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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

The Circus On Lime Street promotional posterThe Circus On Lime Street

St George's Hall Court Room
26th- 28th April 2012

Written by: Peter Harrison
Director: Saul Murphy

Cast includes: Phil Perez, James Podmore, Jane Hartley, Richard Pitt, Saul Murphy, Stephanie Greer.

Running time: 75 minutes.

1950 saw petty criminal George Kelly, despite protesting his innocence, found guilty for his part in the 'Cameo Cinema' murders and subsequently executed in Liverpool Prison. It took over fifty years for justice to be achieved and for George to be granted a full posthumous pardon. "The Circus On Lime Street" is a superb re-enactment of the trials in the aftermath of George's execution, aptly held in the Crown Court room of St Georges Hall where the original trials took place.

The satirical play takes full advantage of the wonderful venue with the audience being seated in the midst of the action and, at times, even participating in this slightly surreal re-enactment.  Contributing to the majority of the surrealism of the play is the Clown Judge, played by Jay Podmore, who delivers a highly humorous performance as he attempts to oversee proceedings. His clown costume, numerous magic trick gags and general caricature performance are a direct, and amusing, nod to the circus theme. His light hearted persona and comical faces prove to be the perfect antidote to some rather serious scenes at times. The whole cast are flawless and deliver comical and, at times, dramatic performances. Their chemistry is evident and this ensures the audience are laughing throughout as Charlie (Richard Pitt) strives to prove George's (Saul Murphy) innocence. Pitt's portrayal of Charlie as a charming, funny 'working class hero' works wonderfully in scenes where he's pitted against him nemesis, Herbert 'Balmy' Balmer (Phil Perez) - the smarmy, pompous corrupt cop who had been key to George's original conviction due to manipulating witnesses.  The only critique to be said of this unique show is that whilst the dialogue and humour increases as the show goes on unfortunately the conclusion feels a bit too sudden; after over an hour of an intense build up it seems to be concluded and wrapped up slightly too quickly.  However, "The Circus On Lime Street" remains to be one of the most original, witty and thoroughly enjoyable productions to be shown in Liverpool for some time. Not only are the cast fantastic in delivering a highly commendable script but even the smaller details such as the lightening, sound effects and music must be noted as first class and instrumental in producing such a smooth and entertaining production.

Zoë Yvonne Delaney

 

 


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
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