Friday, 13 October 2017

Theatre Review: Rita, Sue and Bob Too - Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool

Image Source: Liverpool Echo
Written By: Scott Gunnion

Format: Play
Genre: Comedy Drama
Date: October 10 2017
Location: Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool

What is there to say about Rita, Sue and Bob Too? It is the most unpretentious of beasts, if you care to be blunt about it.

Uninhibited by inhibitions and hard-faced with bare-faced cheek, this show was full frontal - and that’s not a reference to the naked arse shots that were full and prominent. The producers, Out of Joint, certainly know how to put on a show.

James Atherton, of prior Hollyoaks fame, was excellent as the habitually sleazy Bob. What ought to have been a black and white moral issue about consent and sexual maturity was coloured in heavy with multi-coloured felt tip and highlighted with permanent marker.

You could not stencil Bob with any ill intention; this was merely a man who was prisoner to his sexual desires and intense desire for regular sexual activity. You never feel any resentment or contempt for him, despite his obvious moral failings. It is a testament to Atherton’s skill as an actor that he manages to paint Bob as a lovable rogue.

This was a production that easily managed to convey a very complex sexual situation in a palatable, easily relatable manner. It is almost impossible to feel judgement or disdain for the three major characters, even though Bob’s hard-done-by wife features and makes an attempt to tug on the heart strings.

Rita, Sue and Bob Too is a riot from start to finish. An all Northern cast in their element on a Northern stage in front of a Northern audience, and to top it off, it comes complete with an excellent 80s soundtrack. There’s Soft Cell, Bowie, Duran Duran, The Human League. Completely fitting for a production that is gloriously of the 80s, in all its inoffensive political incorrectness.

Summing it up, this is an ace production with real heart and real spirit.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10 - Good

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