The Typewriter

The 20 seater upstairs theatre at Riddles Court provides a suitably tight space for The Typewriter, a play based in a cramped office. There’s enough room for WWII propaganda writer Harry Thomas (Tom Browning), his chair and the desk on which sits the noisy period typewriter whose sound creates memories of a bygone age. Another chair accommodates either his assistant, Angeline Edmund (Charlie Upton) his wife Mary Thomas (Esme Jennings) or evacuee Eddie Smith. It’s fortunate that there are only a couple of occasions when more than two people need to squeeze in.

The quality of acting and production is of the usual high standard associated with LIPA

Harry fought in WWI and has good reason for not being on the front this time but this doesn’t prevent him from being vilified. His rigid disposition and stressed condition suggest a man with both OCD and PTSD, but those are just incidental. He is overworked, often spending nights in the office,much to the annoyance of his wife. There is an undercurrent that she expects him of having an affair with Angeline, but that never surfaces. The glares the two women exchange as they pass by each certainly leave us in no doubt that there is no love lost between them.

Browning portrays just how difficult it is to live and work with Harry, given his focussed attention on his job and his mind full of secrets that he has to guard. Upton brings a classic interpretation of the secretary, dutifully obeying orders and being respectful. Jennings plays the devoted wife, but also exudes the frustration Mary must feel in living with a man who is distant and for whom children are anathema.

The announcement of thousands of evacuees coming from London turns their world upside down and Eddie comes to live with them. The outcome of this cocky fourteen-year-old’s arrival is fairly predictable in changing Harry’s attitude towards children and bringing about a mellowing of his disposition. It’s here that various elements of credibility set in. Allowing for blind casting, it is still disconcerting that Browning is far too young to play Harry and Leigh to old and physically mature to play Eddie. Given the etiquette of the day it’s unlikely that Eddie would speak in such a familiar and insulting way to an older stranger in whose house he is a guest and the transformation that occurs in Harry seems to happen far too quickly.

The Typewriter has been created by a cohort of seven creatives from Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts and the quality of acting and production is of the usual high standard associated with LIPA. There is certainly material here for a fuller piece and indeed, it already forms a sequel to an earlier work, The Bunker.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Richard Beck

Charing Cross Theatre


The Lion And Unicorn

The Old Queen's Head

The Bridge House Theatre

Mess Maker

Park Theatre London

Sorry We Didn't Die at Sea

The Gatehouse

The Lady With a Dog

The Bridge House Theatre

One Under Par


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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Tortured by his time in the trenches and slandered for not fighting on the field, Harry Thomas writes propaganda for the government in World War Two. From his small office in Kingsbridge, Harry spends every ounce of his time hunched over his typewriter. Days and nights become one as he tries to balance his work life and relationships, specifically with his wife Mary and his assistant Angeline. With the pressure building and the typewriter rattling away to the point of insanity, a young evacuee named Eddie enters his home, changing his life forever.

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets