I awoke on Tuesday morning, still exhausted after a long drive back to Liverpool following the performance in Redhill, Surrey, my head finally hitting the pillow at 4.30am, to a fantastic post on our Facebook page from a woman called Stacey, who had been at the performance the evening before. It gave me an enormous lift, and confirmed what i had felt for some time, that the play would travel well outside of Liverpool. I could drone on for hours, but Stacey says it better than I ever could:
Excellent, powerful drama. Thank-you for the performance at Redhill, 29th April. Everything about the production is perfect and the small audience is only a sign of the times £ ! Keep touring and continue to be applauded.
And here is the rest of her posts from our conversation:
Dear Mike , Thank-you for your reply to my earlier comment, It’s a real pleasure to enthuse about the play! For me, it was the most exciting type of theatre. ( Years ago, A Level Drama and Theatre Studies introduced me to this other world !) – Your immediate style of performance with minimal, yet atmospheric props is perfect and it shows the strength of the script. What an achievement to write something so exploratory and powerful, that unravels for the length of a performance. My husband was mesmerised by the play and really impressed.- It’s great to see that effect on the person beside you. I hope that you were not discouraged by the low turnout. I recently worked with a club at The Harlequin and the town is, like so many places in Britain, ‘down at heel ‘and the theatre, unfortunately semi-hidden and in need of some vibrancy.- However, we are lucky to have a theatre with flexibility. Best wishes for the rest of this tour. Please tour again !
It’s good that you’re encouraged by the response from audiences outside Liverpool, but I’m surprised if you thought it might not be well received.- Yes it has historical and social themes of that area, but it doesn’t seem a Liverpool-centric play. Universal themes are part of its quality. Also, (but trying to keep politics aside, for the moment ) it does provoke thoughts about the need for unions / recourse to protection and support in society…and it’s not all ‘fat cats’ in Surrey ! – Not the decisions of men like Vinnie and Eddie that are responsible for the state of the nation.
I wish you success, whatever the way forward turns out to be and hope that New York is favourable !
Stacey refers to a low turnout, and yes it’s true, the theatres were not packed. But 45 people on a Monday night in Redhill, Surrey, in a theatre, like the others we have appeared in on the tour, that is desperately in need of some audience development work, is not bad at all. In Liverpool we were able to conduct a sustained marketing campaign. In Redhill, in just one day, we doubled the numbers attending the show. It gives a glimpse of the potential if an audience is built and nurtured for this type of serious drama. I might come back to discuss this issue again later, but for now I’ll leave you with some more images from the tour.