12 – The Rainbow Monologues Review – Bombed Out Church, Liverpool

12 - The Rainbow Monologues
Image Source: Liverpool Theatre Festival

Show: 12 – The Rainbow Monologues
Event: Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works
Location: Bombed Out Church, Liverpool
Date: Sunday July 18 2021
Time: 17.00
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Age Rating: 18+
Performers: Pam Ashton, Terence Conchie, Holly Murphy, Taylor Illingworth & Adam Harbottle
Production Company: Grin Theatre Company
Writers: Wes Williams, Tim Norman, Simon James, Seb Fontaine, Jay Jonsonn & Jack Bell
Director: Dan Scott

This is our theatre review for 12 – The Rainbow Monologues at Liverpool‘s Bombed Out Church. Now, this is the thirteenth and final show of Liverpool Theatre Festival Of New Works 2021. So, let’s take a look at 12 – The Rainbow Monologues!

12 – The Rainbow Monologues


This show consists of twelve different LGBTQ+ monologues about fictional yet realistic experiences. Now, each of the stories has a different reader, as well as being the work of a different writer. So, Mats focuses on a wife who develops feelings for another woman at a yoga class. Meanwhile, Loose Arrangements tackles a husband who is actually heterosexual, only for his wife to come out herself. Then there’s The House I Live In, whereby a lesbian feels like the ghosts of her parents are present in the house. Fairy Tale is one gay man’s account of how his friendship and potential relationship was akin to a fairy tale.

Blocking Out The Sun, meanwhile, is a heartbreaking tale of an HIV-positive man who receives fierce criticism from his family. SEven crueller is St. Petersburg with the darkest tale, that of a gay man encountering horrific abuse in Russia. Another tough tale is String, with the account of a gay Jew who meets his death at a Nazi German concentration camp. In a different twist, Love’s Fairest takes a refreshing approach towards a homosexual side story to the classic Romeo & Juliet.

Then there’s Designs, which sees the speaker essentially adopt the role of Alexander McQueen. Meanwhile, Simon Says focuses on a relationship with another male that also happens to have Tourette’s Syndrome. Additionally, Fortune and Men’s Eyes acts as a backdrop to the tale of a male whose acting talents instigate his own sexual activity. Finally, there’s Liquorice Allsorts, with a woman purchasing these sweets for a special lady whose health is sadly failing.


The format of the show means that each tale stands out from one another. And though some are longer than others, each tackles a different aspect of life as a gay man or woman. Now, some of these are light and involve a fair amount of humour. But others handle the more serious and, at times, appalling consequences that LGBTQ+ people face. Indeed, some of the monologues draw great emotion, especially since they resemble what would actually happen. And, sadly, what still happens on occasion nowadays.

Additionally, all of the monologues are very carefully and tastefully written. It’s easy to sympathise with each of the characters, with some truly being victims. But we also appreciate the acting talents of the speakers, who truly bring these different stories to life. Holly Murphy, Alan Harbottle, Pam Ashton, Terence Conchie and Taylor Illingworth are utterly believable in their various roles. But the show does on a happy note as the five performers take a bow to the appreciation of the live audience.


This is a show that anyone who wishes to learn about LGBTQ+ life should watch. But it’s just as important for those who are LGBTQ+ themselves to check out. That’s because this is such a compelling, realistic and honest approach at twelve lives. Twelve lives that encounter some level of struggle. But twelve lives that ultimately have to ride out their personal storms to continue onwards. So, if this show returns at a theatre in your area in the future, this is must-see.


Target Audience: 18+
Content: Frequent Strong Language & Upsetting Themes
Recommendation?: Yes

Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding

12 – The Rainbow Monologues Further Link

Liverpool Theatre Festival returns at the Bombed Out Church from Wednesday September 1 to Sunday September 12 2021. So, to purchase tickets for any of those shows, please click here.

Did you see 12 – The Rainbow Monologues? Let us know by leaving a comment below!