Since we discovered Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre earlier this year, we’ve only seen comedies. We’ve also only ever sat “up in the Gods” – mainly due to booking at the very last minute.
Last night was different. Very different.
This time we were in the stalls of this lovely old theatre, which are set out with tables and chairs in cabaret style. You are escorted to your table (ours was right in front of the stage) by an usherette who took the time to explain how to get to the toilets and the bar. We were really made to feel special.
And the price of all this decadence? – Ten quid! And if you arrive an hour before curtain-up, you can even enjoy a fine meal prepared by the Royal Court’s head chef Simon Collard – winner of the TMP New Dish For Liverpool.
As for the show itself. It was the 1987 Stephen King Thriller, Misery. I must admit, I had doubted a thriller such as this would translate into a stage play. Boy was I wrong! The publicity had promised we’d be on the edge of our seats – and they were damn right!
Ex Coronation Street and Early Doors actress Joan Kempson was convincingly psychopathic in the role of the terrifying Annie Wilkes.
Playing opposite her was Andrew Schofield. Andrew was the archetype scouser in the previous two performances we’d seen at the Royal Court: “Brick up the Mersey Tunnel” and “On the Ledge“. He was so very funny in both these comedies.
In “Misery” he is cast in the role of Paul Sheldon, a famous american author, and his performance was nothing short of brilliant.
These two talented actors got a well deserved ovation from the first-night packed house and I can thoroughly recommend it. Misery runs until July 5th.
A synopsis of the storyline can be found below:
Paul Sheldon, famous author of the “Misery Chastain” books, awakes following a car accident in a bed he doesn’t recognise. Annie Wilkes, who lives alone in the hills, was on hand to rescue him from the wreckage and tend to his wounds. All that she asks in return is that he saves the life of one of his fictional characters. She can be very persuasive…
Written by Stephen King in 1987 and turned into a film with James Caan and Kathy Bates in 1990, Misery is one of the greatest thrillers in any medium. Made into a film starring Kathy Bates and James Caan in 1990 this taut psychological thriller has reached a worldwide audience. This stage adaptation by Simon Moore was written in 1999 and is much truer to the novel than the film version.
This new production features Andrew Schofield (Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels, Lost Soul, On The Ledge), who is back at the Court in the Paul Sheldon role. Joan Kempson (Coronation Street, Early Doors) takes on the role of the terrifying Annie Wilkes.
Join them for a thrilling evening of theatre that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the night.
Kevin Fearon, Chief Executive of Royal Court Liverpool, has made this move with his cast members in mind: “This play has always appealed because it is so tense and anxious and it plays on the minds of the audience. Both Drew and Joan are excellent actors and this gives them the chance to shine in a play that will stretch them both to the limit. People are used to seeing comedies here but this one is guaranteed to keep the nerves jangling all night.”