Friday, 13 November 2015

Review: Day of the Flymo at Newcastle Live Theatre

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“We cannot give up because it’s hard”

Day of the Flymo
Newcastle Live Theatre 
Until Saturday 21st November 2015

Award winning playwright Paddy Campbell’s second play returns to the Live Theatre after it’s sell out run in April 2015. His first play Wet House was stunning (Wet House: NETG Review LINK) so will his second play live up to the high expectations?

Kalem Patterson & Tezney Mulroy
Liam is a 13 year old boy who cannot see the point of school. He has been expelled because of his behaviour. Compounding the problems is the nature of his home life. He lives with his Mum, Karen, and Sister, Becca, whilst his Dad is away at her majesties pleasure at HMP Durham. Dad is violent, and one episode resulted in Liam ending up in care whilst Mum had to go into hospital. The family are known to social services and Ben is looking after the case.

The play is both powerful and emotional without ever going for the obvious sob story. Director Paul James uses Paddy Campbell’s text to explore a situation sympathetically without cliché nor unnecessary overacting. Hence it is remarkable that this is done using genuine school aged actors rather than recent graduates pretending to be 13.

The central star is 14 year old local lad Kalem Patterson, as the troubled Liam.  Kalem owns the role, warts and all.  He is able fill the stage with boundless enthusiasm and draw empathy from the Live Theatre audience.

Tezney Mulroy is magnificent as Liam’s sister Becca. She is the straight one who is battling to keep her family together and study for exams despite the home issues.  It is easy to feel compassion rather than pity as she tries to lead the family.

Completing the young line up is Sophie Pitches as the slightly older girl Clara, whom Liam has found is also avoiding school Clara befriends him after initially appearing aloof.

Tezney Mulroy,  Sophie Pitches and  Kalem Patterson
All three young actors do a wonderful job in roles that are central to the plot. Whilst their performances can be, at times raw, it is in keeping with the nature of the story and they show a degree of maturity in their portrayal.  They have the potential to be future stars in the making.

Supporting the young cast are Jill Dellow, as the mother who is struggling with life, and Akemnji Ndifornyen as the pragmatic social worker Ben.  Their on stage relationships with the children are believable and compassionate.  Jill draws real emotion as her character’s fragile existence hangs in the balance. The role of Ben also involves a degree of narration, as the case notes on Liam, and his family, are revealed. Akemnji holds the piece together nicely and without fuss.

Day of the Flymo examines the role of the state when it gets involved in family relationships. It does not preach or over dramatise the scenario. The result is a powerful, rich and compassionate show that is well worth seeking out.

Written by Paddy Campbell
Directed by Paul James
Assistant Director Rachel Glover
Set Design by Phil Green

This review was written by Stephen Oliver for the North East Theatre Guide from Jowheretogo PR ( Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook

Day of the Flymo comes to Live Theatre from Thursday 12th to Saturday 21st November.
PERFORMANCES: Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm
MATINEE: Saturday 14 November,

For more information on Day of the Flymo and to buy tickets costing between £18 to £10, over 60s concessions from £16 to £12 and other concessions £10 to £6 call Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232 or see

DURATION:  Approx 1hr 20mins
SUITABILITY: 13+, contains strong language and some scenes of violence
TICKETS: £18-£10, over 60s conc. £16-£12 other concs. £10-6

BSL Tuesday 17 November, 7.30pm
Captioned Wednesday 18 November, 7.30pm
Touch Tour Thursday 19 November, 6pm
Audio Described Thursday 19 November, 7.30pm

Related Events: 
Tuesday 17 November, Approx 9pm (10 minutes after the end of the play) – Talkback

Join writer Paddy Campbell, director Paul James and the actors from the show as they talk about the process of bringing the show to the stage and discuss the issues raised in the play 

DATES: Tues 17 Nov, 9pm (10 minutes after the end of the play)

LOCATION: Main Theatre
DURATION:  Approx. 40mins
Free, booking essential

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