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Tinned Up (Salford)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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The old adage that there’s no place like home is proved true in Tinned Up, part of the In Development with the Lowry series. The reason being is that it follows Shirley Parkin, a 63-year-old single who has lived in a small house in the Langworthy district of Salford for 44 years and she has no plans to move. The other houses are tinned up but Shirley’s is a sparkling display of house-pride.

Regeneration is a word beloved of planners but not by people like Shirley and her pals who are also fighting to keep open the local park. Her disparate, eccentric set of friends with problems of their own, are true to life as their common aim draws them together.

This amusing yet poignant play by Shred productions is a credit to writer Chris Hoyle as well as the six actors. The narrative creeps up on the audience as slowly we learn the real reason why Shirley clings on so hard to her house.

Thanks to experienced director, Trevor MacFarlane, every character in this play is fully rounded and performed,  especially Sean Croke as Daz - the rough druggie with a heart of gold and Jacqueline Pilton as Beryl, the best mate who gets inebriated with Shirley. The Tough cookie protagonist, played by Francine Rees, is so real she could sitting next to you in the bus.

In terms of pace, the first half the pace is too slow, and the play over runs its schedule. With some cutting, Tinned Up would improve. As it stands, the cast are all excellent and this is a gritty, and funny play.

Congratulations to Chris Hoyle for writing words that the gifted actors, and we - the audience, can get our teeth into.
- Julia Taylor

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