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Review: Lost Soul, Royal Court

Vinny Lawrenson Woods is taken back to the 70s and enjoys the laughs along the way

Published on September 11th 2008.


Review: Lost Soul, Royal Court

SUNDAY night is dressed up and retro night in Liverpool’s city centre, and Lost Soul returns to the Royal Court to once again take an insightful glance at this unique tradition.

If you’ve ever found yourself drinking in Coopers or The Liverpool, you’ll get this play. It’s about crossing that invisible line when you realise that you’re no longer part of the younger generation

Set to a background of Motown classics, Lost Soul follows two ageing couples with a passion for soul, and a nostalgic view of the 1970s. Hitting a certain age, they all start to look at their own lives and cling on to a shared past.

Writer Dave Kirby, co-writer of Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels, has a very perceptive view of Liverpool and its generation gap. The young and old drink in different parts of the city centre, the accent is different and so is the music, and on Sunday nights this difference can be spotted in all the pubs.

Andrew Schofield is at his blistering best as the caustic and irreverent Smigger, in a part that was obviously written for him. Married to Donna, played by Lindzi Germain, a woman worried about the future, Smigger has one foot firmly in the past. The banter between them is superb and is an illustration of Kirby’s writing at its strongest.

The only change to the 2007 cast is Gary Bleasdale who replaces Neil Caple to play Terry, the wronged husband of Donna’s sister, Pat, played by Eithne Browne who delivers a great performance as a confused and insecure woman making life-changing choices.

Out on Sunday as usual, but this time the boys decide to go to the younger part of town as they are trying to stay out of the way of the Yankee Bar’s lunatic bouncer, The Lion, played by a crazed and credible Danny O’Brien.

Emphasising the generational divide, we’re introduced to a young girl out on the town played by Schofield’s daughter, Jessica Schofield and a barman played by Lenny Wood, who starred in the highly acclaimed Hurricane Films feature, Under The Mud.

Director Bob Eaton, one-time artistic director at the Everyman, added some excellent touches, which included a drunken fight in slow-motion and great comedy set-piece with an address book.

A revolving set and stage switches the story very smoothly between town and Scottie Road and includes a flashback to the 1970s when the couples first met. This scene didn’t really offer anything new to the play and neither did the choice to have the characters talking directly to the audience, which felt lazy.

If you’ve ever found yourself drinking in Coopers or The Liverpool, you’ll get this play. It’s about crossing that invisible line when you realise that you’re no longer part of the younger generation. A coming of age story for the 45s and overs.

Lost Soul is a great piece of comedy writing. Although some of the one-liners are overdone it’s an intuitive and very funny piece of theatre. A must see.

8/10

Pictures: Dave Evans

culturesque says..“ lucky it wasn't a coming of age story for the over 40s or you'd be changing your regular next april....

Alex says..“ A pretty fair review. I agree that there were little bits that didn't work such as the solo talking to the audience and I would add to that one or two of the scenes with the bouncer in the club. HOwever, it did give us the opportunity to view the lovely Jessica Schofield.However, most of this play did work, more than suggested by one review I found from last year. Worth it alone for Andrew's altercation with the ironing board in Act 2. A moment you wish you could rewind a la Del Boy falling through the hatch.

Susan Donheime says..“

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