‘A dark comedy with a relevant, current political theme’ – Margaret Connell, director
Scouse: A Comedy of Terrors is returning to the stage after almost 20 years since its debut at the Everyman Theatre in February 1997. This comedic play is being revived for four weeks at The Dome, Grand Central Theatre from Thursday 17th November to Thursday 15th December and so the timing is perfect, just before students go home for Christmas!
The play, originally written by critically acclaimed writer, Andrew Cullen and directed by Margaret Connell follows the members of a newly established Liverpool People’s Party which campaigns for Liverpool’s recognition as an independent republic outside of the UK. The UK government object and send in army to prevent this bid for independence. Both comedy and tragedy ensue. The play has been given new relevancy by recent current events and is arguably more topical today following the controversial Brexit vote than it was when it was first performed.
The play’s cast is made up of ten actors playing 30 different characters, all of whom are actually Scousers themselves, helping to make the play incredibly authentic. The main roles include Peter Washington as Tom; Jackie Jones as Kath, Katie King as Susan and James McMartin as Big Frank, a veteran performer of the play having also appeared in the original run of the show in 1997.
When speaking to members of the cast, Jackie Jones, Katie King, James Ledsham at a recent press launch, they told us that they placed an emphasis on the importance of the play being performed in Liverpool, in its ‘natural home’. This said, they believe that the universality of the message the play promotes means that anyone can engage with it, not just Scousers.
The play has the ability to resonate with individuals of all social classes and heritages due to the relatable political nature of its story and its emphasis on identity and pride. The cast were keen to highlight they play’s difference ‘to others being performed’, in it’s ambitious and somewhat controversial subject matter, whilst it is still fundamentally underpinned by the classic humour we come to expect from a comedy play.
In terms of the play’s production, Jones and Ledsham made note of the importance of each character in the play being each character being ‘shown an equal amount of respect’ in terms of visibility within the narrative, meaning that even minor characters within it are ‘interesting… not faceless’, something refreshing given the scale of the production.
Director Margaret Connell believes the play is ‘unique’ in subject matter and is incredibly politically relevant still, driving her towards this revival production. She hopes that people take from the play the dangers of radicalisation and political ignorance, whilst showing how easy it is to become isolated whilst pursuing such motivations.
A play of Scouse pride and unity it may well be on the face of things, but clearly ‘Scouse: A Comedy of Terrors’ is just that; a comedy poking fun at the terror of dangerous politics. This is sure to be an incredible production and it couldn’t be more current and topical if it tried!
Tickets are available from £7-£14 at www.scousetheplay.co.uk or via Box Office at 0151 703 0000
Words by Olivia Devereux-Evans and Sophie Craven