Following the tumultuous year that Britain has had following on from Brexit, the country is divided and deeply confused.
Fittingly, Scouse: A Comedy of Terrors explores a world where the inhabitants of Liverpool want independence from the rest of the country. The play follows one of the main figures behind the campaign for a Republic of Liverpool, Tom (Peter Washington), alongside his family and friends who all get caught up in the ensuing drama in one way or another. Tom becomes embroiled in deeply complicated and violent clashes between the police and the rest of Liverpool; beginning as a simple riot, the violence escalates into a bloodshed which sees countless individuals being killed. Tom’s family life and the daily life of many other Liverpudlians is shaken – they cannot go one day without hearing of another individual being killed.
Scouse, written by Andrew Cullen, is equally innovative as disturbing. The play is comical and at times deeply confusing, but overall presents a clear and serious message- Liverpool is proud of its culture and history. The play has a relatively small cast but effectively uses all the space on stage and gives the audience the illusion that there are more cast members and more individuals involved in the drama. Notably, the relationships between all the characters are powerful. A remarkable mother and son relationship is evoked through the characters of Kath and Kath’s son, a beautiful mixture of humour and sadness. In this way, we see the real ups and downs of family life.
To counteract the heavy nature of the play, there are a number of humourous scenes such as a scene set in a club, where Tom’s daughter Susan (Katie King) finds a rather geeky man to dance with her and her friend. The first half of the play is dark but is peppered with comedic references, whereas the second half is terrifying as the gradual descent from a tongue-in-cheek utopian to a full-scale dystopian horror is explored. Scouse makes consistent reference to significant historical Liverpudlian events which furthermore allows you to learn amazing facts about the city while you enjoy the play.
The defining message of this play is to be careful what you wish for. Bring tissues, if you are going, as you’ll laugh and cry: even non-Scousers will be touched by this performance and feel a sense of pride in living in this great city. Scouse is deeply moving, terrifying and amazing at the same time; we highly recommend it.
Scouse: A Comedy of Terrors is on show at The Dome, Grand Central Hall until the 15th December.
For more information and to purchase tickets please visit: http://www.scousetheplay.co.uk/
Words by Olivia Devereux-Evans and Sophie Craven