Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
8th March – 6th April 2019
Reviewed by Jennifer Walker
Following the smash hit Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels, of which Dave Kirby said himself ‘This is gonna take some beating’, comes its sequel; Brick up 2 – The Wrath of Ann Twacky.
Returning with most of the original cast, written by Dave Kirby and Nicky Allt, with Bob Eaton directing and Howard Gray adding the music, it would seem we were on to a winner. However, like most sequels do, it falls slightly short of the mark and ever so slightly disappoints.
The whole show seemed improvised and not just with the usual Royal Court wink and nod for laughs, but more an under developed production. Suzanne Collins was really under utilized as Maggie, who was reduced to a caricature, Danny Burns as Elliot Neston added absolutely nothing to the show, through no fault of Burns, just another under utilized character. The usually wonderful Eithne Brown bordered on overplaying the admittedly ridiculous Ann Twaky, and Francis Tucker as Liz was just disconcerting. If only he had stayed in the pit with the band where he was far more enjoyable.
The Royal Court is famous for its easy humour and laid-back approach, but on this occasion it fell short. Jokes seemed tired and almost embarrassing, over sexed drag and dressing up as terrorists to hide from the police seemed out of touch. Andrew Schofield as Dickie Lewis was the best part of the show. He really got the audience chuckling and his facial expressions and songs stole the show. He always has that likeability factor when on stage, that lets him play daft with songs such as ‘Bin Laden is hiding in my garden’ and he always gets away with the foolish cheekiness.
For those who loved the original, Brick Up 2 is worth a visit. It serves as Wirral’s revenge as they now want to be independent from Liverpool, mixed in with some reworked musical numbers. There are moments to be enjoyed, but overall not one of The Royal Court’s finest, and certainly not as good as the original.