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Jenny knows that there’s something seriously wrong with Pete. This man is just not behaving right. Helped and hindered by two incompetent Guardian Angels, who will do anything to keep their jobs. Jenny turns detective.
With her marriage in crisis and a mistress at the door, will she be able to save the day? Will she want to? What would you do?
Unity Theatre – Thur 29th to Sat 31st March 2012
Tickets – Thur 29th £10 Discounts £8
Frid & Sat £12 Discounts £10
Angel Delight Review – Ian D Hall
What do you do if your husband or wife starts acting strangely, their whole demeanour and actions change so much so that you hardly recognise him. Gone is the dependable boring man you have known since before the children came along and in comes someone that all of a sudden smartens himself up and is being chased by his secretary. In this premise lays the beauty of Angel Delight.
Primarily the play is three-hander staged between the multi-talented Eithne Browne, the excellent Chris Darwin and the great Francis Tucker and in the Unity One space they filled the room with one of the most heart-breaking and incredibly funny plays to be held at the Unity Theatre.
Eithne Browne is, quite rightly, a Liverpool treasure, from the voice of the Mersey Ferry to plays such as the smash hit Tartuffe and the superb Blood Brothers at the Liverpool Playhouse to the plays that have resonated throughout the Merseyside area and beyond in Brick up the Mersey Tunnels and Merry Ding Dong. This is an actor who can seemingly do no wrong and her framing performance in Gillian Juckes play will have you feeling every emotion, gut wrenching heartache, joyful and triumphant in her revenge and beautiful in her portrayal.
Joined by Chris Darwin was the brilliant Francis Tucker, who has made a name of being the best dame for any play you want to perform. He portrayed every other character available, from the two inept guardian angels who have been told that they need to buck their ideas up or else they are stuck on marital duties for the rest of their existence to the errant husband who has found confusion and stress at turning 50 relieved by having an affair. Mr. Tucker also gave a marvellous turn as every woman in Jenny’s life, the best friend, the daughter, the wife of Pete’s best friend and the girl Pete has run away with. It is not an easy job to play that many different parts but Francis Tucker does it with aplomb, a relaxed and irresistible smile and at one point a magnificent gleam in his eye where he fails to open the suitcase.
Angel Delight finishes on a question. With Jenny taking a call from her husband asking if they can meet up, the rubric of what should she do after going through hell only to come out the other side more or less intact. Should she take her husband back, would she want to? The audience don’t see a resolution to this except for Jenny coming between her two guardian angels looking resplendent as only Eithne Browne can make her.
Witty, charming, this is a huge piece of absolute brilliance by Eithne Browne and her co-stars. Angel Delight is a must see play for anyone who has been dumped cruelly or not by the love of their life.
Angel Delight Review Jennifer Keegan -Nerve
Angel Delight shows us the story of Jenny; a woman who at first suspects, and then eventually confirms that her long-standing husband Pete is cheating on her with his secretary. Jenny is played by well known Liverpool actress Eithne Browne, Browne brings a likability factor to the role right from the beginning when, while decorating, she starts talking to the radio, well, shouting at the radio which is claiming that we all have guardian angels watching over us. As Jenny wonders why her husband is behaving strangely, she asks the radio where her guardian angels are.
Enter two men, dressed as burglars with woolly hats, boiler suits and wellington boots, with wings. Her guardian angels, played by Chris Darwin and Francis Tucker, are comical before they even speak, and they both play up to the audience’s laughter with cheeky grins and rolls of their eyes. Explaining how they have been demoted to marital issues; with Jenny and Pete being their last chance to prove themselves before they are subjected to being retrained.
Darwin’s comic timing is excellent, especially when he tells the story of being given the job of a man about to jump of a bridge; explaining how the man was taking his time coming to a decision about jumping or not, Darwin explained the need of time efficiency in the guardian angel business, and without the hint of a smile, he calmly explained he had given the man a nudge to speed up the job. The audience roared with laughter as he paused for effect.
Tucker was equally amusing in his roles as an angel, and every other female in Jenny’s life. In drag he played Sue; Pete’s friend’s wife, Joan; Pete’s mum, Rebecca; Pete’s mistress, but his brilliance lay in playing Marcy, Jenny’s glamorous best friend. With two ex husbands who happened to be solicitors, Marcy thinks herself the person to guide Jenny through this distressing time in her life. As ridiculous as she is helpful, Marcy gives Tucker the chance to shine, allowing him the character to explore the real comedy between two close ‘women’.
Browne as Jenny is the standout performance; she radiates warmth as the mother of two grown up children and hurt playing the betrayed wife. She can hold her own with the comedy; when Pete moves in with his mistress, Jenny receives an irate phone call from them both demanding to know if she did the damage to Rebecca’s car, in an innocent, earnest way she explains she would never do such a terrible thing, but as she hangs up the phone, she has a playful smile on her face as she removes two wing mirrors out of her bag and places them on the mantelpiece; the audience loved it, fully supporting the character she had created. As a scouse housewife her sarcasm and wit is clever, but her brilliance in this play lay in the understated truth. The heartache etched on her face as she spoke of Pete. That is where she earned her applause.
The play ends with Pete asking Jenny if they can meet up and talk, which she agrees to. After spending much of the play in dowdy trousers and smocks, she comes out for her applause dressed to kill, seemingly off to meet Pete. We never know if she takes him back or not, but the audience was firmly on her side as she stood there looking wonderful.
Great train journeys are the very stuff of romance, adventure and mystery. The Orient Express, The Trans-Siberian Railroad, Settle to Carlisle: all routes that hold legendary status in the minds of rail enthusiasts, travel writers and consumers of novels about a Belgian sleuth.
Yet no greater track journey was undertaken than the one that departed from Liverpool’s Lime Street Station in May 1977 bound for The Eternal City, Rome.
A trail across Europe that included a football triumph, along with overcrowded carriages, waterless toilets, cheap wine and stale food consumption, the beauty of the Rhine Valley, the wonder of the Alps and the primary symptoms of dysentery. A tale of human perseverance that begs the question – “Why did they bother?”
Working in Collaboration with Tom McLennan, Vauxy theatre performed ‘One of the Damned’ as part of the memorial events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Robert Tressell.
and Adrian Henri
An event. A happening. An imagining.
A new play with ‘live’ music from Dhanil Ali.
A sideways and abstract look at the work of poet and artist Adrian Henri.
The year is 1966 and Adrian is preparing to give a performance at Liverpool’s Hope Hall but in the time honoured tradition, things are not quite as they seem, nor do they go to plan. Proceedings are interrupted by ‘visitations’ from his friends – Yoko Ono, George Melly, John Lennon and members of The Scaffold – Mike McCartney, Roger McGough and John Gorman.
Adrian and friends perform songs and poetry including Tonight At Noon, The Woo Woo and Love Is.
Written by Dhanil Ali.
A Vauxy Theatre production.
Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th February
Unity Theatre, Hope Place, Liverpool.
8.oopm Unity 2
Tickets £12.00/£10.00 concessions
Preview Thursday 10th £8
REVIEW: Love, Light and Adrian Henri at the Unity by Catherine Jones Liverpool Echo
IT’S billed as “an event, a happening, an imagining”. So anyone expecting a straight play about the poet and painter’s life and work is likely to be disappointed.
Love, Light and Adrian Henri is, as Dhanil Ali – who penned the script and portrays the man himself – is keen to point out, an ‘abstract’ piece with occasional leanings towards the surreal.
Henri is preparing for a ‘happening’ at Everyman predecessor Hope Hall, but proceedings are interrupted by ‘visitations’ from his old friends – Yoko Ono, George Melly, John Lennon and members of The Scaffold Mike McCartney, Roger McGough and John Gorman.
Yet surely Ali (who successfully shrugs on the physical presence of the bearded, round-faced bard of Canning Street) can’t have imagined the extra dimension to his ‘surreal’ happening on its opening night, with McCartney and Gorman actually among the audience watching actors Lee Woudberg and Charles Rogan respectively disporting themselves at the mic alongside a flat cap-wearing, be-earringed Roger McGough (Adrian Davies) in a lively performance of The Scaffold’s number one Lily The Pink.
Henri’s friends all produce their party turns – Yoko (Tomoko Suzuki) being wrapped in bandages, Marc Morrison’s John Lennon reading his off-beat verse, and Richard Helm’s pyjama-clad George Melly, full of booming bonhomie, wandering in and out throughout the evening until he takes to the mic himself for jolly rendition of the jazz raconteur’s cheeky, near-the-knuckle Nuts.
They are all, it’s true, caricatures of the originals, which can eventually feel frustrating – particularly, I suspect, if you are the original. But the dramatisation of this parade of pals feels affectionate rather than arch.
In the midst is Ali’s Adrian, shuffling around the stage between performances of Henri’s poetry, either with or without the accompaniment of a lively, grooving band.
And in a way this is the true heart of the piece; the pleasure of hearing that terrific verse once more, and performed with evident love (the L word looms large in the evening).
There are certainly parts of the show that need finessing, and Ali’s own delivery ranges from supremely confident and engaging to diffident and shyly halting.
But as a happening, you won’t find anything like it in Liverpool this month.
7.5 Adrian and abetting
Girls With Balls -May 2010
Tom Mclennan’s play, ‘Girls With Balls – the story of the Dick Kerr ladies football team, is an imaginative look at the rise and fall of the most successful women’s team of all. There is no doubt that the women’s game got its initial boost from the fact that men’s league football had been cancelled to allow many of the players to do their patriotic duty on the battlefronts of the First World War. Yet, even when the men’s game had started again in earnest, womens’ football continued to thrive side by side with it. On Boxing Day 1920, the Dick Kerr Ladies Team played in front of a crowd of 53,000 at Goodison, and many were turned away.
At a time when women’s football was at its height, the Male Football Association banned women’s teams from their grounds. What lay behind the FA’s decision? Was it a backlash against the rising tide of female emancipation? A tactic to ‘nobble’ the economic threat all these well attended matches posed to the considerable profits being siphoned off by the Boards of the men’s clubs? (The takings from the women’s matches went to charity!)
Share the Dick Kerr Ladies highs and lows and the behind the scenes boardroom struggles as the Vauxy Theatre take you back in time for a seriously funny drama.
Gladstone Theatre- Wednesday May 26th 2010
Port Sunlight, Wirral, CH62 4XB. Tel; 0151 643 8757
Show starts- 7.30pm All Tickets £7
The Sylvestrian , Thursday 27th May 2010
Sylvester St L5 8SE Tel: 0151 330 0211 Show starts 7.30p
Contemporary Urban Centre -Friday May 28th 2010.
Rhyme Without Reason
by John Dillon.
A one act comic conflict between father and son
An old man, who has failed in everything he has attempted in life, from school, through work, from marriage to parenthood decides to get his house in order before he kills himself. In doing so he finds an envelope which contains his attempts at poetry.
Recently bereaved, but cheerfully suicidal, John is visited by his concerned son. The offspring wants the parent to overcome his fatalistic urges and believes a review of his father’s earlier attempts at poetry would be good therapy. He is wrong.
Through them he relives his time: the people and the places he knew, the attitudes, the hopes and beliefs he once held, and how his greatest love was always the city of his birth.
A piece that looks at how loving concern can turn to boiling anger, how familial empathy leads to relative resentment, how a father and son grow apart by being close, Rhyme Without Reason, shows how a Liverpool father and son handle the eternal question of how to deal with life’s traumas, by just having a right kick off.
Unity Theatre – Tuesday 23rd to Saturday 27th March 2010
tickets £9.00/£7.00 concessions
By Catherine Jones, Liverpool Echo -‘Provoking Passions’
Scottie Road, 1961, and the stage is set with skiffle soundtrack, pulpit, tin bath and the most uncomfortable wood-framed sofa known to man.
And uncomfortable is a word that springs to mind a lot during writer John Dillon’s thought-provoking and, at times, powerful snapshot of life during a balmy August. (more…)
Voice of the fans – six months later
It was my first visit to the David Gareth Jones Theatre in Hardman Street, and my first reviewing encounter with the Vauxy Theatre Company, who are performing John Dillon’s play, Wearing Colours, there at lunchtimes this week.
Not only was the trip worthwhile, it was revelatory, proving yet again that the byways of dramatic output can be as absorbing and rewarding as the repertory and commercial highways. Mr Dillon is a writer of potential and should be persuaded to keep at it. And his script – set immediately before and after the European Cup tragedy in Brussels – receives exemplary treatment from director JohnWycherley and the four actors portraying Liverpool fans. (more…)