Homebaked The Musical
Royal Court Liverpool.
On regional TV news around the end of the programme there is often a feature on some local charity or good work done by an individual.
This is done, I’m sure, to make us feel good, after what is usually a stream of constant bad news.
Homebaked is one of those feel good true stories. It is about the struggles of an Anfield community lobbying the council, and asking them to regenerate the area in a different way.
The closure of Mitchell’s bakery, an old and well-loved shop in the heart of Anfield, is of course at the heart of this story. The folks at the Royal Court, this time in conjunction with Red Ladder Theatre Company, know how to squeeze every last drop of laughter and pathos out of this type of subject.
A superb cast led by Pauline Daniels as Annie and Paul Broughton, playing Frank, send us off into the world of bread making and pies of every description.
With the shop being so close to both Anfield and Goodison Park, there is plenty of banter, rivalry jokes about football and those delicious Shankly Pies.
Slapstick humour, good singing and a large cast, featuring the Homebaked Community Choir, make this as ever at the Royal Court a fun night out.
Steph Lacey, playing wheelchair bound Astrid, is another star of the show and young actor George Jones, as Tony, (referred to as Poldark at one stage) give excellent performances.
Howard Gray plays Trevor, a beer drinker who randomly strolls on stage to deliver rather silly and unconnected jokes is a real addition to the show.
The Homebaked bakery has gone on to become part of Homebaked Community Land Trust and is doing much to help the local area loaf by loaf and brick by brick.
This new musical is written by Boff Whalley and directed by Rod Dixon. It has good songs, which make an interesting slant on a subject close to the heart of many a Scouser.