DramaNorth WestReview

Living With The Lights On – Lantern Theatre, Liverpool

Writer: Mark Lockyer
Director: Ramin Gray
Reviewer: Jamie Gaskin


Many actors like to hide behind their characters and keep their real selves in the closet.But in this powerful one-man show, Mark Lockyer comes clean about his personal struggles in a show that seesaws between comedy, sadness, drama and menace.

This autobiographical drama tells how this lauded Royal Academy of Drama and Royal Shakespeare Company actor falls from grace, drops off the radar but then pulls himself back into the limelight.

At The Lantern,Lockyereschews the auditorium preferring to use the bar space for his minimalist show. It’s very cosy with tea and biscuits on hand to lull you into a sense of homely security.But beware the man offering Hobnobs for he is in touch with The Devil – or at the very least fighting his own demons.

At first it seems like a macabre stand-up routine with the talented Mark leaping in and out of lots of voices – warders, agents, doctors, police and the put-upon girlfriends. Then you realise he is re-living a nightmare and such truths become deliciously uncomfortable.

There is a feeling that he has a compulsion to do this show to try to lay the ghosts of his past or is it as some kind of payback for his return to normality?

Holding the stage solo for 80-minutes straight through is no mean feat: Not once did the mask slip as he drove himself on through the sequences and coming out the other end dripping wet.This is good bare-knuckle fringe theatre which sucks in an audience like a pantomime but where The Good Fairy and the Wicked Witch are one and the same.More of The Good Fairy would have helped to balance the tension and make The Wicked Witch’s role even sharper.

Here we have a one-man show that invites you to tea, then grabs you by the throat and gives you a good shaking.

Runs until 11March2016 | Image: Contributed

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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