Green.
Lighting: Chahine Yavroyan.
Sound/Composer: Martin Heslop.
Video: Louis Price.
Movement: Elinor Randle.
Dramaturg: Lindsay Rodden.
Associate lighting: Beky Stoddart.
Assistant directors: Joe Mellor, Cara Nolan.