Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels and Lost Soul




Lost Soul’s music to the ears of city theatre goers

Liverpool's Royal Court theatre has another grass roots record breaker on its hands. The comedy, Lost Soul, has proved an even bigger hit for writer Dave Kirby than his first stage outing, Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels, which he co-created with Nicky Allt.

The latest show, directed by Bob Eaton, frequently received "souled out" notices throughout its September run, and overall saw 20,000 tickets pass through the Royal Court’s box office – outstripping sales for the first run of Brick Up by 2,000. "It means it holds the Royal Court’s box office record for a play’s debut run," said the theatre’s marketing manager, Iain Christie.

He added that it was a vindication of the theatre’s policy to stage plays by local writers, and using a small reprepertory-style production team of north west actors and crew.

"We are all delighted that after the success of Brick Up, we can continue to say that we are putting on shows that people are demanding to see," said Mr Christie.

"I think it proves that these are shows that ordinary members of the public in this city want to see."

He added: "Theatre is not meant to be elitist.

"I think one of the most pertinent comments we have had from people is from a woman who said that her boyfriend had never been to the theatre before Brick Up and Lost Soul but after them he’s now just gone to see King Cotton at the Empire and will be going to see more as well."

Kirkby-born Mr Kirby said the rave reaction to Lost Soul – starring Merseyside actors Andrew Schofield, Eithne Browne, Neil Caple and Lindzi Germain, who play a group of 40- something Liverpudlians caught in 70s pub/club timewarp – had been a pleasant surprise.

"We thought if we’d got only half the success of Brick Up then we would be very happy indeed," said the 48-year-old writer, who took up writing 10 years ago, when he was made redundant by Liverpool council’s maintenance and buildings works department.

"It goes to show that, if you have a play that talks with the right voice, then the people of this city will come to see and hear it."

From today, the former builder says he will be going into his customary few months’ seclusion to write his next work already entitled Council Depot Blues and which centres around the escapades of his former workmates.

"They were some of the most amazing characters you were ever likely to find," he says of the play which has already been tentatively slated for a run at the Royal Court.

"But mostly it is about people in a work environment wishing their lives away until their retirement. I call it "edutainment" because it is an education and entertainment.

"It tells people about life but it’s entertaining and will hopefully make people laugh – which is the hardest medium of all."

Meanwhile, the Royal Court’s grass roots theme continues with the acclaimed play Two, starring Eithne Brown and Neil Caple which runs from November 8 to 24.

The traditional pantomime Cinderella runs from December 13 to January 13 featuring Stephen Pinder who played Max Farnham in Brookside with Chrissy Rock and Ms Browne as the Ugly Sisters.

Mike Chapple

Liverpool Daily Post - October 2nd 2007


© 2007 Kathryn Martin

All images, graphics and words are subject to copyright. DO NOT reproduce any part of this website.