Support Your Local Library: The Rock Opera! Review – Bombed Out Church, Liverpool

Support Your Local Library The Rock Opera
Image Source: Liverpool Theatre Festival

Show: Support Your Local Library: The Rock Opera!
Event: Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works
Location: Bombed Out Church, Liverpool
Date: Saturday July 17 2021
Time: 21.00
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Age Rating: 12+
Performers: Keith Carter & Ruth Cockburn
Production Company: Black Liver
Writers: Keith Carter & Ruth Cockburn
Director: Mikey Young

This is our theatre review for Support Your Local Library: The Rock Opera! at Liverpool‘s Bombed Out Church. Now, this is the eleventh show of Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works 2021. So, let’s take a look at Support Your Local Library: The Rock Opera!

Support Your Local Library: The Rock Opera!


We meet Ruth Cockburn and Keith Carter, who come from Liverpool and Blackpool respectively. Hence their group name Black Liver, since “Blackpool” is already a thing, which would raise big laughs. From there, the duo would explain the purpose of the show: an exploration of the value of libraries. And one in particular, as we hear about the main library in Little Hope. Now, as the name of the town suggests, the residents are somewhat lacking in education and positivity. And the library serves as a particular sore spot, almost to the point of it closing.

But then a new librarian arrives, and they quickly shake up the town with innovative learning resources and promotional tactics. Amongst these are podcasts and Tik-Tok videos to emphasise how useful the library can be. Nevertheless, the library’s problems aren’t quite behind it, because a rising mob rebels against the facility. But at that point, it’s up to the townspeople to stand up for this vital learning tool. All of this comes via a story of song, satire and humour that combines rock music with an operatic style.


This show is so much fun due to the comedy and charisma of Ruth and Keith. Not to mention the chemistry that they share throughout this show. Whether it’s the amusing lyrics, the observational one-liners or the deadpan delivery of their tales, there are lots of laughs here. And we also hear about how these would first meet in the library, which partly explains their appreciation. Mind you, both would have other strong memories of their library. For Ruth, it was about learning to read despite her dyslexia. Meanwhile, for Keith, it was about attending meetings as part of a Prince fan club!

Along the way, they explain the true value of a library, even during the current digital technology age. Because a library offers everything that one could require when wishing to learn. And a book can offer everything that a phone, a tablet, a videogame or social media can deliver. Then, we also get some unique satire that further emphasises the points that this duo make. And not forgetting how the town of Little Hope benefits primarily from having a library as its crown jewel. For it allows its locals to take on an extra level of self-confidence and belief. Indeed, the show makes one particularly valuable point to never be afraid to ask questions. Because only by asking questions can you get answers, and a library serves a great role in fulfilling this purpose.


I would highly recommend that you sample Support Your Local Library: The Rock Opera! It’s a show that has some serious messages, though it never takes itself too seriously. Instead, it’s hugely entertaining from start to finish and would be perfect for school classes to watch. So, keep an eye out for this show if it comes to a theatre near you. You will be glad to see this show.


Target Audience: 10+
Content: Infrequent Minor Language
Recommendation?: Yes

Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding

Support Your Local Library: The Rock Opera! 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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