October 4, 2008

Theatre Reviews

By Michael Coveney; Alice Jones; Lynne Walker

The Walworth Farce

NT: Cottesloe, London SE1

What was going on, exactly, in those cramped rooms where Josef Fritzl imprisoned his own daughter? How can such things happen without anyone knowing? This play by Enda Walsh might help to explain why so many of us create alternative, secret narratives to run in tandem with the real world. Dennis Conway stars as a crazed father figure who compels his two grown sons to constantly re-enact their childhood. To 29 Nov Michael Coveney

The Girlfriend Experience

Royal Court, London SW1

The idea behind this play, according to the writer, Alecky Blythe, is to debunk the perception of prostitutes as either crack- ridden streetwalkers, high-class escorts or pimped victims of human trafficking. Instead, it offers the real-life experiences of a Bournemouth parlour, run by mature "ladies" with all the mundanity of a seaside B&B. The cast, which includes Beatie Edney, deliver the most engaging of performances.To 11 Oct Alice Jones

The Glee Club

Library Theatre, Manchester

A kind of Full Monty meets Brassed Off, The Glee Club explores the complex characters and disintegrating lives of six miners in 1962 who sing in an a capella group on the circuit of northern working men's clubs. Roger Haines's robust production underlines the men's interdependence and the singing is pretty good, especially Robert Emms's light tenor. The Glee Club offers a glimpse of a past that is already alien, even shocking, history. To 18 Oct Lynne Walker


Everyman Theatre, Liverpool

It could have been a mawkish evening: a "rockumentary" set in the late 1970s around a dingy Liverpool dive, called Eric's, interwoven with an account of one man's fight against cancer. In fact, this musical turns out to be a highly effective piece of narrative theatre, generously laced with sounds from the influential catalyst of punk and post-punk, skilfully created by Mark Davies Markham, the man who wrote the Boy George musical, Taboo. To 11 Oct LW

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