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    ROYAL COURT LIVERPOOL

    WEDNESDAY 6TH FEBRUARY 2019

     

     

    Following critical acclaim for comedy The Miracle of Great Homer Street, Gerry Linford returns to the Royal Court Liverpool with Yellow Breck Road.

     

    Taking inspiration from the classic tale The Wizard of Oz, teenager Dot accidentally finds herself in a place far away from her home in Liverpool. Learning about life, love and family, with a little help from some familiar faces, she discovers that there’s certainly no place like home.

     

    The set design is spectacular. As the action moves from Dot’s family home to a distant planet, the stars that adorn the stage were breathtaking. It was dazzling to see the world hidden behind the family home; revealed slowly by the Royal Court’s original revolving stage. Switching between the two sets, the cast utilised the space well to bring to life a range of stories that connected the past and present together. 

     

    While the story was quite slow-paced to begin with in the first act, this was necessary to help build a portrait of the family, their everyday lives and what the future had in store for them. As the action picked up pace in the second act, the audience began to understand how the character’s pasts affected their presents. It was a cleverly crafted script that kept you engaged from start to finish.

     

    As with The Miracle of Great Homer Street, Yellow Breck Road fused poignancy with comedy throughout. Eithne Browne was exceptional as Dot’s Nan. Not only a great physical comedy performer, her dry wit and quick responses timed the comic dialogue perfectly within the script. 

     

     

    Jake Abraham’s have-a-go-hero character Uncle Barry was also brilliant. Acting as Dot’s guide in the second act, his performance provided many of the one-line jokes that had the audience laughing throughout the evening. Gemma Brodrick’s Dot had a wonderful chemistry with Jake Abraham’s Barry from start to finish. Brodrick is a brilliant performer and one to look out for in the future. Dot’s spectacular red boots also added a quirky and modern twist to the infamous red shoes in The Wizard of Oz

     

    Paul Duckworth, Lynn Francis and Jamie Greer were incredible throughout, particularly in act two. Playing their characters in different decades, their performances were exemplar of excellent character development. From their physicality to their vocal tones, you believed you were watching their lives play out on the stage and it was enthralling.

     

    Yellow Breck Road is also incredibly heartwarming. Without spoiling the story for you, the production deals with the themes of love and loss; themes that everyone in the audience could relate to in one way or another. Having experienced the loss of someone very close to me only six months ago, I felt moved by the way Gerry Linford discussed the theme of grief within the script. It was conveyed exceptionally and poignantly by the cast, whose performances reduced me to tears by the end of the show. It was a production that will stay with me for a long time.

     

    5 stars

     

     

    By Sarah O' Hara

     

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