Lost In Colomendy
Writer: Nicky Allt
Cast: Paul Duckworth, John Evans, Jane Hogarth, Alan Stocks & Liam Tobin
Director: Paul Goetzee
Designer: Alfie Heywood
Producer: Kevin Fearon
Review Date: February 5 2020
Performances: January 31 2020-February 29 2020
Location: Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
Duration: 150 Minutes incl. Interval
Age Rating: 16+
Lost In Colomendy at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre is guaranteed to have you belly-laughing with one gag followed by the next. Barry, Big H, Stan and Brian are suddenly extracted from their usual day-to-day work in B&Q and are informed they will be spending a weekend away at Colomendy. Orders such as these come from Helen Bell, a new manager who has been brought in from rival Wickes, and it certainly results in a brilliant evening at the theatre.
The show opens in the garden centre of a B&Q store in Speke. Lifelong friends Big H (John Evans), Stan (Liam Tobin) and Brian (Paul Duckworth) are on shift together. The trio share jokes, interjected with humorous innuendos as tannoy announcements. The workers share their fear over rumours the shop will be closing, putting jobs at risk. Helen Bell (Jane Hogarth), the new manager enters. The new manager explains she has been placed at the store in order to rescue it from closure. Helen begins by highlighting weaknesses in customer service, especially in the garden department. The staff are disinterested and prioritise other responsibilities. Barry (Alan Stocks), who is struggling through a divorce from his Wigan wife is back at work the next day. An unstable Barry comically locks himself and Big H in the garden area whilst he climbs a ladder up onto a high shelf where he sits. He hangs an angry sign, aimed at B&Q, down from the shelf in protest. The other lads enter and try to persuade Barry to come down as Helen demands to be let in. Helen and Barry instantly recognise each other. Helen sympathises with Barry as he attempts to act cool. The audience learn Barry and Helen shared a brief childhood romance. Will old flames be reignited?
In a bid to get the four working well together, Helen books a compulsory team building exercise. After Stan has cleared the trip with his wife and Brian is persuaded by harmless blackmail on Helen’s part, the lads head back to Colomendy for the first time since 1978. A trip up Moel Famou will put friendships to the test.
Lost In Colomendy features great music selection. The production opens to Madonna’s Holiday, playfully creating a light-hearted atmosphere. An effective three scene revolving set shows the B&Q workers leave their comfortable working environment of the garden centre, arrive at a rickety dormitory before hiking up a rocky Moel Famau. A brand-new offering form Nicky Allt allows audiences to relate their own experiences of visiting Colomendy to the adventures of Helen and the lads. Comical comments surrounding the gruesome food contrasting with one of few perks, the tuck shop leave the audience in fits of laughter.
All members of the cast work extremely well together. Jane Hogarth (the only female) performs exceptionally conveying the various personalities of Helen Bell, from whipping her employees into shape with a somewhat strict approach to confiding in others therefore bearing her vulnerabilities. Hogarth builds upon the audience’s love for Helen as she is believed to have B&Q staff members best interests at heart. Many are more than pleased watching her find happiness in the final scenes.
A visit to the Royal Court Theatre to watch Lost In Colomendy is an ideal night out for those who fancy a little nostalgia combined with side-splitting banter. Moments of craziness will lead audience members to reminisce on their own wild memories of childhood holidays. Does a Colomendy ghost story continue to haunt you to this day?
Target Audience: Adults Aged 35+
Content: Frequent Strong Language, Moderate Sex References
Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding
Lost In Colomendy Tickets
Lost In Colomendy runs at the Royal Court Theatre until Saturday February 29 2020. To buy tickets, click here or call 0151 709 4321.