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Chris High Theatre reviews

BULLY

Birkenhead Town Hall Theatre
April 27 – May 12
Author: Brian McCann
Director: Brian McCann
Producer: Active Drama Company
Ann Marie Davies, Suzanne Collins, Kris Mochrie, Charlie Griffiths, Richard Pitt Mickey Finn, Mark Lacey.
2 hrs 10 mins

Brian McCann’s musical drama, adapted from his workshop encouraging awareness of social issues in schools, is powerful stuff. Fifteen-year old Julia (Davies) has ideas above her station. She wants to go to University, better herself and escape Birkenhead. Its certainly a plan, but one her one-time friend, Katie (Collins), doesn’t hold with. When Julia starts going out with Darren (Mochrie) – who Katie has had her eye on for days – things take a turn for the worse and Julia is made an outcast with nobody to turn to.

Bully:  promotional image

BULLY


Suzanne Collins, Ann Marie Davies and Kris Mochrie are faultless in their roles, segueing into their teenage character parts with ease. Mickey Finn, too, is a joy to watch as he takes on a number of roles, including that of a wizened OAP who wants the kids gone from her doorstep. Yet it is Charlie Griffiths and Richard Pitt, playing Kelly and Smitho respectively, who steal the show by giving performances packed with energy.

Bully is an enjoyable yet thought provoking show that should be taken anywhere and everywhere. The message is clear from the outset defined with a wonderful array of songs adding to the poetic narration of Mark Lacey, but does not really get hammered home until the second half when the recorded accounts of genuine bullying victims are played and it is revealed that all of those speaking have committed suicide. If Bully can prevent just one more child having to suffer, then Brian McCann can be justly proud of his achievement.


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