Writer: Lindzi Germain and Angela Simms
Director: Cal McCrystal
Swinging back like a wrecking ball into Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre this week is Liverpool-based comedy The Royal written by and starring Lindzi Germain and Angela Simms. The play is set in the Royal Liverpool University Hospital – a place that most people in and around the city will have either been a visitor or patient of and will have a story or two to tell about their experience! The hospital is waiting to be demolished as the new Royal is being built and this play centres around the last remaining ward on site, Ward 8x.
Germain opens the show by introducing fellow cast members and she has the audience laughing straight from the off. Her interactions with the audience continue during act one and she often breaks the fourth wall, which you wouldn’t usually expect, but it works perfectly.
The curtain rises and reveals what can only be described as an incredible set, designed by Mark Walters. The attention to detail is fantastic and it is as if they have lifted two floors from the actual hospital and placed them onto the stage. Credit must be given to the tech team as the special effects are superb throughout and there are many surprises along the way that you don’t always see coming.
The last remaining staff members of Ward 8x are loveable nurse Florence (Angela Simms), tea lady Teresa (Lindzi Germain) and sex-mad Mo from the mortuary (Lynn Francis). These three powerhouse women command the stage – each bringing something different to their character’s story which makes them relatable, while all remaining hilarious throughout.
An old flame is reignited when Florence comes face to face with hunky Irish demolition man Patrick O’Shaugnessy (Danny O’Brien) and we see a further blossoming romance between Mo and scout leader patient Walter Bush (Alan Stocks). These two pairings create some of the biggest laughs, especially Francis and Stocks who often give the audience more than they bargained for visually!
There are lots of heartfelt moments as the play comes to an end and the friendships between the three female staff members of Ward 8x are evident as they try to escape the building that is falling down around them. With a final hurrah from the fabulous Mrs Llewelyn (Joe Matthew-Morris) the play concludes with the full cast singing and dancing to the 70s classic “Disco Inferno”. It is here that we see Germain is not just a talented writer and actress but she is also incredible vocally too!
If you are looking for an evening’s entertainment that will leave your face hurting from laughing then this is the show to see! In the words of Mo… It’s “bucking” brilliant!!
Runs until 9 April 2022