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Opening: Brick Up: The Wirral Strikes Back!

Playwright Nicky Allt's spin-off to the hugely successful play, Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels, opens at the Liverpool Empire this week.

Joining the cast is Eithne Browne, who starred in the original ‘Brick Up’ and fellow ex Brookside star Dean Sullivan. Famous for his portrayal of Jimmy Corkhill, Sullivan has won several Best Actor awards, and the Special Achievement Gold Award, at the British Soap Awards.

Playing opposite these two is Warren Donnelly, who most will know for his role in cult Channel Four comedy Shameless in which he has played policeman Stan Waterman for the past six years. He is joined by veteran Brookside actress Bernie Foley.

The seasoned cast is joined by some new talent currently emerging from Liverpool. Returning from Allt’s One Night In Istanbul is Kate McEvoy who plays Kelly Kelly and alongside her is her ‘onstage brother’ Marc Hughes. They are joined by the multi-talented Emma Nowell, fresh from the West End playing Linda in Blood Brothers.

You Tube sensation Darren Farley, who is known for his impressions of Liverpool footballers, reprises his role of reporter Tony Hoax last seen in One Night In Istanbul.

The marketing campaign began on April Fool's day with eight billboards around Liverpool and Wirral were stating a new political party, known as ‘Wirral Alliance: No Kingsway.’ No Kingsway is a new political party set up to stem the tide of mass advancement of scousers moving to the Wirral. This cross contamination of our unique culture and way of life has to be halted. We the people of Wirral have been penalised by the stealth tax in the form of the Mersey Tunnels fee. This fee amounts to an extra tax that we pay just for the privilege of living on the Wirral.”

And its ‘founder’ William Laird said: “The people of Wirral for too long have been treated as second class citizens and have been forced to pay extra taxes just because of where we live. I have set this party up to give a voice to the people of Wirral for too long have been voiceless and overshadowed by the spectre of Liverpool. We will no longer be ridiculed and sidelined both in the local press and the growing so called “culture” of Liverpool.”

However, Laird is the central character to Allt’s new play Brick Up: The Wirral Strikes Back! who is a businessman living in Heswall.

Brick Up: The Wirral Strikes Back! is a new tale set after the Mersey tunnels have been bricked up and the Runcorn bridge blown up, leaving the Wirral stranded and isolated. Without any link to Liverpool, the Wirral peninsular and the “wirrilians”, short for “we’re all aliens”, are forced to adapt to a new way of life.

The credit crunch and worldwide recession have taken their toll on Wirral entrepreneur, William (Cammel) Laird. With banks in receivership and a city-gent lifestyle to maintain, not only is he struggling to raise finance for new projects, but his money-mad wife, Margaret, is also bang on his case. Meanwhile, their two teenage children, Benjamin (nice but dim) and Anthea (a methadone marcher) are silver spoon fed. In true parent mode, they don’t care what daddy gets up to, as long as they remain well-feathered!

Across the River Mersey lives William’s foreman at Cammel Lairds shipbuilders, Vinny Kelly. Vinny, a Yozzer Hughes lookalike, embraces politics that are old school Labour. Unaware of any plot, he sees nothing wrong in William’s new company promptings, till his wife Angie and teenage daughter, Kelly become embroiled in The Lairds new business plan.

The play is being produced by Allt’s company Bang on Top Productions, which he runs with his business partner Emile Coleman.

The cast also includes Bang On Top productions’ favourite Hod Carrier turned thespian Tony Caveney. Tony was plucked from the terraces of LFC’s Anfield and thrust in to the limelight when he debuted in One Night In Istanbul in May 2009.

Brick Up: The Wirral Strikes Back! runs at the Liverpool Empire until 15 September.


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