As the artists working from Metal at Edge Hill train station have been archiving things they uncover about the place, they came upon letters and other information relating to the Edge Hill Brass Band, the station’s own musical group who were superstars of the scene back in the day. It has inspired the new touring show Look At Us Now by the venue’s resident theatre collective Suitcase Ensemble.
A quirky kind of cabaret piece that owes more to Britpop than Berlin, Suitcase Ensemble put together a fun and good-hearted show that combines the real-life story of the station’s brass band with a turn from each of the characters on how the memories evoked by the tale – “one part folk club, one part school play”, as they describe it.
For those unfamiliar with the work of the company, the show is delightfully confusing as the audience figures out what it is all about and where it might be going – it is a tribute to a brass band from a group who don’t play a brass instrument between them, after all. The players keep their real names and often break into shambolic asides – it isn’t easy to tell whether they are lurching into improvisation or the script is that beautifully detailed.
Julie plays up to the confident American stereotype; Lauren provides the most laughs as a ditzy dancer. Beth is the smiley, happy girly girl hiding a sad story from the past, and Tessa’s strange behaviour can also be traced back to the influence of a figure from her schooldays. As the only male in the troupe, Andrew is largely treated as invisible by the girls (for laughs), although his musicality provides the backbone of the show.
Together, they blend a mix of puppetry, original song, music, dance, and real-life history into a very sweet and likeable show bursting with creativity and promising talent.
MADE UP is a blog that attempts to cram in as wide a variety of news, reviews and interviews on theatre happenings in Liverpool as possible.
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© Vicky Anderson 2013