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The Salon

Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
October 30 – November 28

Author:  Drew Quayle
Director: Bob Eaton
Producer: Royal Court, Liverpool
Cast Includes: Lynn Francis, Roy Brandon, Lynne Fitzgerald, Danny O’ Brien, Suzanne Collins, James Spofforth, Nicola Bolton

Running Time: 2hrs 20.

Promo image for 'The Salon'.

Willy Russell, Alan Bleasdale, Dave Kirby, Nicky Allt – the cream of Liverpool’s playwriting fraternity. Now this club can add another name to its list, that of Drew Quayle –  if his second full length play, The Salon, is anything to go by.

There are lots of great performances in telling a story that’s based on stereotypical Hair Dressers and Beauty Therapists, where the boss is lovelorn, the staff are bitchy and the owner is as a camp as Christmas.


Lynn Francis playing Carol is the anchor of the whole thing, a woman who’s broken heart refuses to heal. With such a strong charisma, Francis allows the others to get to a full head of steam before wading in with her own powerhouse performance.  Danny O’Brien and Liverpool comedienne, Lynne Fitzgerald, wannabe Gangster Tony and sex-starved salon assistant Sheila, are the main driving forces. The Salon is called Vicious Streaks, exemplified by the manner in which these two steal the show with exquisite timing and delivery.

Roy Brandon’s Neil, the aging Gay who’s been jilted by his younger lover, Paul, played brilliantly by the ever adaptable James Spofforth, is so delightfully camp its almost like Christmas has come early and the Dame has forgotten her dress ... well, at least for part of the show.  And Suzanne Collins as the dreamy X-Factor hopeful, Tia, again delivers something extra to a part that might easily slip into the clichéd but for fine writing, direction and writing.

The set is huge, but works incredibly well in offering a split view of Neil’s flat and The Salon itself. The action and the laughs are pretty much non-stop and if the audience’s reaction here is anything to go by – mostly made up of women, but with a few husbands giggling away as well – then this is a show that could well run and run.
Chris High.

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Review of 'The Salon' from St Helens - June 2009


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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