Enthusiastic Theatre Company

As the name suggests, the Enthusiastic Theatre Company is not a standing theatre company, but a group of Theatre Professionals who get together from time to time to put on theatre productions.

Our most recent production was of Barrie Keeffe's Sus, and, thanks to Arts Council fudging, represents our first fully professional production.

We aim for the highest artistic standards, which is reflected in our feedback from both audiences and the press.

The Liverpool Echo's 9 / 10 review of Sus:

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/review-sus-black-e---chilling-7960159

SUS
The Back-E, Liverpool

Reviewed by Marc Waddington for the Liverpool Echo

THERE have been some times worse than others to be a young black man in Britain, and the late 1970s was hardly one of the better ones.

Set in the eve of Margaret Thatcher’s landslide victory, Sus tells the story of Delroy, a young black Londoner well-seasoned in the experience of being arrested under the controversial “sus’ laws, where police would indiscriminately arrest people in suspicion, and without evidence of any and every misdemeanour.

This three-hander was captivating. The performances of Alan Stocks as copper Karn, soon to retire and trying to go out in a blaze of glory with one final murder conviction, Nigel Peever as his seemingly milder mannered but more sinister partner Wilby, and Nolan Frederick as Delroy, the young black man who learns this is no routine tug, were largely faultless, and the action moved at times slowly, at times fast, but always with a heavy sense of dread hanging over it.

While the play was written by the man who wrote The Long Good Friday, this was no shotguns and slappers Cockney shoot ’em up, but it’s power is double-barrelled. Stocks’ (late of Auf Wiedersehen Pet and an Everyman favourite) portrayal of Karn, the racist, misogynist, Thatcherite ageing copper, was excellently balanced between the cartoonish and the menacing.

And Peever’s Wilby, while the quieter of the two, revealed an equally ugly side as the play went on.

Frederick’s performance was equally strong, transforming Delroy’s cockiness into his vulnerability without any sudden moves, although a little more volume could have been done with at times.

No-one who sees this play has to have been affected by the issues in it to appreciate it. The parallels one can draw between its predictions of what Thatcherism would do to society and what is happening now would seem too didactic, had the play not been written 35 years ago. Instead, they are chilling.

Sus reminds us that vilification of the poor comes in cycles, and this play’s credentials in highlighting that in a gripping way are above suspicion.


Members of Mandy Actors UK who have worked for Enthusiastic Theatre Company

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