Anyone who’s taken a Bus into the City centre of Liverpool recently couldn’t have helped themselves noticing arguably the biggest Theatre poster known to humanity fronting the Royal Court Theatre ( above ). It’s bigger than P Diddys flat screen . Hell it’s even bigger than Simon Cowells belt buckle. It advertises HOPE the latest offering from prolific writer and actor Scot Williams who first cut his teeth writing for the theatre at the tender age of 19 with ‘Growing Young’ at the Liverpool Playhouse. Since then he’s also notched up several film roles (He played Pete Best in Backbeat y’know ) and several award winning dramas including Liverpool One in which two of Hopes co-stars Mark and Samantha (Scouse and Spouse) Womack also starred. But this heralds a first for Scot at the Royal Court having aired his previous works virtually next door at the Playhouse . I could tell though when I met him he knew exactly what he was doing and just where he wanted to be ;
” I liked what they were attempting at the Royal Court and what they’d done with the Theatre and I also think it’s audience are the right type for a play of this kind”
Also delighted to secure a cast of Mark Womack, Rene Zagger and Samantha Womack , having worked previously with all three he saw this as a bonus but when pressed noted one obvious Challenge :
” They’re my mates and they’re just as experienced as me if not more and I have to tell them what to do but it’s all good”
Of these mates, co-star and ex Bill actor Rene Zagger echoed Scots sentiments and was enthusiastic about working on the Liverpool stage .He had this to say to me during a recorded interview ( with his kind permission);
Everybody involved in the production appeared relaxed and ready for its Liverpool premier and equally eager to leave it’s audience satisfied . The play itself promises to be dark , funny, intriguing with enough suspense to fill it’s Cowell Buckle sized poster. And having now seen it I had to agree. Each of the performances were very well executed The dialogue was quite intellectual at times yet true to each character and the verbal sparring between Norm ( Womack) and Guy (Zagger) was akin to a modern day Laurel and Hardy , a running feature in the play used almost as a score to set up each scene. For the short times that Hope appeared her impact was tenfold and it only exacerbated the intriguing elements of the story as you couldn’t help but be fixed on all the seductive charms of Samantha Womacks Character . Scot Williams natural delivery as Victor gave us some of the funnier lines but the relationship between Norm and Guy was for me the meat in the sandwich . Complex , witty and often brutal they kept the audience guessing as to who would be affected most at the end by Hopes secret .
Hope Runs from 6th March – 30th March
Comparing this year of mine to a film with the Movie industry constituting my life thus far then I’d say Ive had an ‘ Avatar ‘ on my hands or for those with whom I’ve now became aquainted ‘ Mr Bean.’ Having this Romantic affair with Lady Liverpool and her talented family has made me determined to contribute and introduce myself to elements within the Arts that are a long haul flight away from my comfort zone. I can’t very well urge you all in my previous blog to roll the dice and try something new if I wasn’t at all prepared to run alongside or even a little further on.
So with this in mind I set myself a challenge . To try something where the chances are I’m much more likely to fail than succeed . This may seem ridiculous but to be honest the pay off in attempting this alone will be enough . The challenge set is STAND UP COMEDY. This isn’t because I think I’m particularly funny (I know I make my children laugh but this is usually unintended and at my own expense) but more about not having it on the list of ‘ Oh I wish I’d tried……’ That very list I know you’ll have yourself and that which I feel on a mission to help all who read this eradicate. You see there is really nothing at stake for me here. Nothing to prove to myself and certainly no credibility to lose and it’s in knowing this that I’ve avoided cradling my head in my hands and squatting Basil Fawlty style in the corner of my living room muttering ” What the Hell have you done you receding Ginger Idiot. He’s from Faifield you know! ”
So the wheels are now set in motion.
Emails to various open mic venues sent and replies both eagerly and nervously awaited and I have to admit, stand or fall I couldn’t recommend taking the trip to discomfort city enough.There’s every chance that next year may well be a ‘ Police Academy II ‘ year for me as far as sequels go but as luck would have it , I looked at the label on my new coat and it does state ‘ tomato resistant ‘
For all thats going on click http://culture.org.uk/
Testing the water comedy night review,Crown Hotel Pub 6th May
After Saturdays disappointing F.A. cup result I found myself needing a reason to be cheerful and as I didn’t feel like ” something good to study, phoning up my buddy or being in my nuddy ” I opted for route one of the cheer up motorway. Stand up Comedy.
As luck would have it The Crown Hotel in Lime street were hosting a comedy night courtesy of Hot Water Comedy Club who are normally based at ENVI in Fleet street. “Testing the Water” was the name of the event and it promised the best of the up and coming comedy talent of Liverpool.Knowing it was an open mike and that the comics would be “learning their trade” didn’t put me off. In fact in a sad and sick way I would have been equally entertained by one of them dying on stage so win win all round really.
The evening was hosted by its resident m.c. Paul Smith and I’ll give him credit for his skill at engaging himself with the audience.Not entirely hilarious but was a steady enough hand that sailed the ship. By the end of his introduction the crowd were well aware of what to expect and I must admit at that point my previous sadistic demeanour had changed to that of a willing and hopeful spectator.
Eight acts were listed roughly having about ten minutes each (once or twice this may have felt more like an hour but hey they’re learning their trade). Notable performances were by Davey Ash who kicked the proceedings off and who’s routine was tour de force in self-depreciation, Adam Rowe a 20 year Old lad from Dovecot who seemed as assured as any of those famous mock the week types and a comedy duo called Special Needs.Tony Special and Jeff Needs giving the crowd a very witty routine albeit unpolished based on their own obvious physical handicaps which was both entertaining and endearing.
At a price of £3 entrance ( six second class stamps) you were given a nights entertainment and also for me an insight into the world of the comedian and how much work it takes into making it look as easy as it does so I can’t help but admire these small acorns for their near stupidity at facing the fear and attempting to make us all witness the tree in early growth.I’m almost tempted in a bucket list kind of way to try it myself but I think the world of comedy has moved on from my talent show success at Presthaven Sands in 1981 as a thirteen year old Frank Spencer impersonator but you never know I might just put my macintosh and Beret in the dry cleaners and give it one last whoopsey on the carpet.
For open mic comedy events visit