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Council Depot Blues

Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool

November 1 – November 29

Author: Dave Kirby
Director: Bob Eaton
Producer: Royal Court Theatre
Cast Includes: Andrew Schofield, Lindzi Germaine, Phil Hearne, Paul Broughton, Jake Abraham, Roy Brandon, Howard Gray, Shaun Mason.
Running Time: 2 hrs 20 mins.

Image: Promo image for 'Council Depot Blues'.

Stan’s got the Council Depot Blues, good and proper. It’s his last day on the job as a Council Excrement Eradication Department worker – a house clearer to you and me –a day he’s dreamed of for forty-odd years. Now its here though, Stan’s not as happy as he thought he’d be. He’s going to miss his loyal mates. They’d never go behind his back. Especially not if they found something worth a few bob on his last day.


Dave Kirby, unlike poor old Stan, must be a happy man at the moment; the only playwright from Liverpool to have had three plays performed in Capital of Culture year. With Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels, co-written with Nicky Allt, and Lost Soul already under his belt, his newest play, drawn from his own experiences of working for the Liverpool Council, has been eagerly anticipated. And rightly so. Dave Kirby certainly knows how to write but, of course, no matter how good the script, a play needs a decent cast to make it work and outside the usual suspects of Andrew Schofield, Lindzi Germaine and Roy Brandon – who all deliver their usual exceptional performances – it falls to Shaun Mason playing the wannabe Drugs Baron Shorty with such sublime timing to almost steal the show.

Excellent too is the philandering Fitzy played by Jake Abraham who is the personification of despair as he eagerly searches for a way to escape the literal rat run he works in. Howard Gray – who is also the Musical Director of some fabulous songs all played and performed by the cast – also delivers a tremendous performance as the haughty Norman.

What Kirby does so well is understand his audience and even when some of what transpires becomes a little predictable they still laugh long and hard, which is surely the object of the exercise.

Backed by another superb set designed by the incomparable Billy Meall and with more tight Direction from Bob Eaton, its hardly surprising Dave Kirby is such a happy man, having written another winner that’s set fair to run and run.

Chris High.

Council Depot Blues review - July 2010 by Chris High


Image link: Royal Court Theatre  official website



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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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