Omnibus, Theatre Review. Unity Theatre, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

Alice Bunker-Whitney in Omnibus. Photograph by Brian Roberts.


Cast: Gemma Banks, Alice Bunker-Whitney, Eva McKenna, Joel Parry, Danny Burns, Eithne Browne.

It is always a cause for celebration when a production comes to the stage and truly brings an audience together in its humour and the way it showcases new writing, the positive ways it uses all the actors with equal clarity and the wonderful way in which it shows the genuine appreciation due its Director. When that celebration coincides with the soft re-opening of a much loved theatre after months of renovation and updating, then it is not just a case of bring out the decorations and congratulations, then it is the keen observance and salute that only an Omnibus can provide.

To place Katie Mulgrew’s award winning production in such a spotlight was not only the right option but it is one that is one of marvellous integrity, the humour of the piece, the absolute virtuosity and luminous effect it has on the soul marks it out as a find that will have theatres clambering in the future to host it.

With a cast that was utterly beguiling, that truly stuck to the focus implored by comedy master Director Robert Farquhar, to highlight each member is the only true and reflective course of action, yet for Alice Whitney-Bunker as the once left at the altar Lauren, and the marvellous Danny Burns as Leslie, this is a production that without doubt highlights their exquisite sense of timing, of their ability to hold an audience’s attention to its very maximum.

To have Ms. Whitney-Bunker once more in the Unity Theatre is also a huge bonus, an actor who is very much in the same league as those such as the incredible Eithne Browne, a woman to whom the art of comedy is so entrenched that the building’s fabric, its place in both the past and its very bright future, is indebted to.

As a first production to hit the boards inside the newly renovated Unity Theatre, Katie Mulgrew’s sublime Omnibus is the perfect response to a year that has brought arguably much sadness, not having every reason to smile or even laugh so loudly that it can cause the revellers and the party goers in the area to listen, to prick up their ears and know that the Unity is back.


Ian D. Hall