Outside the stage door pre show with the St.Helens Mind men’s Group
It was billed as the biggest, brightest and most magical rock’n’roll panto in the universe and Jack and the Beanstalk really lived up to its billing.
St. Helens Men’s Mind group were amongst a packed house for the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse production and, as group member Nigel explained, the panto was fantastic . . .
“That was a great start to 2013! I’ve never seen a musical done so well and with the performers themselves playing the instruments it was very, very entertaining!”
“Pantos weren’t this good when I was a kid,” enthused Nigel, one of an eight strong group who made the trip to Liverpool’s Playhouse Theatre.
The musical production was punctuated by pop and rock hits spanning a number of years played live on stage by members of the cast.
The day out marked St.Helens Men’s Mind’s fourth trip to the theatre as a group and, as Nigel explained, the trips are always popular: “We all really enjoy coming. Going to the theatre is much better in a group; we often discus the performance together and get the most from our day out,” said Nigel who is also a keen poet and photographer in his spare time.
A fantastic production of ‘A Government Inspector’ at the Playhouse Theatre in Liverpool was the latest play to enthral the St.Helens Men’s Mind group.
The Northern Broadside theatre group’s hysterically funny tale, set in a northern town, told the story of a group of unscrupulous councillors’ attempts to bribe a man– who they mistakenly thought – was a government inspector.
The St.Helens group was rolling in the aisles thanks to the hilarious script, interspersed with music from a live, on-stage brass band.
The afternoon was complete when – after the production – cast member Andy Cryer alias ‘Bob Longbottom’, agreed to have his picture taken on the historic stage with the St Helens party.
The play’s publicity literature states: If you like your humour broad, your references topical, your heart warmed and your brass live, look no further than A Government Inspector.
For the group the play ticked all the boxes: “Really funny and I thought it was great to see the brass band playing live on stage as part of the play,” was typical of the views at the end of the production.
Appetites further whetted, the group left the theatre looking forward to the next outing.
Cast member Andy Cryer, who played Bob Longbottom, on stage with the guys from St.Helens.
A ‘re-imagined’ version of Steptoe & Son at Liverpool’s Playhouse Theatre provided a thought-provoking session for St. Helens Men’s Mind Group.
Ray Galton and Alan Simpson’s sixties icon had been re-worked for a new generation, however, with many of the group familiar with the original Harold and Albert, the Kneehigh Production Company had a hard audience to please.
The St.Helens Mind Group and ‘Mr St.Helens’ Gary Conley
The group left by coach from the Theatre Royal in St. Helens and once the tickets had been handed out and the paperwork completed, they soon got into chatting about the play they were about to see.
Just time for a quick coffee before curtain up, the group took their seats in the historic theatre.
Smiles all round form being in a cultural environment with friend.
Two hours later and back on the SHIFT minibus in the safe hands of Sean the driver and the group began to discuss the performance.
Quotes like: “WilfredBramble was one of a kind” and “A completely different production” outlined how deeply the group had analysed the play. Group members also thought the production was, “Cleverly done” and “thought provoking” as well as focusing on “the darker side of family life and flash points”.
Getting off the bus – looking forward to the next trip.
All in all the group had a great time and, on arriving back in St Helens, were already looking forward to the next trip to the theatre.