Turn of the century poverty, street life, poor orphans, alcoholic carers, kindly new parents, tragic deaths and an ending of bettering your lot in life – I could be describing the plot of Les Miserables no? Well I’m actually talking about Her Benny.
Her Benny, written by a cleric in the 1800’s is a book all about street life and abject poverty on the streets of Liverpool around that time and it’s widely considered to be a classic. The author sold over a million copies world-wide in his lifetime believe it or not.
The book has been turned into an award winning musical (featuring all local talent of course) and it’s in the middle of its 25th anniversary run at Royal Court Liverpool.
Now I’d be lying if I said it was a West End or Broadway level production – the Royal Court is more about putting on a welcoming, local performance. BUT it’s a very enjoyable night out. Her Benny is a great tear jerking story (I certainly had wet eyes at the end of Act One), full of catchy tunes and some really amazing performances from some very young actors. The singing voices on the main child actors playing Benny and Nell bates were goosebump inducing.
If you’re a Scouser and you’ve not read Her Benny, then a) what are you playing at? and b) get yourself down to the Royal Court for a far lighter, condensed and overall entertaining experience of the tale.
Her Benny runs at the Royal Court until the 10th February. Tickets available online or from the box office.