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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

Here Be Monsters

The Unity Theatre, Liverpool
January 23 – January 26 (Then touring).

Author: Tim Hibberd
Director: Tim Hibberd and Ann Farrar
Producer: Rejects Revenge
Cast Includes: Liam Tobin, Sean Kearney
Running Time: 1 hr 25 mins

 

 

 

Image: Here Be Monsters Promotional image

Unity Theatre Liverpool - official website


“This play grew from an overwhelming desire to set a play in space,” says writer Tim Hibberd in his programme notes. “I don’t know why. I’m not too sure that I have.”

Well, given that Here Be Monsters is set in a Sherlockian flat owned by an even more Sherlockian – if rubbish – inventor, Dr Frederick Watt (Tobin) aided by grocer Robert Evans (Kearney), then the answer is probably no to the last part, but full marks for trying.
It is Victorian England and treading boldly in the footsteps of Jules Verne, H.G.Wells and Laika the dog, the two actors take us on a journey to the centre of the universe through a haze of smoke, plenty of bangs and some inventive use of a plasma screen fixed to the chimney breast.


The whole production – if not unique – is nevertheless different. The pace is fast and the dialogue, at times, gymnastic. There is some clever use of lighting, a little bit of audience participation and a couple of songs that might well qualify for Eurovision but are never going to have people humming the melodies on the way home. There are also a few well-written though non too subtle digs at Arts Council England, whose imminent withdrawal of funding has shamefully put future Rejects Revenge projects – and those of so many other production companies –in jeopardy.

Pleasantly silly without ever being plain daft, and with more than a doffed cap in the direction of Terry Gilliam’s zany style, Here Be Monsters is an entertaining way to spend an evening and is a show that is well worth going to see.

 

Link: Unity Theatre Liverpool official website
www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk


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