Games and After Liverpool by James Saunders

Thought-provoking theatre and assured acting are on offer at this show, which is split into two plays, both written by the late playwright James Saunders, a one-time mentor to Tom Stoppard.

There was a young boy sitting in the front row, who whispered passionately to his mum during the interval, “This is so exciting,” encapsulating perfectly the potential that this performance has to inspire.

The plays evoke ideas about linguistics, philosophy and psychology, and the Blind Elephant theatre group has a distinctive way of delivering meaning-heavy lines with a lightness and whimsy, which makes the performance fun rather than overtly intellectual. All the actors show great promise and have a natural charisma on stage, and both plays offer the opportunity for them to demonstrate the range of roles that they can take on effortlessly. Perhaps the standout performance is given by John Pritchard, who gives the impression that he is having real fun with everything he gets to deliver, particularly for his unhinged monologue about the plight of an actor in the world at large.

After Liverpool is a series of intriguing set piece dialogues about the inter-relational dynamics of couples living together, and all four actors show off the quirks that develop in a close relationship well. The second play—Games— is the stronger performance of the two, making inventive and thought-provoking use of meta-level theatre. Loosely about the My Lai Massacre in the Vietnam War, the play, originally written in 1971, raises questions about the responsibilities we, as audience and actors respectively, have in countering injustice around the world, rather than sitting watching entertainment. Here, the four actors explore theatre as an art form in itself. They do justice to this interesting piece of writing by moving effortlessly between roles, including playing actors arguing amongst themselves about their parts and delivery. There was a young boy sitting in the front row, who whispered passionately to his mum during the interval, “This is so exciting,” encapsulating perfectly the potential that this performance has to inspire. 

Reviews by Jonathan Mayo

Greenside @ Infirmary Street

The Castle

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Courtney Pauroso: Gutterplum

★★★★★
The Stand’s New Town Theatre

Limmy: Surprisingly Down to Earth, and Very Funny

★★★
Heroes @ The Hive

Joz Norris Is Dead. Long Live Mr Fruit Salad.

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

'We never answer each other's questions. Have you noticed? We just add more questions. It's not communication, it's ping-pong.' Communication is hard. Obeying orders is easy. Two back-to-back plays that ask when are we actually communicating with each other and when are we just talking? By genre-defying James Saunders, 'Most Promising Playwright' (Evening Standard). Praise for blind elephant's previous show, Endgame: 'The acting from all four is faultless... blind elephant are surely destined for great things' ***** (Skinny).

Most Popular See More

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets