Cast: Mickey Finn, Clare Bowles, Charlie Griffiths, Lynne Fitzgerald.
As with many old, but undeniably great, habits and ways, the great British local pub, the bastion of native ways and hopes and drama, has for many years been on the road to serious decline. Cheap alternatives driven by greed and solitude have become the normal pursuit in some respects that the social constraints in which bound a community, a section of the communal population together has been driven headlong into a nearby abyss of soulless apathy.
Award winning actress and comedy writer Lynne Fitzgerald bring audiences her new hilarious play, Show Us Your Tips, to the St.Helens Theatre Royal this month.
Set over one night in a Scouse Ale House and stars Liverpool’s finest comedian Mickey Finn playing Scotch-soaked landlord said, “How can you go wrong with Mickey Finn in your cast, he is hilarious.”
Mickey’s moaning groaning wife and landlady will be played by Irish singer and actress Clare Bowles, who adds, “I am thrilled to be working in another of Lynne’s plays as it’s always a hoot, although I am just over 4ft tall and the set bar is also 4ft so I’m struggling to see over the top of it.” She laughs, “Lynne assures me once I have my beehive wig on, all will be fine.”
Cast: Jennifer Bea, Lindzi Germain, Michael Swift, Warren Donnelly, Tony James, Richie Grice, Mickey Finn.
The thing with some productions is that they do exactly what they say on the tin, there is no small print suggesting that the production will be akin to some lost Shakespeare play, full of pathos and anger, cunning and revenge. Instead it just happens to be good, in some cases very good at being able to give people exactly what they need, especially in a world that seems to be very bleak and full of unpleasantness, that of laughter and an excuse to crack a smile and laugh till it hurts. For Bon Voyage, presented by Boom Boom Productions, this is that type of play and for that the smile just got a little broader.
Richie Grice cuts a commanding but ultimately loveable figure as he sits before you. His love of comedy radiates outwards from the very time you meet him and he certainly knows his stuff and his ready laugh is easy and a joyous thing to hear whenever you mention something that tickles his own funny bone.
With rehearsals well under way for Bon Voyage at The Epstein Theatre, which stars the superb Lindzi Germain and the legendary Mickey Finn, I was able to catch ten precious minutes with the man who co-wrote the play with Paul Nicholson at The Garden at FACT and ask him his thoughts on the play and on comedy.
Dannielle Malone, Paul Opacic, Nikki Sanderson in Rita, Sue and Bob Too! Photograph by Ian D. Hall
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Tina Malone, Nikki Sanderson, Paul Opacic, Dannielle Malone, Mickey Finn, Elyn Kennedy, Paul Malone.
In 2011 Andrea Dunbar’s Rita, Sue and Bob Too! had a sell out run at the St. Helens Theatre Royal, as it comes round again it is easy to see why this portrayal of Margaret Thatcher’s council estate Britain is such a popular and long lasting hit production.