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Liverpool Everyman
November 8th – November 13

Author and Director: Jeff Merrifield
Producer: Seabright Productions
Cast Includes: Mark White, Josh Darcy

‘Hit Me!' promotional image

Everyman Liverpool Playhouse official website

HIT ME! THE LIFE AND RHYMES OF IAN DURY,  sneeringly opens with Dury, back to the audience draped in a Union Jack overcoat, spitting the kind of vitriolic eloquence and angst Lydon & Co could only wish for.

From this scene, the audience is then taken to Dury’s humble, brandy filled, abode that we are first introduced to Fred ‘Spider’ Rowe, ex – Army Jailbird, and hopeless petty thief, think (Al Murray’s Cockney Landlord), who has charmed himself into the affections, and gainful employment of Roadie – Cum Tour Manager of The Blockheads....

The story is then told in a kind of two – person almost at times confessional narrative. This offers Mark White’s (Dury), the opportunity of telling the early years, and fertile childhood in which the seeds of Ian Dury’s Genius could grow.

It is, at this point however, at around 20-25, minutes into the first Act that one could sense the audience was feeling at times a little distant. Luckily the narrative then dives full – force into the heady heights of  The Blockheads rise to critical and commercial note; which is then cemented with blistering joy thumping renditions of Sex & Drugs & Rock n Roll, and Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick to name but two.

Act II Bursts open with a projected 50’s style Public – Information Movie, announcing 1981 The International Year of Disabled Persons. Which is beautifully under – scored by a caustic rendition of “Spasticus Autisticus”.

It is, however, at this point, that we see the affects and pitfalls of which fame, fortune, and unadulterated acclaim invariably leads to – a sense of isolation, anger, and heavy abuse!

This then opens the door for the return of the much needed wit, warmth, and straight talking with which Josh Darcy’s (Fred) finely delivers....

Ian Dury was a man of many talents – shaped from many different moulds, he had the wit of Wilde, which was channelled through the joy of Langtree!

Jeff Merrifield & Katherine Mainland’s production is a joy for any self respecting Blockhead. An Evening to Be Cheerful Indeed!

James Brodie.

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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