Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Review: Lightning Under Their Skirts at Action Transport Theatre

Lightning Under Their Skirts

With the opening of Storyhouse, Chester, tomorrow, it's very easy to get excited about theatre. However, it's also reminded me how many amazing, small theatres we have locally. Last week I visited St Mary's Creative Space and then last night I was back at Action Transport Theatre.

Lightning Under Their Skirts
Credit: David Knight Portraits

After the very serious, heart-wrenching play last week I was looking for something a little bit more whimsical, especially as my best friend is visiting from America and is still a little jetlagged. Lulled by the promise of Babycham and cheese and pineapple on sticks we paid a visit to the first ever showing of Lightning Under Their Skirts. 

Lightning Under Their Skirts is an experimental theatre piece combining drama, poetry and music. Written by former Poet Laureate, Joy Winkler, it's about the dreary, monochrome 1950s making way for a bright, new decade. 

From the outset, Lightning Under Their Skirts is a riot of colour, music, humour and with just enough family drama and grit to keep it relatable. The cast is made up of just three actors, portraying a number of characters, this kind of acting always awes me as each actor easily transitions to a new person, story, background. 

We were whirled from a drab semi, dominated by a secretive mother to the rocking dance halls and the coffee bar, where dreamer Sandy stands and watches, before finally taking a stand and beginning to live for herself. The triumphant conclusion had the audience cheering, as she flounced away in her block coloured mini-dress. 

The play itself is one part. However, after a quick turn-around, we were invited back to "Sounds of the 60s". I won't ruin the surprise of this, but it was an amazing piece of interactive theatre, a chance to mingle and interact with other audience members and enjoy the musical talents of cast members, Josie Cerise and Harvey Robinson. 

An extra credit goes to Joy Winkler, who not only wrote a fantastic, fun play but also took to the stage for her first time. 

With funding from The Arts Council, Lightning Under Their Skirts is a Storm in the North Production. Tickets are still available for dates across the North West and details can be found here.  

As ever, Action Transport Theatre has a lot of great plays coming up. Find out more here

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