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
Over the years we’ve witnessed the recognition of several Liverpool born acting talents who now seem in that privileged ‘ here to stay’ position. The likes of David Morrisey, Jason Isaacs, Stephen Graham and Ian Hart are just a few that immediately spring to mind and they wouldn’t get you very far in a game of pointless. Being someone who once attempted to tread the boards in several school productions ( most notably my method approach as ‘third tree to the right’ and by method I mean completely wooden) I’ve always had a compulsion to entertain and to also delude myself that I am an entertainer. Not in the same ambitious style as the aforementioned stars but nonetheless with an equal amount of enthusiasm. My biggest obstacle though has been that as a forty something where I could go to scratch this itch and it’s only until now that I’ve found such a place.
Located at 36 Seel street The Liverpool Actors Studio Theatre as well as being a home for upcoming new productions is now holding both writing and acting workshops . Starting 26th February and led by it’s two experienced directors Cath Rice and Barry English, the classes aim to develop abilities in the likes of sight reading, characterisation, improvisation etc.. All the tools you’ll need to perform. I’m hoping that my ‘stan is laughing at me’ method becomes more the ‘Stanislavski ‘ within me. I’ve been to this theatre before and know just how inclusive of it’s audience it is during a production so to hopefully become involved in what it’s now offering is an exciting prospect and one I’m really looking forward to but I promise I will resist the temptation to wear my Huge scarf or Air kiss and I most definitely won’t mention ” The Scottish Play.”
For information on available classes and forthcoming productions click: