Theatre Review: The Leftovers, Unity Theatre, Liverpool

                 Image Source: Unity Theatre

Written By: Lauren Bell

Format: Musical
Genre: Comedy Drama
Date: May 1 2018
Location: Unity Theatre, Liverpool

The Leftovers is a new musical, presented by Sheep Soup Productions and Curve Leicester. It explores the idea of grief in a modern-day, natural setting. The whole production is set in a recording studio, where friends of the late Jodie meet up to try and record something in her memory. The whole show is centred around how each of the different characters deals with the grief of losing their friend, and is very true to a modern day scenario of losing someone you love. How are you supposed to react in these tragic events? Should you carry on, and only remember the good times? Or do you remember the bad times, because they were a part of their memory?

The show is carried by five brilliant performers, who manage to convey their characters and their emotions perfectly. Their relationships on stage, whether good or bad, are all very natural, and it’s easy to tell the friendships in real life with these performers; they are all so comfortable with their lines and with each other. The show was very natural and conversational, and even a few stumbles on lines and prop issues didn’t matter, as every character managed to bounce off each other and cover these well.

The singing and harmonies were spot on, with the voice of Yaz (Philippa Hogg) standing out throughout. Although the show is about a very serious issue, it is also very light-hearted, with the perfect comic timing of Jim (Ben Welch) and Russ (Tim Murphy) who manage to diffuse some of the more hard-hitting scenes. Hayley (Sarah White) and Angie (Wreh-Asha Walton) are also brilliant vocalists, and the blend of the five performers voices created some beautiful songs. It was also so nice to see the majority of the score being played by the actors themselves.

Although it only has a simple set and lights, that was all that was needed for this show and its naturalistic setting. Although a little on the long side, I found myself engrossed throughout, and so did the rest of the audience. Even though the theatre was only half-filled, there was laughter and cheering throughout, and there was a standing ovation at the end. Many people around me were tapping their feet along to the songs; it’s just a shame that more people weren’t there to enjoy it!

All in all, I think this is a brilliant musical which has great potential for the future. New musicals seem to struggle in the UK, with many people not being as open to them and preferring old classics, but this is definitely one not to be missed. If it was staying in Liverpool any longer, I would be sending my friends to go and see it! It’s one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while, and I wish the company the best of luck with it!

Overall Rating: 9.5/10 – Classic