REVIEW: Hope at Royal Court Theatre

Scot Williams’
new play ‘Hope’ is currently enjoying an extended run at Liverpool Royal Court Theatre. He stars alongside Mark Womack, Samantha Womack and Rene Zagger in this dark comedy about a writer struggling to cope with his writer’s block. It’s an engaging story that balances drama, comedy and emotion very well. Nicola Denton reviews…

I had been very intrigued about this play ever since I first saw the teaser banner hanging outside the Royal Court Theatre, the role of ‘Hope’ was yet to be announced. It was revealed as Mark Womack’s wife, former Eastenders star Samantha Womack, and this was the first time they have worked together since TV drama Liverpool 1.

The mood was immediately set as you entered the theatre to melancholy country and western songs and the run down bedsit set. The play starts as Mark Womack’s one man show as down trodden writer Norm, he watches old movies on his small TV and wanders around talking to himself. Rene Zagger (the funny man of the play) then enters as Guy, dishevelled with mismatch pyjamas he instantly changes the mood from serious to light hearted. This happens a lot with these characters thanks to Scot Williams’ writing; each distinct personality changes the tone when they interact. Particularly Norm and Guy, their love/hate relationship provides a lot of comedy. The play is also a love story with Hope (Samantha Womack) at the centre as the “the girl everyone wants”.

Mark Womack is great as Norm, his aggressive and sarcastic personality works well in the serious and comic moments. Samantha Womack gives a very good performance as the sexy siren with hidden depths; she and Scot Williams’ villainous Victor have great chemistry together. But Rene Zagger stood out to me most for his eccentricity and playful humour as Guy.

There is an original song used towards the end, it was composed by Tom E Morrison and sung by Samantha Womack. A beautiful song with emotional lyrics that ends the play on a poignant note.

Overall this play is definitely worth seeing. It makes you think and makes you laugh, with a moving twist at the end (without giving too much away). There is comedy, drama, emotion, romance and Scot Williams in his pants (which no one complained about!).

Hope is on at the Royal Court Theatre until 30th March.


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