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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

The May Queen

The Liverpool Everyman Theatre
May 4 – May 26
Author: Stephen Sharkey
Producer: The Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.


Cast Includes: Cathy Tyson, Leanne Best, Niall Refoy, Mark Arends, Michael Ryan,
Paul Duckworth, Dennis Quilligan, Alisa Arnah.
2hrs 15 mins

Image: production of 'The May Queen'.

The May Queen

Everyman Liverpool Playhouse official website


In a work with a central theme of comebacks, what better play for actor Cathy Tyson to make her Everyman return after twenty years than with this new piece by Stephen Sharkey.


Image: Cathy TysonFrank Donohue has been murdered and as the culprits bury his death in the chaos of the Liverpool Blitz, his daughter Theresa prays for revenge.

Tyson plays Angela, a woman so obsessed with keeping secrets she has difficulty in separating fact from fiction. An intense role demanding the very best from an actor, Tyson delivers the goods impeccably. There’s something in Angela that everybody will be able to relate to and the skill with which she is performed is, at times, breathtaking.

Vinnie Phelan, Angela’s lover, is the embodiment of every workingman on the illicit up who has fallen for someone they shouldn’t and Niall Refoy’s performance holds such strength almost single handedly he encapsulates the real dog-eat-dog mentality of wartime England.

Image: Leanne BestYet without doubt the performance of the evening belonged to Leanne Best for playing heart-broken Theresa with such style and emotion. Rarely is it angst and turmoil can be delivered with such a steely edge, without it appearing forced or unnatural. Yet Best manages on all fronts.

This is the Everyman’s ninth world premier in two years and each play performed has been highly acclaimed. Yes, The May Queen is a superb production, but nonetheless it could do with a little shaving, but with that said, overall Stephen Sharkey has written a tight, thought provoking story set in 1941 that challenges morality and belief on so many levels, with such an astute deftness of touch, it can easily resonate along the years to the world in which we live today and should be roundly applauded for doing so.
9/10

 

Link: Radio Merseyside websiteLISTEN TO CHRIS on BBC Radio Merseyside - Thursday 10th May 2007. Chris was talking about the play, The May Queen from the Liverpool Playhouse. Image: Chris High and Leanne Best in Liverpool 2007  
     Chris High, Leanne Best 
Everyman Liverpool Playhouse official website
www.everymanplayhouse.com


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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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