Show: Our Lady Of Blundellsands
Location: Everyman Theatre, Liverpool
Date: Friday September 17 2021
Running Time: 150 Minutes
Age Rating: 16+
Performers: Josie Lawrence, Joanne Howarth, Gemma Brodrick, Nathan McMullen, Nana Amoo-Gottfried & Mickey Jones
Production Company: Everyman Theatre
Writer: Jonathan Harvey
Director: Nick Bagnall
This is our theatre review for Our Lady Of Blundellsands at Liverpool‘s Everyman Theatre. Now, this sees the return of the show that was just underway prior to the closure of UK theatres in March 2020. And it’s finally back in front of full audiences. So, let’s take a look at Our Lady Of Blundellsands!
Our Lady Of Blundellsands
Want to know a secret? Have you heard? Well, this is a fantastically funny comic drama with some real twists. And it’s all about families, fantasties, honesty and also lies. Not forgetting that it shows how heartbreaking that great comedy can truly be.
So, it’s clear that Sylvie is basically unravelling. But after being frozen in time at her house in Blundellsands, she suddenly enters an amazing fantasy world. For instance, her sister Garnet is now older, wiser and wearier, judging by shopping lists and tired love. Furthermore, Garnet would previously fan the flames of Sylvie’s fantasies. Otherwise, they could end up anywhere!
However, now the entire family will be in Liverpool for a birthday. And Garnet has a secret to share for herself. So, there will be a party, but it may not be pretty. Therefore, welcome to a family which is more messed up than anybody’s – even yours!
This story has many layers, some of which slowly unravel as we head closer to the climax. It’s fun to see a show that is both relatable for local references and unfathomable for the family’s sheer craziness. And that’s a positive, because it allows for surreal situations that grab the crowd’s attention throughout. And yet there are situations that everybody could relate to, not least the handling of mental health struggles and physical health diagnoses. As such, there is a good amount of emotional drama, especially with the acting performances of Josie Lawrence and Joanne Howarth. Their characters clearly have a strong bond, one that is heartbreaking to see under the pressure of snapping. And it’s most likely this element that attendees will remember when they look back upon this production.
However, there was also plenty of humour, some aspects darker than others, but with all generating big laughs inside the Everyman. For starters, Josie was splendid as Sylvie. Indeed, she’s a former actress living years, if not decades, in the past. In her world, Z-Cars cameos still matter, and it’s hilarious how she hams it up to convince everyone that she’s still famous. Joanne as Garnet and Nathan McMullen as Lee Lee have their moments, though their scenes are usually more serious. Meanwhile, the banter between Frankie (Nana Amoo-Gottfried) and Mickey-Joe (Mickey Jones) is fantastic. In particular, their surprise costume changes and the depth of their sniping often draws howls and tears of laughter. And then there’s Gemma Brodrick as Alyssa, whose one-liners and frank observations would attract major reactions. That’s partly because, in this bizarre family dynamic, she’s as normal as anyone could be.
It’s been 18 months since this show first hit the Everyman stage, but the long wait for its return was well worth it. This is one of those rare shows that has the ability to make people laugh, cry, think and ponder. And with strong performances all-around along with fabulous writing courtesy of Jonathan Harvey, it’s a very memorable production. Make sure to see this during its current run, as it’s a show that you won’t soon forget.
Target Audience: 16+
Content: Frequent Strong Language
Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding
Our Lady Of Blundellsands Further Links
Our Lady Of Blundellsands runs at the Everyman Theatre until Saturday October 9 2021. So, to purchase tickets, please click here.
Read our previous review of this show by clicking here.
Did you see Our Lady Of Blundellsands? Let us know by leaving a comment below!