Anyone following this blog will know that Jayne and I love our scouse comedies. So when the Royal Court announced they were closing down for a three month refurb, we were at a loss as to were we would get our monthly fix.
Just recently we gave The Empire a try: But whilst we admit to being fans of “The Street”, I’m afraid that, for us at least, their production of “Corrie” just didn’t cut the mustard as a stage comedy.
So it was with a certain amount of intrigue that we ventured to New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion for the opening night of Liverbirds.com, with its cast list featuring some of the Liverpool actors we know and love from those raucous nights at the Royal Court.
Well I can tell you, we were not disappointed.
Centred around the sex industry, this black comedy by Carol Maher had the audience in stitches from the very first minute. A broad-minded audience, of course, the sexual nature of the storyline and the inevitable strong language made it a prerequisite! If it was culture you were after, you’d have been in the wrong place. But for good honest down and dirty comedy you just couldn’t beat it.
Liverbirds.com is a sleazy escort agency run by Toni Baloni, played by Louis Emerick (remember Mike Johnson in Brookside?), with award-winning actress Crissy Rock as his reformed hooker girlfriend Liz Lovitt.
The story is set over Grand National Weekend when the agency banks on its girls getting “more rides than Red Rum”. All doesn’t quite go according to plan though, when gangster Mad Mick Mullen arrives on the scene demanding protection money and his pick of the girls.
Liverpool actor Carl Chase provides the “black” side of this comedy as Mad Mick, as well as some of its funniest moments.
The funny and deliciously dippy “birds” in Liverbirds.com, with such colourfully descriptive names as Sophie Jangles Cox, Kelly Seaman, Tess Tickle and Foxy Bush, were glamorously portrayed by Lucy Brown, Phillippa Goodwin, Shelly O’Sullivan and Paula Muldoon. And vamping up the action alongside the girls was actor, comedian and drag artist Gordon Fawcett as the resident transvestite Fanny Flaptrap.
The team’s “Devil wears Primark” image is looked after by stylist Alberto Balsom (the names get better and better) played by Billy Nelson. And then there is a Polish receptionist played by local actress and dancer Lesley Butler. But the unassuming Volta is one to watch. That one’s as deep as the west African river she was named after!
For my money, the Liverbirds.com “oscar” has to go to Lynne Fitzgerald who’s portrayal of the farting, foul-mouthed and toothless cleaner, Concepta Lush, had us splitting our sides with laughter throughout the whole show.
There was music from teenage singer songwriters Gabriella and Izabella Filed who provided some really excellent original songs for the show. I particularly liked the poignant “In a Prayer” during the opening scene.
All credit to director Paul Carmichael for bringing it all together. I do feel it is such a shame this fantastic comedy is only on at this venue for three days. It deserves a much longer run when it would also benefit from the subsequently bigger budget for scenery and props.
Dare I say, Liverpool’s Royal Court would be the ideal venue. Liverbirds,com certainly fits the genre and is the sort of comedy that is well received by that particular theatre’s enthusiastic regular following.
But for now, you can catch it tonight, Friday 11th March, and tomorrow at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton.
See also the Daily Post website