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Falling out with the Jones
By Holden Caulfield
This is the debut of local writer, Scott Murphy, and is being performed for a week at the 'Actors Studio', in Seel Street, Liverpool.
The venue is about the size of a large living room, and 'intimate' hardly does it justice. Warm and inviting, though, and with comfy seats, I settled down for an introduction to the work of 29 year-old Civil Servant, Murphy.
All of the activity takes place in 'Grandad's' subterranean nuclear fall-out shelter, which he accidentally discovered in his garden. His family members, in the guise of gruff Son-in-Law Ron, Grandson Jack, Granddaughter Paula (and her fella, Chris) pop down to visit him, in his bunker, whereupon they all get locked in and the dynamic of various relationships (particularly Ron and Jack) begins to unravel. Also starring - as the ghost of Ron's dead wife Marg (killed in a terrorist attack in London, for which Ron irrationally blames Jack) - is director, and veteran of the local dramatic scene, Pauline Daniels.
The play is swathed in scouseness (all of the ensemble are genuine Liverpudlians), and nicely juxtaposes some fabulous comedy dialogue with the serious aside of the omnipresent threat of direct action by dark forces with an agenda. At times - especially in act one (the play is split into two parts) - the edgy dialogue morphs into questionable taste (if you happen to have diabetes or are a suicide bomber), and the audience isn't too sure, for a moment, whether laughter is appropriate (although it decides that it is). In the scheme of things, though, this is a relatively minor point, and the bulk of the observations are absolutely spot-on.
The initial run is for a week only, 28 April - 2 May inclusive, but I suspect that this won't be the last you hear of either this production, or of Scott Murphy himself. Excellent stuff.
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