Written By: Mark Armstrong
Date: September 30 2018
Location: Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
The Royal Court Theatre has been an integral part of Liverpool’s cultural identity stretching back to 1938. In that time, both the city and the world as a whole have changed, and the Royal Court has evolved with the times, which included a major multi-part renovation earlier this decade. The Royal Court of today both celebrates its rich heritage while delivering top-quality stage entertainment that will have audiences laughing and gasping for many more years to come.
But that doesn’t mean that the Royal Court can’t celebrate its past, and so we were honoured to cover the venue’s 80th Birthday Bash. It felt like a grand occasion was in prospect, and so it proved with a night of variety that covered the entire scale. The evening saw laughter, drama, music, emotion, gratitude and more, as we were treated to extracts from some of the theatre’s more recent productions. These included Scouse Pacific; Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels; Our Day Out; The Scouse Nativity; and The Royal. Between the greatest hits compilation, we had performances or cameos from a huge number of performers, and the incredibly varied cast included the following:
Les Dennis; Andrew Schofield; Sam Avery; Jake Abraham; Roy Brandon; Eithne Browne; The Christians; Jamie Davies; Pauline Daniels; Paul Duckworth; Davy Edge; Caitlin Evans; Michael Fletcher; Stephen Fletcher; Lynn Francis; Olivia Galvin; Lindzi Germain; Jamie Hampson; Jasmine Joel; Brittany McKay-Ellison; Lauren McQueen; Abigail Middleton; Mark Moraghan; Paislie Reid; Jack Rigby; Hayley Sheen; Angela Simms; Alan Stocks; Keddy Sutton; Francis Tucker; James Tudor; Glenn Wild; Stephen Williamson; Lenny Wood; Rachel Wood; and The Royal Court Community Choir.
It reads like a who’s who of the local theatre scene, almost the scouse equivalent of a Royal Variety Show line-up, and it is a rarity to see so much home-grown talent on one stage in the very same night. All involved seemed glad to be there, and Royal Court regulars will have been particularly pleased to see the likes of Schofield, Abraham and Germain, who often appear in the regular shows tailored perfectly for Liverpudlians.
The theme of the evening was celebration, as well as nostalgia for the past years of Royal Court history, and with a focus on what is to come as we move into 2019 and beyond. Twenty years from now, the Royal Court will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and it will be a delight to see what the venue achieves between now and 2038. The past has been sparkling, but the future looks just as bright.
Overall, this evening definitely lived up to the occasion, as the Royal Court Theatre put on a highly entertaining and unforgettable 80th Birthday Bash.
Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding