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Thursday 22nd January 2004
The Entertainer @ Liverpool Playhouse
corin redgrave
Corin Redgrave as Archie
The Entertainer

Liverpool Playhouse, Williamson Square, Liverpool

Runs until 7th February 2004

Review By: Jenny Coslett
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Remember 'The Fast Show' and Paul Whitehouse as music hall entertainer Arthur Atkinson? 'How queer!'...'Where's me washboard?'

This is the story of wartime entertainer Archie Rice, a struggling comedian performing at a music hall that is rapidly losing it’s audience to more popular variety shows.

Set in 1956, The Entertainer by John Osborne follows the lives of three generations in post-war England at it falls from as its status as a colonial power.

Corin Redgrave is brilliant as Archie, the all-round funny man replete with bad jokes and patriotic wartime songs. The crowds don’t love him anymore, but Archie keeps on smiling and dancing. After all it’s the British way to put on a brave face - a couple of gags and everything will be alright.

Paola Dionisotti gives an excellent performance as his long-suffering alcoholic wife Phoebe; she remains committed to her husband, putting up with his womanising and trying to hide their money problems.

Eileen Walsh and Mark Rice-Oxley are wonderful as Archie's children: Jean and Frank. Leslie Randall is also first-class as Archie’s Dad, Billy.

It might be set in the 50’s, but The Entertainer is a story of family relationships and is as relevant today as ever. It will make you stop and think about where you’re headed yourself.

The Entertainer runs at the Liverpool Playhouse until until 7th February 2004.
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