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    Photographs by Zanto Digital


    Royal Court Theatre Liverpool

    Wednesday 6th June 2018


    It’s 1978. Football fans are gathering around their television sets for the start of the World Cup and in a house in Liverpool, Terry and Father Aherne are hoping to change their fortunes forever…


    The Miracle of Great Homer Street is a heart-warming new comedy from writer Gerry Linford. A runner-up in the Liverpool Hope Playwrighting Prize, the script was taken from page to stage after capturing the imaginations of the Royal Court’s Kevin Fearon and Les Dennis, who both sat on the judging panel that year.



    When Marion (Catherine Rice) offers the spare room to Father Aherne (Les Dennis), her husband Terry (Andrew Schofield) isn’t too thrilled. Yet a conversation about football strikes a friendship between the pair and a chance to make their fortune by placing bets on the matches - with a little help from above!


    With all the action taking place in the front room of Marion and Terry’s house, you instantly feel a part of the day to day lives of the family. Designed by Olivia du Monceau, the set captures the period down to each detail. Whether it’s the orange floral wallpaper or the Betamax next to the TV, the audience feel immersed in the late seventies - and it made me slightly reminiscent thinking back to photograph’s I had seen of my mum’s house as a teenager, which did indeed have the same wallpaper in the living room!


    The transitions too between the living room and Father Aherne's conversations with St Cajetan were also designed effectively. Simple stage entrances, lighting changes and sound to introduce Abraham’s Cajetan, as opposed to an entire set change, enabled the story to flow seamlessly from one scene to the next.


    The script is brilliantly written; an instant sign that Gerry Linford is one of the next great playwrights. Both heartwarming and humourous, it’s a story that stays with you long after you’ve left the theatre.


    From the beginning, the story is extremely witty - whether it be Catherine Rice and Katie King’s back and forth dialogue about a portable television in act two, or Jake Abraham’s dry, straight-to-the-point advice as St Cajetan.


    The Miracle of Great Homer Street isn’t just a play about football though. References to venues such as Erics were delivered superbly by Katie King as Bella and Bobby Schofield as Jamie, while Schofield’s contemplative expressions and deadpan dialogue delivery were comedy gold!



    There were also tales of love, loss and hope. Andrew Schofield and Les Dennis’ confession scene in Act Two tugged at my heart and I could feel the sadness of both characters emanating from the stage. It was as if I was watching this moment play out in real life; their performances took you out of the theatre and straight into that living room in 1978.


    At the heart of it all, The Miracle of Great Homer Street is a play about family, the importance of looking after one another and love. In the words of Abraham’s St Cajetan: “You can change the world with love”.


    5 Stars


    By Sarah O' Hara



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