We came… We saw… And we laughed our bloomin’ socks off!
Followers of this blog will know from my preview last week that I was certain Scouse Pacific would be a smash hit.
Was I wrong? …Was I heck as like!
It was laughter all the way – from the moment the curtain went up, right through to the final standing ovation.
Very very loosely based upon Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Classical musical, it tells how Father O’Flaherty, played by the inimitable Alan Stocks, is banished by the bishop to set up a missionary on a tropical island along with four of the tastiest nuns you’ve ever seen – the “Sisters of Mersey”, played by graduates of the Dolphin Dance School.
They discover the island is inhabited by a family whose Liverpudlian ancestor was washed up there following a shipwreck. Head of the family Terry (Andrew Schofield) educated his wife and daughter (Lindzi Germain and Rachel Rae) through the medium of scouse. “ya know warra meeen la?”
The arrival of Father Flaherty and his nuns (who by this time have dis-robed to reveal skimpy grass skirts) prove no threat to the family’s idilic existence. The arrival of Messrs Burke and Dick (Paul Duckworth and Stephen Fletcher) on the other hand, comes with plans to turn it into a tourist trap.
This is a brilliant fast-moving musical with the story being told via the funniest interpretation ever of dozens of well-known songs such as Bali Hi’i, irreverently blended with rock classics and right through to contemporary rap!
Bohemian Rhapsody was the musical highlight for me. It wasn’t real life. It was a fantasy – and the entire cast contributed to this hilarious full-length, three-part parody. Andrew Schofield’s epic guitar solo was every bit as good as Brian May’s. And if Freddie Mercury was looking down from beyond The Gods, I am certain he would have approved.
This is a lively, colourful and uplifting comedy cleverly written especially by Fred Lawless for the Royal Court’s pantomime season and directed by Bob Eaton who has been responsible for so many of the theatre’s recent hits.
Scouse Pacific runs until January 8th. It is definitely a festive season “must-see”.
More photos from the show can be seen here
Also on the Echo web site