Show is 'more than a musical' it's a 'sporting legend'
By Ron Ellis
Y.N.W.A. (The Official History Of Liverpool FC)
Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
THIS was the third, and updated, outing for the story of Liverpool F.C., right from its breakaway from Everton in 1892 to the current reign of Jurgen Klopp, told in a series of songs, reminiscences and sketches through the words of a family whose great-grandfather was one of the club’s first supporters.
Lindzi Germain reprised her role in the original production as the matriarch of the family while Mark Moraghan, Jake Abraham, Lenny Wood and Daniel Ross continued as Tommy, Gerry, Kenny and Busker. Newcomer, Jamie Hampson, demonstrated what a beautifully melodious voice she has as Tia.
Francis Tucker (drums), Emily Linden (guitar) Adam Keast (bass) and Alex Smith (keyboards) formed a quartet of musicians perched high on a rostrum on the left of the stage, dropping down occasionally to take part in the fun.
Lindzi was in her element as she sang lustily, cracked jokes and reduced the audience to tears as a mother who lost her son at Hillsborough.
Each of the ‘family’ recounted the careers of Liverpool managers throughout the years, legends like the immortal Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley (the UK’s most successful manager ever), Kenny Dalglish and right through to Jurgen Klopp.
We had a potted history of Anfield covering the two World Wars, the tragedies of Hysel and Hillsborough, the diabolical takeover by Hicks and Gillett, the rebuilding of the stadium and the current anticipation under Jurgen Klopp to the return of the glory years.
All this conducted at a non-stop pace with lots of humour, including a priceless Arthur Askey sketch and, best of all, continuous singing of favourite terrace chants sung to well-known tunes such as The Leaving of Liverpool, She’ll be coming round the mountain, etc with the occasional number with Merseyside connection like The La’s There she goes and a moving Black is the colour… reserved for Hillsborough.
Throughout it all, a huge backscreen showed great moments of the team in action over the years and at the end, Liverpool heroes, Alan Kennedy and Phil Neal, walked onstage holding aloft a replica of the European Cup as the packed audience waved their arms, and sang You’ll Never Walk Alone until you felt you were there on the Kop.
‘If only it was like this at Southport!’ *
The show can be seen at Liverpool's Royal Court Theatre until October 28.
Star Rating: 8 out of 10. More than a musical, a sporting legend.
* Ron Ellis has been the Southport F.C correspondent for the Champion for the last 20 years.