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Dreaming of a Barry White Christmas (Liverpool Echo Arena, Auditorium)

A different take on A Christmas Carol ideal for an adult night out and the perfect antidote to the traditional pantomime.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Back by popular demand, Dreaming Of A Barry White Christmas returns for an extended run of three weeks, following it's success last year where the show only had a short run of five nights.

Dreaming of a Barry white Christmas

Writer Dave Kirby's take on the traditional story of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, is not one that will be familiar to you. Set in a dilapidated toilet roll factory in Liverpool owned by Thomas Minge (Andrew Schofield), a miser who despises and hates everything.

As Christmas approaches he grows even more grumpy as memories of Christmases past come back to haunt him. When his four employees, Louise (Gillian Hardie), Jimmy (Alan Stocks), Mouse (Paul Duckworth) and work shy Wayne (Lenny Wood), discover that they face the sack, they find a way of surviving and discover Thomas's secret along the way.

Add Keddy Sutton as the singing tramp to the mix and you have a melting pot of over the top characters, canny one-liners and enough Barry White songs to fill your Christmas stockings with.

This cast work well together, no doubt already familiar with Kirby's tight paced script which comes across to give funny and confident performances all round. There are a few vocal numbers thrown in, and Hardie and Sutton's duets are perfectly balanced, as is Lenny Wood's one number, which proved to be a favourite with the audience.

Housed perfectly in the Echo Arena's sister venue, The Auditorium, it accommodates the large set well with the stage divided into two sections - the office of the factory and Thomas's upstairs bedroom.

This is not a family show, rather a night out with your mates before heading into town, but is most definitely a strong contender to an alternative Christmas night out.

Dreaming of a Barry White Christmas is at the Echo Arena until 3 January.

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