Review: Beating Berlusconi at The Liverpool Everyman Theatre

Posted on 23 May 2015
By Chris High
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May 2015. What better time to reminisce about one of the most unforgettable nights of a football club’s history than on the cusp of that occasion’s tenth anniversary. Of course, to even come close to the emotion of that night in Istanbul, a show needs to be something special and you can rest assured that what John Graham Davies, Matt Rutter and Paul Duckworth have create with Beating Berlusconi at The Everyman Theatre, is so special you don’t even need to be a football fan to enjoy it.

Liverpool Football Club is dyed deep into the DNA of the city. In fact, its ambivalence towards conformity and its refusal to doff the cap at to its so called superiors makes the characters that live here more colourful and vibrant than probably anywhere else.

Tell a Scouser they can’t and, invariably, that self-same man or woman will.

Take Kenny Noonan, for instance, who having overcome many obstacles, finally lands a ticket for the Big Match only to be so disconsolate at being 3 down at half-time he heads off back to his hotel, only to get lost and end up in the AC Milan President’s private box.

Littered with anecdotes of past triumphs and disasters, Beating Berlusconi is more than a tale of one man’s odyssey though, but is rather a portrait of the Liverpool City’s culture through the dark days of the 80s, more or less up to the present and what Paul Duckworth brings to the telling is nothing short of being exceptional.

His energy, enthusiasm, empathy and overall exquisite comic timing and delivery are quite breathtaking, with barely a pause being taken between the 30 + characters he portrays, each with their own stamp of original recognisable quality.

Aided by some superb projections, Beating Berlusconi is a show that may have started off from humble beginnings back in 2009, but rest assured that it is now vying for a place at the very top table of great Liverpool plays and quite rightly so.

Beating Berlusconi
Liverpool Everyman Theatre
May 21 – May 23
Author: John Graham Davies
Director: Matt Rutter
Cast: Paul Duckworth
Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
PR Rating: ***** Sensational