One of the best early examples of the slapstick and innuendo style of humour was “Carry on Nurse”. Well Oooh Er matron, fast forward fifty seven years and it’s happening all over again at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre.
It is set in the very last medical ward to be evacuated at the old Liverpool Royal Hospital on the day the demolition team move in with their jack hammers and wrecking ball.
These three talented ladies have taken the slapstick and innuendo to a whole new level of hilarity with both their writing and their acting, as they go about the business of saving lives whilst the crumbling old hospital building, quite literally, comes crashing down around their ears.
Actor Danny O’Brien becomes Paddy O’Shaughnessy and O’so gallantly arrives on the scene, to set nurse Florence’s heart a’fluttering and to ultimately become the hero of the hour.
One patient sadly didn’t make it. Mrs Llewellyn died in her hospital bed just fifteen minutes into the play, despite nurse Florence’s best attempt at chest compressions. Actor Phillip Hesteltine might not of had a single line to learn but must surely get the Golden Bedpan “Best Corpse” award. He was on stage for the entire play and remained straight-faced and ashen throughout, whilst enduring a string of hilarious indignities.
The prospect of ‘corpsing’ on stage is every actor’s nightmare. And many will tell you that it is most likely to happen while you are playing dead!
The Royal is a delightful fast-moving comedy jam-packed with wonderful one-liners, lots of action and has a great story-line running through it. All six actors did this clever script proud and were a credit to director Cal McCrystal.
And finally, a special mention must go to the set designers for creating a very convincing jaded hospital ward that became an equally convincing disaster site right before the audience’s eyes. No lights-out, behind-the-curtain scene shifting. The whole shebang shifted itself as the wreaking ball struck.
The play runs at The Royal Court until July 16th. Go along, prepared to seek medical attention for your aching jaw and laughter-bruised ribs. This is dead funny and will have you in stitches!
More recent posts
H.P. sauce was on the menu last night. Sauce, banter, gags, giggles …oh yes, and some belting music too!
All this was served up by Henry Priestman and Les Glover at the very first gig to be held at the […]
Some exquisite images on here, in terms of the canvas, the art and the photography. Some of the most beautiful I’ve seen. Real works of art.
We approached Ffrith Galed Yurts nestled on the hillside, the high peaks of Snowdonia to the east and the moorlands and valleys of Hiraethog to the west...
Can you just imagine the telephone conversation…
“Hello, This is Grateful Fred …No not dead, FRED …Yes, we’d like to play Merry Hell in your church”.
Well Colin Maddocks (aka Grateful Fred) and Merry Hell’s Virginia Kettle obviously managed to convince the […]