Directed by Ed Barrett
Produced by Laura Purcell
The Black-E, Liverpool
13th - 21st October 2014 at the Black-E and the 24th at the Casa, Hope Street

Reviewed by John Owen

A marvellous three-hander from the pen of Barrie Keefe in PMT pre 70s Maggie Thatcher, as the country lurched to the right, electorally speaking, as the hang em and flog em brigade began to crow for tougher short sharp shocks, here most ably performed by ETC (Enthusiastic Theatre Company).

Flashing back to the 70s, inside the interior of a copshop, somewhere in England, what seemed like a Sweeney episode, crossed with the Professionals, was testament to the actors ability to simulate the slimy bent copper feel.

Alan Stocks, as detective Karn (as English as they come), a rather philosophical loner and proud individualist betting on a Thatcher victory at Ladbrokes, when he wasn’t salivating over news readers Anna Ford (leftists) or Angela Rippon (loves boys in blue).

Into the equation comes Delroy, innocently supping a pint and grabbed as part of the usual routine, suspected of something pinch. This time it is the murder of his wife, then coolly went to the pub to relax.

If the facts don’t fit the crime then make the person fit the facts. He was there last and it was his wife, so it must mean he’s the guilty culprit.

Enter sidekick and very moral man Nigel Peever as Wilby, the first to physically assault Delroy. He too had a similar tragedy of equal proportion. His dog was killed during a riot by a person not unlike him, an unemployed black man with three kids and a fourth on the way, living off the backs of hard working taxpayers like us. Why couldn’t they all go back home where they came from? mused Karn during his philosophical ramblings.

The amusing reference of Delroy from his employer was fuck off nigger, he recounts, as he got the sack, wishing now he had pushed his teeth in, instead of grinning and bearing it.

This play has a very contemporary feel to it, and is equally at home in today’s political atmosphere despite 40 years of change.

Plus ca change plus ce la main change. Sorry for French readers.

This gut- wrenching true story, based on real events from the writer of the Long Good Friday, smacks you in the gob and takes no prisoners.

If you’ve been on the wrong end of the long arm of the law you’ll recognise the good cop bad cop routine as no laughing matter.

See it.

An interview with the director Ed Barrett is on Nerve Radio

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