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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs


Liverpool Everyman Theatre
July 5 – August 4

Author: John Fay
Director: Rebecca Ross-Williams
Producer: Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse
Cast Includes: Colin Connor, Nick Chee Ping Kellington, Ricky Fearon, Kieran Lynn, Keddy Sutton, Zain Salim

Image: Promo image for 'Cruel Sea'.

Cruel Sea

Everyman Liverpool Playhouse official website

Image: Nick Chee Ping Kellington (Song)& Ricky Fearon (Bill)

Cruel Sea is an energetic, heartfelt, moving and humorous voyage through the memories of Merchant Seamen at sea during the dark days of the Second World War. But it is much more than this. Spliced with the real-life accounts of veteran seaman shown on two giant screens this dramatic and musical piece of work manages to capture the indomitable spirit and comradeship of these unsung heroes of the conflict. At times the audience laughed out loud, at others was moved to tears by the exploits of these men. Nostalgic as the piece is it never descends into sentimental. Even less celebrated than the deeds of the white seaman were those of the black and Chinese sailors aboard British merchant ships and the prejudice and injustice shown to these men is embodied here in the characters of Sam and Song, played by Zain Salim and the brilliant Nick Chee Ping Kelington.

Devised originally as a three year national reminiscence project by Age Exchange the memories and recorded documents of these indomitable men has been crafted into a marvellous work of theatre by talented Liverpool writer, John Fay.

The play follows the story of Dicky (Kieran Lynn) and Sam, two young Scousers who, following in the footsteps of their fathers, sat sail for the first time on the treacherous cargo run between Liverpool and the New York, a run menaced Nazi U-boats, then at the peak of their nefarious sinking of British merchant shipping.

Image: Ricky Fieron, Kieran Lynn, Zain Salim, Nick Chee Ping KellingtonThe cast is superb throughout, the set and lighting, sparse and inventive.

A must see.

Chris High

Tour Dates:

Everyman Theatre, Hope Street, Liverpool
Tuesday 5 - Saturday 7 July 7:45pm
Matinee: Friday 6 July 1:30pm

Rock Ferry High School
Monday 9 July 6:30pm

Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man
Thursday 12 July 7:30pm

Kirkby Unemployment Centre
Saturday 14 July 7:30pm

Halewood College, Halewood, Knowsley
Tuesday 17 July 7.00pm

St. John’s Community Centre, Holly Road, Liverpool
Friday 20 - Saturday 21 July 7.30pm

West Everton Community Centre, Everton Brow, Liverpool
Tuesday 24 - Wednesday 25 July 7.30pm

Cardinal Heenan, Honeysgreen Lane, Liverpool
Thursday 26 - Friday 27 July 7.30pm

St. Columbus Community Centre, Pinehurst Road, Liverpool
Saturday 28 July 4:30pm & 7:30pm

Merseyside Caribbean Centre
Monday 30 July 7:30pm

Kensington Fields Community Centre, Hall Lane, Kensington
Tuesday 31 July 7:30pm
Wednesday 1 August 2:30pm & 7:30pm

Marybone Youth and Community Centre, Fontenoy Street, Liverpool
Thursday 2 August 7:30pm

Eldonian Village Hall, Vauxhall
Friday 3 August 8:00pm

Unity Youth & Community Centre, Dove Street, Liverpool
Saturday 4 August 7:30pm

Tour tickets available from Box Office on 0151 709 4776
(excluding Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man)

Everyman Liverpool Playhouse 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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