The Absence of War: parliamentary socialism, anybody?

A revival of David Hare’s 1993 play, The Absence of War, seemed an enticing prospect. A drama portraying the Labour Party as lost in ideological confusion, drained of vitality, and unable to mobilise public support or present a vision or values in any compelling way promised to be highly relevant in present circumstances. But at the Liverpool Playhouse the other night I … Continue reading The Absence of War: parliamentary socialism, anybody?

One Man Breaking Bad

How to explain the phenomenon of Breaking Bad? I pondered this as we waited for One Man Breaking Bad to begin last night in a sold-out, packed Liverpool Philharmonic. The fact that Miles Allen, a Los Angeles-based actor and comedian could fill the place with his 80-minute précis of five seasons of a series never shown on UK television is quite something. Asking … Continue reading One Man Breaking Bad

Bright Phoenix: celebrating the city’s wild, anarchic spirit

Rhodri Meillir as Spike in Bright Pheonix ‘Why is it only ever one shoe?’ At the end of the week in which the new Everyman building won the Stirling Prize for new architecture my daughter treated me to a meal at The Quarter and a ticket to see Jeff Young’s ‘love letter to Liverpool’, Bright Pheonix … Continue reading Bright Phoenix: celebrating the city’s wild, anarchic spirit

United We Stand: agitprop reminder of conspiracy and miscarriage of justice

Des Warren and Ricky Tomlinson in 1975 after Warren’s release from prison. Drive a short distance from Liverpool along the M62 and you see direction signs to the Hillsborough Inquest, now being held on an industrial estate outside Warrington, a reminder that 25 years of campaigning was needed before the injustice of what happened on 15 April … Continue reading United We Stand: agitprop reminder of conspiracy and miscarriage of justice

Beckett leaves us totally in the dark

Lisa Dwan in ‘Not I’ Going to the Lowry at Salford Quays to see Lisa Dwan reprise her performance in the one-woman Samuel Beckett trilogy that was  critically acclaimed during its run at the Royal Court last year was a memorable theatrical experience.  All three short plays were performed in pitch darkness with every source of light in the house … Continue reading Beckett leaves us totally in the dark