Loose Lips Theatre Company are a Salford-based all-female group who, together with a company of five actors – and a small wooden box – perform a bizarre tale drawn, somewhat laterally, from the pages of Shakespeare’s best plays, but with references to Reality TV, quiz shows and Evangelical Christians thrown in just for good measure.
Written by the groups Managing Director, Sarah Turnbull, and its Artistic Director, Karolyn Szejner, the story tells of three of Shakespeare’s couples who encounter a mysterious witch Steph Reynolds. They are informed that their futures are doomed, unless they find their creator and stop the ink drying, before its too late. Three days is the time limit given and, with that, the mayhem begins.
First we are introduced to the six doomed characters. Macbeth is played, with an almost incomprehensible Scottish accent, by Laura- Marie Ring with Lady Macbeth, Charlotte McConnell a terribly posh control freak of a woman. Szejner takes the, very child-like, role of Ophelia, with, for some reason, the small wooden box as Hamlet.
The casting of the box to partner Ophelia, however, does not make theirs the strangest coupling because next we meet the pouting, prancing and flouncing Romeo and Julian. Sean Kieran Kay and Thom Evans, dressed head to toe in rather revealing Lycra, camp things up to the max in these roles and get the lion’s share of the laughs.
The story is narrated, and at some points sung, by Kadie-Jo Green as Puck and it is her that first introduces us to the forest of 53 trees, all reluctantly played by Jonathan Eakin. The poor man is angry at being the lowest paid of all on stage and, although listed simply as tree in the programme, quite furious that he is now required to play an entire forest.
It’s never easy to describe such surreal goings on, as it is very much a case of “you had to be there at the time”, but the puns were there for the taking, with some quotes and passages from the original plays, neatly woven in throughout.
This is a very young and energetic company, who have the ability to deliver lines clearly and concisely, to perform slapstick physical comedy with amazing skill and faultless timing, to sing with perfect voices and who have great potential.