Play had audience 'laughing out loud' from start
By Ron Ellis
Yellow Breck Road by Gerry Linford
Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
THIS was an archetypal Scouse comedy in true Royal Court style to open the new season and it had the audience laughing out loud right from the opening line.
Eithne Browne aged up alarmingly well as Nora, helped by having both arms in Plaster of Paris. Lynn Francis was her daughter, Carol, married to Billy (Paul Duckworth). Their daughter, Dot, played by Gemma Brodrick, was suffering from a mild mental anxiety disorder. “A bag of nerves we called it,’ said Uncle Barry (Jake Abraham) who did a nice impersonation of R & B legend, James Brown.
The gags were topical. It was pointed out with great amusement that a brass bedstead on the stage was left over from when they did The Royal; mention was made of #MeToo; and Everton and Liverpool flags brought the expected reactions.
The family were in a state of chaos. Landlord Harry (Jamie Greer) wanted them out. As they argued about what to do, Barry fused the electrics and he found himself on the moon with Dot.
It was then that there came a dramatic change of emphasis. Barry found himself on the moon with Dot and they watched as the rest of the family appeared to them in their earlier life and played out the scenes showing how their characters had been moulded by events and helped them understand why things between them had panned out the way they had.
As they descended from the moon, they used their new knowledge to put things right with their relationships and, suddenly, it was not just a comedy anymore but a heartwarming love story, a love they had for each other and the importance of the family as a unit.
As in his celebrated Miracle on Great Homer Street, Gerry Linford’s went deeper than the average comedy, making the audience aware of deeper emotions and values. Directed by Bob Eaton, this was a show not to miss. It runs at the Royal Court until March 2.
Star Rating 7 out of 10. More than just a comedy.