Edinburgh Fringe 2015
“‘You can’t run from the corn!’ A fairy’s tale of a town that might be a little rough – but it’s also got its bloody blinding diamonds! A trip home to Runcorn can be far from a journey down the yellow brick road. Scary Mo, Timmy Tanked and Lick it Lil share in beauty and brutality. Writer and Director were born and bred in Runcorn!” (Solo Show, LGBT)
The enthusiastic storyteller takes us to Runcorn to meet everyone. This is dynamic! With his larger than life presence, a booming voice, standing alone on stage – no props – he tells us about all the local characters. It’s a small show but large on life! Moving very quickly – our born and bred in Runcorn performer changes voices, accents, his physicality and demeanour effortlessly. The characters emanate forth in a stream of consciousness and flow from one character to another with intuitive observations about Runcorn, its people and what non Runcornians may think about the locals.
Someone ‘is getting high on solvents…’ Someone ‘is proud of where he was born…’ One character is enraged as he recounts being a child in school… bad stuff happened. He sings perky clips of songs in between such as ‘Working 9 to 5 da da da da da da daha’. Additions of rhyming thoughts are peppered throughout. This energy and fast talk go deeper than expected and suddenly there is a very human side when he talks about his partner, the guy he loves, and the first time he meets his partner’s son with such warmth and wonder. This leads to planning holidays and talk about burgers. The language flickers between raw emotion and refined – it’s authentic, frequently poetic and always heartfelt.
The social commentary picks up…’We are one big family’, someone’s ‘caravan cleaning’…‘goes over to Mecca bingo with the wine bar – opposite Shopping City’. It seems Runcorn specialises in many types of bingo games. Next, the mention of four Year old Gary at the Witness Centre touches a nerve. The child has a disability…Abused by father. Terrence was Gary’s fairy godmother…he took him up Runcorn hill – then transformed when he put on a frock…he was told to listen to Julie Andrews singing twice a day to keep him calm. Someone earns extra cash turning tricks in back alley. A man with a BBC voice says bloggers think Runcorn is full of ruffians and the best thing about Runcorn is the highway going south. It’s a Runcorn version of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood, the writer/performer commenting on the banality of their daily lives of the population of the town. However, there is also a sense in the Runcorn community that can melt the heart.