Andrew Schofield and Stephen Fletcher have played everything on the Liverpool stage from father and son-in-law to Lennon and McCartney, and recently took that working relationship one step further by going out on their own to direct and stage their own production of David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre.
Their modest production was a real word-of-mouth success, and fortunately extended its run at the Actors Studio for another week, with a final performance last night (Saturday).
The work put in for this sweet, low budget production was a labour of love, and was perfectly suited to their dynamic. Schofield played Robert, a plummy, hammy old school ac-tor, to Fletchers’ John, young and with everything to play for.
It was, they say, one of the first major productions of Mamet’s work in Liverpool, which is as much of a surprise as the show itself.
Interspersed between the insight into the characters’ lives in the dressing room — barely tolerating and supporting each other in equal measure — were scenes of the comically earnest productions they found themselves in, from wartime dramas to experimental dance.
When it was funny it was a riot, when it was touching, it brought a real lump to the throat. As a snapshot of the profession the writing came straight from the heart; as a meta study of the world of theatre, for many viewing it could even be too close to home (Robert’s scathing piece on critics was bad enough); and as a platform for Schofield and Fletcher, it was a genius idea and a real treat for those in the know.