FamilyNorth WestReview

Superbooty – Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

Writer/Director: Michael Chapman

Reviewer: John Roberts

Just in time for a half-term treat Michael Chapman, best known in Liverpool as the Epstein Theatre’s resident dame, brings his latest lycra-cladded alter-ego to the stage in her first full-length fun-filled family show.

Superbooty originally made a small debut to fix a plot hole in one of the Epstein’s pantomimes a few years ago and creator Chapman knew there was a bigger show for this larger than life character. Now let’s get the elephant out of the room straight away… Superbooty isn’t going to win any major theatrical awards, in fact, its plot is pretty ropey and sticks to the typical and predictable superhero formula, the set almost non-existent, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had.  Superbooty provides plenty for both children and adults to enjoy – it’s just a shame that it overstays its welcome by about half an hour.

The cast, on the whole, give enjoyable performances and what Superbooty does is provide a platform for some up-and-coming talent to really shine on stage.

Lewis Pryor gives everything in an engaging and energtic performance as superhero in waiting Kevin De Freitas. Bradley Thompson is camper than Christmas as the menacing and mincing Cliff Clifton and Harry Barnes showcases some stunning dance moves as Frankie Funkenstein. They are also matched by strong performances by Hayley Hampson as Michelle Burley, Kate Crossley as a time-travelling narrator and Tom Burroughs as a northern dance school owner Keith Burley. Pupils from AnamalDancee Company showcase some seriously slick moves and prove a real credit to the production.

Writer/Director and Superbooty herself, Michael Chapman gives his usual tongue-in-cheek performance and writes a script that provides plenty for young and old to enjoy – at one moment he quips “It’s not a pantomime” but some of his innuendo and groantastic gags have clearly come from the same mould. Chapman however does burden himself with a difficult job – hardly ever off stage, the production’s direction is a little on the weak side and with some snips here and there and some tighter direction – Superbooty could become a regular franchise on the Liverpool theatre scene and one that would probably be welcome by many.

Runs until 19 February 2017 | 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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