BY DAWN COLLINSON, LIVERPOOL ECHO
FORTY years ago John Dillon struck a new and vibrant chord for Merseyside writing with his strong, emotive piece, Wearing Colours.
Later this week Liverpool theatregoers have a chance to see if that power is retained.
In its final performance before a three-date run at the Unity starting Thursday, Vauxy Theatre company took Dillons latest play, Some People, into the heartland of community theatre in Netherley.
It was a bold step even for a company which have never been afraid to take chances and, in the main it worked.
Some People is a honest and unflinching tale told with a darkly comic voice and, if it lacked anything, it was a larger audience.
Set against the backdrop of Liverpools 800th birthday bash and elevation to European Capital of Culture, the play brings international celebrations down to the personal - down into the lives of three homeless, dysfunctional characters who have little in common apart from their alcohol and pharmaceutical- fuelled conversations and the lack of a roof over their heads.
They meet on a park bench and, as the firework display lights up the sky, their conversations reveal the darkness of their situation.
Intellectual down and out Danny, through his love of poetry, tries to communicate with Frazer, a spiteful, intolerant bigot, a graduate of the school which teaches that when making a point, the fist is mightier than the word.
Then there is Marie, a seasoned purveyor of sexual services whose lost and shattered dreams and heroin addiction have driven her down to where her only hope of comfort is to befriend Danny and Frazer.
Michael Christopher is superb as the eloquent Danny. He breathes a love for poetry with an alcohol-laced breath you can almost smell.
If Dave Williamson is less convincing it is because Frazer is a character who shuns warmth and familiarity.
The cast is completed with Laura Holden who fills Marias lost life with a tangible and utterly convincing hopelessness.
Dillon has a rare talent. He gives his characters three distinct and totally different voices; three people from different worlds bound together by societys indifference. Their tales are not for the easily offended and the telling is not suitable for minors but they are engrossing tales told superbly well with a dark, compelling humour.
T H E A T R E
15 April 2008