Legend: A Tale to be Told. A Shared History. A Lie

Directed by Freyja Winterson
Lantern Theatre
2nd May 2013

Reviewed by Victoria Vass

Lady Parts Theatre is a new Liverpool-based writing company which specialises in creating and promoting strong roles for women; and on the basis of their production Legend at the wonderful, whimsical Lantern Theatre; all I can say is lucky old Liverpool.

Legend comprised of six short plays by local writers, all based around their own interpretations of the theme of myths and legends. The first play ‘Sirens’ (written by Laura-Kate Barrow) featured a haunting performance by Laura Danielle Sharp, who told her tale of temptation, and love dashed against the rocks. ‘We Three Queens’ (written by Kat Boon) was a bittersweet tale of a chance encounter by two women with a shared past, and a half remembered story that a mother used to tell to her two young daughters. This was very skilfully done, with the two sides of the story batting between the two actresses, Rachael Wallis and Jackie Jones, with a real chemistry. ‘Medusa’ (written by Ruth Hartnoll) told us the dark but funny story of how she came to be, and in many ways stole the show with the syrup-voiced, enigmatic Nuala Maguire in the title role (I particularly remember a gasp of “she looks amazing!” from one admirer as Ms. Maguire came on stage).

In the latter part of the show, we had ‘Wolf’ (written by Brian Charity), which was a clever twist on an old classic and had the audience in stitches with a clever bit of audience participation (or hostage-taking?) Red (Becky Brooks) and Pig (Rachael Wallis) were on top form and full of a catchy energy. This was followed up by the dark and brooding soliloquy “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, with a very convincing performance by Zoe Vaux. Legend closed with “Wood” (written by Hayley Greggs) which was tender and heart-warming in spite of its sad theme. In this respect, the night really did finish on a high, Jackie Jones and Nuala Maguire as the carpenter and his wife were very engaging and really drew the audience in to the story.

The difficulty of writing a short play is perhaps one of the most underrated and undervalued skills in theatre. The challenges of creating characters which have depth and a story that really has something to say in such a short time frame makes it one of the most difficult styles to get right. Every single one of these talented writers managed it. Legend had talent, imagination and flair in abundance. I look forward to seeing more from the gifted writers, actresses, and director Freyja Winterson.

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Comment left by Jackie Jones on 20th May, 2013 at 17:26
Thank you so much for coming to watch and for these kind words. The great writing made it a joy to perform!