REVIEW: By The Waters of Liverpool, Lowther Pavilion, Lytham

Helen Forrester’s books about her upbringing in a poverty-hit family in Liverpool and her later life have sold millions of copies – and a stage version of her debut novel Two Pence To Cross The Mersey has proved a big hit, too.
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Now, the sequel By The Waters Of Liverpool is a stage production and 12 months on from Two Pence To Cross The Mersey wowing audiences at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre, the follow-up proved a captivating attraction at Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion.

It’s the story of young Helen striving for her independence by taking her first job after years of domestic duties and then encountering her first love after a chance meeting on Liverpool docks, all amid a backdrop of the threat and subsequent outbreak of the Second World War.

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It’s a touching but also often very funny tale, split into two distinct halves, with the home and work aspects depicted in impressive style before the interval, along with some very stirringly dramatic scenes to reflect the horrors of war.

Emma Mulligan as Helen Forrester in By The Waters of Liverpool.Emma Mulligan as Helen Forrester in By The Waters of Liverpool.
Emma Mulligan as Helen Forrester in By The Waters of Liverpool.

After the break, the first love storyline proceeds in delightful and ultimately deeply emotional style, many of the scenes in a dance hall, with Emma Mulligan thoroughly impressing as Helen and Joe Gill, once Finn Barton in TV’s Emmerdale, in great form as her love interest Harry.

Tom Roberts impressively portrays John Forrester, Helen’s father, while the line-up also features Lynn Francis, Daniel Taylor, Lynne Fitzgerald, Joe Owens, Samantha Alton, and Roy Carruthers and all, apart from Emma, play multiple characters admirably.

It’s a memorable piece of theatre which continues at Lowther Pavilion until Saturday.

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