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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

A Merry Ding Dong

Royal Court, Liverpool
December 11 – January 23

Author: Fred Lawless
Director: Bob Eaton
Producer: Royal Court
Cast Includes: Eithne Browne, Stephen Fletcher, Jake Abraham, Lindzi Germain, Stephen Aintree, Alan Stocks, Rachel Rae

Running Time: 2 hrs 15

Promo image for 'A Merry Ding Dong'.


From first to last, A Merry Ding Dong is a festive funfest filled with typical Scouse humour that can be placed anywhere and that is relentless in its ability to get the chuckles rising. The Royal Court in Liverpool is fast emerging as possibly the place to go if you want your ribs cracking from laughing and this new Fred Lawless play certainly keeps the tradition going.

 

Stephen Aintree and Jake Abraham are both fabulous as Chris and Noel, who have fallen out over an incident in Talacre that nobody dares mention, but when revealed is a genuine highlight.  Stephen Fletcher and Rachel Rae cement their blossoming reputations for fine acting by playing the children of the feuding fathers brilliantly whereas Eithne Browne as the seductive Holly and Lindzi Germain as the more boisterous Ivy in trying to keep the peace over Christmas, deliver two stand out performances that are only  trumped by that of Alan Stocks who, in all of his four roles but notably that of the Priest, is quite simply hilarious. In particular, the scene during the second half that takes place in Church is quite simply worth the admission price on its own.

There is many a Christmas hit parodied, the staging is terrific, especially the lights that festoon both houses, and Bob Eaton’s faultless direction keeps the whole thing moving at a pace that makes  A Merry Ding Dong possibly the Christmas show to see on Merseyside.

 Chris High

 

Image link: Royal Court Theatre  official website
www.royalcourtliverpool.co.uk


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
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