ComedyDramaNorth West

The Trial of Tomlinson Versus Boardman – St George’s Hall, Liverpool

Writer: Stan Boardman
Reviewer: John Roberts


“When I looked at it on paper it looked shit,” remarked comedian Stan Boardman as he thanks the audience for coming along to his self-penned vanity project at St George’s Hall in Liverpool. Sadly the physical production doesn’t fair much better than the paper version.

In the courtroom of St George’s Hall, Judge John (who seemingly doesn’t know how to spell anything), is presiding over case number 45 – (Ricky) Tomlinson verses (Stan) Boardman. Tomlinson is suing Boardman for £60 – the monies he gave Boardman to feed his dog (which he claims he never did) while he was on Holiday. Boardman is counter-suing for £3000 for electricity theft over the years by Tomlinson plugging his Flymo into Boardman’s supply and that, ladies and gentlemen of the jury,is the case.

This hour-long “comedy court case” doesn’t do itself any justice. The previously advertised star Ricky Tomlinson pulled out of the project with two days to go, citing filming commitments. The majority of the show’s cast are still script in hand – which can obviously be put aside for last minute replacement Michael Starke – who is still playing Tomlinson. Although a few small textual tweaks meant he could have played himself rather than having to rely on over the top caricature’s of the original actor. An almost inaudible Stan Boardman mumbles his way through the performance leaves you with a bitter taste especially when tickets cost £20 a piece – the equivalent being a top price ticket at The Liverpool Everyman.

If that wasn’t enough to make you sentence this show to hard time, then Boardman’s hashing of ancient jokes and sprinklings of racist (mainly at the expense of Indians and the Polish) and sexual jokes will add the icing to the cake. – I won’t bring into evidence the scene that was played two pages too early… how that can even happen when so many scripts are scattered around is truly baffling.

There has clearly been an element of jumping on the current trend of all things criminal with the production, and the idea in itself isn’t a bad one, it’s just poorly executed and lacks the professionalism one would hope for when paying so much money for a ticket. In keeping with the theme of the show.

I hereby sentence The Trail of Tomlinson Versus Boardman to solitary confinement for the rest of eternity.

Runs until 15March 2016 | 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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