Sunday, 13 February 2011
On Friday night I paid a visit to the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich to watch the one man show (Paul Duckworth) - 'Beating Berlusconi!' The title and part of the play is based on the true tale of one of the many Liverpool fans who went to the Champions League Final in Istanbul in 2005.
This part of the play is hilarious but the whole play is full of comical moments but also at some points the theatre is silent as we remember the tragic events of Heysel and Hillsborough.
The play is not just about football, it is a portrayal of a city that was ravaged by Thatcher and her cronies but still survived, in part due to their own Scouse humour.
I loved every moment of it, for many reasons - as a football fan who spent many away match being treated like an animal both before and after Hillsborough dark days but also a fan who can remember watching those early European Cup finals with Liverpool in, like Rome in 1977. As a soldier, my regiment had our fair share of Scouse's, so very used to their humour and the scally in all of them. But also as Labour supporter as the story spoke of Thatcher, Hesseltine, Hatton and Kinnock.
I came home thinking how fantastic this great game of football is, the only game that a play about another team would go down as well in any city in the world not just Liverpool, but I was also worried, like the film/play 'Billy Elliot' they are great reminders of the Thatcher years, but we must never go back there, and with Cameron and their 'Big (no) Society' I am worried, and watching the video of the great Hessltine idea to rescue Merseyside - The International Garden Show in Liverpool - very worried that we are moving back towards those dark days. Where we will be at the whim of stupid plans by people who have no understanding what it is like to be poor, unemployed and in some cases desperate. Where can we sign up for 'Big society' if libraries and other community hubs are being closed down? Wonder where they will build the International Garden Show this time?