Narvik at The Liverpool Playhouse Studio

Posted on 11 September 2015
By Janie Phillips
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Narvik is award winning Lizzie Nunnery’s new play, and is perfectly housed in the confines of the Playhouse Studio.

The play begins in present day Liverpool, and all alone an old man falls in a basement and loses consciousness. As he drifts in and out, memories of the girl he met in Norway floods his mind and he drifts back to World War 2. Narvik tells his story, how their love was torn apart by war, as the events of one summer cause ripples across an ocean of time.

What is so nice about a small space is that you are very close to everything, so when a piece of theatre like Narvik comes along, rich in dialogue as well as music and song, you can not help but be completely absorbed. Nunnery’s gift for storytelling has always been powerful, and there is always a vulnerability about the characters that she creates, that reaches out to the audience. The subject of war is never an easy subject to broach, but the way in which music and song are blended into the script means that the complexity of Jim’s story can be explored further.

Joe Shipman plays a very competent Jim, the man whose memories of wartime we are seeing. His role means that he has to morph from being old to young Jim and this is done seemingly through Nunnery’s words and music. His physicality as Jim is strong and alongside Nina Yndis who plays Else his sweetheart, a charming performance, and strong with her accents, these two worked well together. Lucas Smith plays Kenny, a confident performer and as well as dialogue, the actors also played various instruments and provided vocals when needed. There are three extra cast members on stage, Nunnery being amongst them, who provide all of the sound effects, music and vocals creating the very atmospheric mood.

There are moments of real tenderness, humour and plenty of tension and director Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder has done a marvellous job in terms of incorporating all the elements needed to ensure an enjoyable night out at the theatre. A strong script, with excellent performances all round.

Liverpool Playhouse Studio
September 8 – September 19
Author: Lizzie Nunnery
Director: Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder
Cast: Joe Shipman, Nina Yndis, Lucas Smith
Running Time: 1 hr 10 mins
PR Rating:****
For tickets and information about the show: