REVIEW: Fistful of Collars @ Royal Court 20/04/10

A little dry cleaning shop on Wavertree High St is struggling to pay the latest rent increase from the local gangster landlord, if only there was a way to make some extra cash… Rich Denton went along to find out

Sisters Pat and Eileen (well just Pat) hatch a plan to bring in high quality garments from the city’s celebrities for dry cleaning and putting them on the rack at their newly created dress hire shop.

Slow to start the pace quickly increased as the plot which follows a simple and well trodden formula developed. Yet, with a paranoid gangster (Jake Abraham), his scheming PA (Suzanne Collins), a bag of money, a gun, a policeman who thinks he’s a secret agent and a WAG in a bag perhaps things weren’t as straight forward as they seemed.

There were solid performances from Pauline Daniels alongside Royal Court favourite Eithne Browne but the real stars of the show were the mouthy Leona played by Lindzi Germain and Lenny Wood as the not so bright Billy.

The humour which came at the expense of Wayne and Coleen Rooney, Kerry Katona and Heather McCartney brought in some of the biggest laughs of the night. The cast also bursting into song rewriting the lyrics of Dolly Parton’s ‘Joleen’ to accommodate everyone’s favourite footballer’s wife.

Writer Fred Lawless who also penned the popular Merry Ding Dong explained in the programme notes that the idea behind the play actually started with the parodied title which he built the play around. This showed in places as the dialogue was not as strong as perhaps it could have been.

That said, this play does exactly what the Royal Court does best, well written comedy with a twist as local as the Scouse served up beforehand.

Coleen, Coleen, Coleen, Collllleeen!!

A Fistful of Collars runs at the Royal Court until Saturday 15th May

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