Rating: **** (4 Stars)
The vibrant and inclusive, multi-award winning Liverpool Theatre Festival is back for its fourth year and it simply gets better and better, year upon year!
It is absolutely fantastic that the sole aim of Liverpool theatre producer Bill Elms, creator of Liverpool Theatre Festival (who has worked in the theatre industry for more than 30 years) is to further reinvigorate and boost the city’s live performance and creative arts sector. He does this by hosting affordable performances and events across the city including at the iconic St Luke’s bombed out church, offering the biggest and most diverse programme to date. With 24 performances over 11 days which feature: drama, cabaret, comedy, music, opera, musicals, family shows, and drag shows. This is an unforgettably memorable event. Well done that man as he is encouraging younger audiences to experience all areas of the arts either viewing or working in theatre; and also by providing numerous opportunities for: actors, writers, producers, front and back stage roles to work and showcase their talented skills.
This year Liverpool Theatre Festival commenced at the start of the school summer holidays, Thursday 20 July and runs until Sunday 30 July 2023.
Due to our inclement weather, it has been a testament to the actors and whole production team’s resilience that performances have still been staged.
It was my pleasure to review the talented MAMA G in the production of The Magic Bookmark on Monday afternoon. This one woman show, written and performed by the pantomime dame who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent adeptly delivered a colossal message in a subtle way. The themes of empathy, acceptance and kindness towards others resonated with the all age group audience. It was informative, yet comforting and wholly non threatening to the diverse audience.
It all started with the antagonistically evil Book Worm, who via a pre-recorded TV screen (I wish that it had been a larger projected image for those seated towards the middle and the back) decided that reading gives people too much knowledge and makes all the books from Mama G’s library disappear. Before the world can turn to chaos, Mama G vowed to save the day by finding three books which helped make the world a better place. Awareness of transgender and LGBTQ+ were demonstratively prevalent throughout the three stories. MAMA G especially focused on the children, garnering their thoughts and ideas without pressing and challenging them too much whilst encouraging interaction from the audience. From the opening scene, the audience were engaged and enthralled via fun, songs, dances, and puppetry in the form of a chatty and often witty bookmark.
This was a lively, very clever performance from start to finish that was suitable for all ages. MAMA G can be followed on all social media platforms.