Ibiza To the Norfolk Broads, Theatre Review. Unity Theatre, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Cast: Alex Walton. Rob Newman, Margaret Campbell.

We all have something we use to get us through the day, that one powerful pull in which insists that we can be better than the sum of our parts or the total of fears, in which guides us towards the light with a smile or which holds on to our soul when we become too fascinated with the dark and its surroundings; the day we lose that final piece of the puzzle which has made us whole, is the day we have to admit we have lost.

Our hope is that though we might not see it, that something we have looked upon as a prop, that guide, a crutch, will manifest itself enough in our psyche that we don’t realise it is saving us for the heroes we can be.

Adrian Berry’s Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads looks at this cycle of salvation, the desperate search for identity and the curse of obsession and the way that the world can be both abuser and friend; depending on how much we want it to be either way. That one salvation for the young, confused and vulnerable boy at the heart of the story is the music of David Bowie, a man to whom espoused the notions of change and personal acceptance, to whom many openly admit that they would have found life even more disturbing and dark without him in their lives.

When you have lost so much, when your family is split and apart, all that matter is searching for some meaning, of finding a way to get through the darkness and if that salvation that comes in the form of a song or an ideal then all is not lost; it might feel it, but by listening to the voice encouraging you on, then you still have something to hold on to.

This touching, very emotional play about obsession and personal truth has all the hallmarks of humanity within its productive soul and the way Alex Walton conveys the admission of that humanity, the searing high and the low tide of desperation that culminates in one of the most sensitive and affecting endings, is to be congratulated.

A David Bowie soundtrack that accompanies life, from the gargantuan to the least remembered, Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads seeks acceptance in the very best way that the Thin White Duke would champion. To open your soul and grab one thing to keep you in the light, that one advocate of life is to embrace change and be brighter than you could have imagined.

Ian D. Hall