The Morris

Written by Helen Blakeman, Directed by Indu Rubasingham
Liverpool Everyman, 6th May - 28th May 2005

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

I always thought that theatre was meant - among other things - to enthrall, entertain, amuse, and/or intellectually challenge. Obviously not all of at the same time, but this turgid play fails to deliver on any of these counts.

The Morris consists of five female scousers who belong to a morris dance troupe, and are bidding to retain the competition they won the previous year. They continually bawl and bicker with each other about fellas, babies and morris dancing ad nauseam. The subject matter left me numb. Depictions of real-life situations don't necessarily always make good theatre.

Perhaps one can gauge the low level of humour contained in this so-called comedy by the regular use of the word fuck - oh how the audience loved it, laughing out loud whenever it was used. On this evidence it does not take much to amuse people. I don't condemn the use of the word, not by any means! But when you have to use the word to raise a laugh it's pretty pathetic.

In short The Morris is a play about power politics in morris dancing - really deep stuff - with Lily (Tina Malone) and Margy (Sarah White) carping at each other all the time because the latter wanted to be a judge of morris dancing competitions instead of being involved with the troupe.

One redeeming feature from an evening to forget was the imaginative video, directed by Arnim Freiss, situated at the back of the stage, of women morris dancing shown on a wide screen.

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