Review: Night Collar at The Liverpool Royal Court

Posted on 27 May 2015
By Chris High
  • Share:

We’ve all been there. Stuck in a job we really hate, surrounded by idiots who just make the days and nights seem longer. This is the scenario that writers Jimmy Power and the sadly late Tony Furlong have conjured up for Alan Stocks’ brilliant cabbie, who is reluctantly working the Night Collar on Christmas Eve (Only 7 Months to Go) at The Liverpool Royal Court, and what transpires is a night of laughter and not a little whimsy as a result.

First and foremost, this play marks a welcome return to some stalwarts of the Court’s theatre prowess. Eithne Browne as Madam Doom, amongst others – particularly as Woman Alone – lights up each character she plays, but as the Portent of Death Widower she truly shines. As Elvis, Jake Abraham demonstrates how well he can rock a house and have them clapping, laughing out loud and being not a little empathetic all in one go. Suzanne Collins is extremely good at provoking an audience reaction, but never more so than as the Working Girl out for a quick buck, whereas Michael Ledwich as the street wise, life dim Scally is quite simply a joy to behold and reaffirms that his is a future career to keep an eye on.

Yet it is left to Alan Stocks and Lenny Wood to steal the show, and never more so than when Wood’s Stag Night victim hits the stage and makes the men in the audience feel that although they may well have been there, seen it and done it they are nonetheless relieved that not all will be revealed.

As for Stocks, well, his delivery, poise and downright perfect timing – even that which is built around a more laid back character such as this – is an absolute joy.

Night Collar may be something of a perennial favourite, but rest assured that this production at The Liverpool Royal Court Theatre is nothing short of being comedic and evocative fun that will leave many a true fan of what this theatre offers – good old fashioned, well produced work – crying out for more.

Night Collar
The Liverpool Royal Court Theatre
May 15 – June 13
Authors: Tony Furlong and Jimmy Power
Director: Bob Eaton
Cast: Alan Stocks, Eithne Browne, Lenny Wood, Michael Ledwhich, Suzanne Collins
PR Rating: **** Buckle Up For Fun