Nine years doesn’t half fly by, but more than a little surprising is that a comedy both as rip-roaringly funny and thought provoking as Dave Kirby’s Lost Soul has taken so long to be restaged at The Liverpool Royal Court Theatre. Or, indeed, anywhere.
What’s so good about it? Well, pretty much everything really. The gags are fast, furious and all on point. The acting – particularly that of regular Royal Court jesters Andrew Schofield, Jake Abraham and Lindzi Germain – is as spot on as ever, with Schofield in genuinely fine form, Germain outstanding as his betrothed foil and Abraham’s laconic, bereft Terry adding a superb scale on which to balance each of these two out.
Oh, and let’s not forget some superb music and another astonishingly superb set, which just put the tin lid on everything that transpires!
Then there is the setting of “Sunday Night in Down Town Liverpool”, which invokes thoughts and feelings both in their collective roundedness and their individual idiosyncrasies. Not everybody goes to the Lobster Pot on the way home, but everybody feels as though they do.
There is the balance of Kirby’s writing, too. After the smash hit of his debut full length play – written alongside Nicky Allt – following Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels was always going to be tough. Lost Soul, however, raises the bar by delivering not only on the gags but also the pathos of life’s rich tapestry, as shown through the everyday folk of this fair city.
There are tears as well as laughs galore here, and all are to be soaked up with equal measures of ‘ahhs’ and guffaws.
Special mention should also be made of Court debutant Catherine Rice, who plays the disillusioned Pat – originally performed brilliantly by Eithne Browne – extremely well and it surely won’t be too long before she is back on stage here.
It is also great to see Lenny Wood back as the stereotypically nice-but-dim barman, whose facial gestures alone are worth grabbing a ticket for, and also James Spofforth who’s portrayal of the bad guy bouncer, The Lion, is to say the least calculatingly nasty. You can also spare a thought for another newcomer in Paislie Reid, but to say why would just spoil the fun!
Lost Soul, in short, is two hours of joy laced with moments to get the old grey matter ticking. The only concern is that it’ll be another nine years before it comes spinning right round again!
The Liverpool Royal Court Theatre
March 10 – April 8, 2017
Author: Dave Kirby
Director: Bob Eaton
Cast: Andrew Schofield, Lindzi Germain, Catherine Rice, Jake Abraham, Lenny Wood, James Spofforth, Paislie Reid
Running Time: 2 hrs 15 minutes
PR Rating: ***** Food for the Soul