Now! Review – Bombed Out Church, Liverpool

Now!
Image Source: Liverpool Theatre Festival

Show: Now!
Event: Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works
Location: Bombed Out Church, Liverpool
Date: Saturday July 17 2021
Time: 14.30
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Age Rating: 10+
Performers: Alice Laybourne, Anne Taft, Lauren Heywood, Emma Bispham, Davy Edge & Luke Seddon
Production Company: In The Now Productions
Writers: Anne Taft & David Paul
Director: Anne Taft & David Paul

This is our theatre review for Now! at Liverpool‘s Bombed Out Church. Now, this is the ninth show of Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works 2021. So, let’s take a look at Now!

Now!

Synopsis

Now! has a simple focus. Oftentimes, we worry about the future, or we relive the past by reliving the good times and bad. But this show emphasises the message to focus primarily on what is happening at this present moment. Furthermore, the Coronavirus pandemic is an obvious example of upcoming plans going by the wayside with minimal notice. Not to mention the separation from family and friends over the past 16 months leading to people often going down memory lane. However, it’s important not to lose sight of the present, as that’s the only moment providing any guarantees.

So, with the year 1978 as our initial setting, we meet Sally and Rose. A holiday to the Isle Of Man unwittingly sees both fall pregnant after separate one night stands. Initially, there’s comedy and excitement in the air about their surprising pregnancies. But over time after the births (Sally has a daughter, Isla, in honour of the location of her creation; Rose has twins, Saturday and Rizzo), the cracks start to appear. And sadness begins to enter the stage as crucial life events alter people’s courses for the worst. All while Sally and Rose’s father remains as miserable and set in his ways as ever. Again, the message is clear: make the most of right now before it’s too late, as you never know what could happen.

Analysis

Almost the entire story comes through song, with some clever, catchy and emotional tunes carrying the production. I will say that the opening number Knocked Up is my favourite, with it drawing huge laughs from the audience. However, it’s the more poignant tunes from later on in the show that have the strongest meaning. Those are the moments that grip the audience the most when it comes to grabbing and maintaining their interest. Not to mention that the performances are very believable, adding to the pull of the heartstrings from such scenes.

Additionally, a letter from the writer on all of the seats notes how this is a stripped-down version of a longer show. Therefore, this is merely a snapshot of the longer production, with this one-hour portion cramming in the key moments. Based on this, I would like to see the show in its full form further down the line. I would assume that there are more striking songs, possibly more characters, and certainly more comedic moments. But whether it’s 60 minutes, 150 minutes or something in between, one thing remains clear. This show is all about making the most of right now and not wasting time to achieve what you want. Because if you do, it may be too late, or perhaps other events remove your opportunity to do so.

Summary

Now! is one of the more memorable shows from the Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works. It has an easy-to-follow story, a rapid pace, relatable songs and strong performances. So, make sure to see this show in the future, but more than anything, live in the here and Now!

Notes

Target Audience: 10+
Content: Infrequent Sex References
Recommendation?: Yes

Overall Rating: 8.5/10 – Excellent

Now! Further Links

Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works 2021 continues at the Bombed Out Church until Sunday July 18 2021. So, to purchase tickets, please click here.

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