Writer: Fred Lawless
Director: Bob Eaton
Reviewer: Stephanie Rowe
You are always in for a festive giggle or twenty when attending the Royal Court’s festive production and thankfully “Little Scouse of the Prairie” (the third Christmas show for writer Fred Lawless) is no different.
It is the annual Christmas Karaoke at St Nicks club in Speke, and this year’s Wild West Hoedown theme is sure to bring much merriment and laughter to the locals, but when the landlord of the pub arrives and orders the tenants to pay their arrears by the stroke of midnight, everything is thrown into turmoil. How are they going to achieve this? Poor Donna-Marie is so devastated that she needs to lie down, and thus in a typical fairytale manner are story begins. Donna-Maries dreams take her rootin’ and tootin’ back to the western frontier where the answers to her impending problem can be found amongst the many twists and turns of Fred Lawless’ wild imagination.
As Donna-Marie, Rachel Rae shows not only is she hugely talented but also has the voice of an angel, here she steals the show with her off-guarded performance and facial expressions. Royal court regular Andrew Schofield playing Sam Cisco was, as usual his highly hilarious self – his cowboy dancing and one witty one liners being a constant highlight . Lindzi Germain, Paul Duckworth, Stephen Fletcher and Alan Stocks gave confident and perfectly pitched performances with strong comical support they help shape the show into one of the most original comic plays seen in recent times.
A clever stage design by Mark Walters sees the run down club transformed in front of our very eyes into the Western Saloon, albeit with a little too much smoke to hide the transition, whilst Ian Scott’s lighting design added to the tension and atmosphere considerably. The costumes were also in keeping with the theme from the showgirl costumes to the back-flapped long Johns.
If one had to be critical the show is let down by the team of unenthusiastic and lacklustre dancers, it is clear that Chroeographer Beverley Norris-Edmunds had some brilliant ideas, however the execution leaves little to be desired, especially two dancers who were so horrendously out of time, it made them rather farcical.
However “Little Scouse on the Pairie” is a quirky, laugh-a-minute, feel good adult comedy and Director Bob Eaton has once again managed to bring to the Royal Court a show that will have you “Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ ” on home and laughing all the way. Make sure this festive serving is firmly placed in your diaries.