The Ripple Effect arrives at The Empire Theatre just days after the Olympics begin. Playwright Ursula Rani Sarma has been inspired by Olympic nations uniting to compete. This exciting piece is spoken by the true 'voice of Merseyside' as Ursula has worked with young people in workshops, giving us an insight into our own culture and how we see the world in 2012 and beyond.

The play is set in a post-war future, which sees the United Kingdom turned into a wasteland, leaving each city divided by a wall. Crops cannot grow, water is polluted and the wall divides the council of dictators and the illegals, those who refuse to work for the dictators and are left with nothing. Beth and Christopher are determined to overcome their struggle for survival, planning to break down the walls and overcome the council in an adventure that has a ripple effect across the country.

This original piece with refreshing ideas and themes originates from local people and those performing. Sarma not only creates the script but also the lyrics for "Mirrors" proving her commitment. Liam Cavanagh gives a clear and confident narration and Anthony Saunders giving a simple but effective set design.

There are a few issues with crackling microphones and through 'no reply' there are times where you cannot hear the singular voice over the choir. Despite this the audiences are pleased, given especial plaudits to Callum Cavanagh's humourless guard, Mark. The hard work and affecting execution behind this show makes it more than worth your time.

- by Emma Rhodes

(Reviewed at the Liverpool Empire)