Sunday 10th July, 7pm-late

This is Our Bev

#ThisIsOurBev- Youtube

The character of Bev was born in 2017, during a bingo night in an underground hotel bar in Liverpool. 

Catherine Rice and Stephen Fletcher had met a few years back when Cath was co-running the Liverpool Actor's Studio on Seel Street when Life in Theatre staged The Last 5 years there. 

"We knew there was something more to get from Bev" says Cath "so we set about exploring different stories for her to tell and different ways of telling them."

"We created a short-film, developed a sell-out one-woman show for The Royal Court studio with a softer and warmer Bev at its heart, and then developed a new Christmas show, OUR BEV'S CHRISTMAS CRACKER." says Stephen. 


Following the show's success, they have now developed a two-hander called MAKING IT! 

This was due to be performed in Summer 2020, but was shelved due to the virus pandemic. It is supported by the Liverpool Culture Company and the RISE TOGETHER FESTIVAL. 

When it is eventually staged, it will again star Catherine Rice as Bev, and Andrew Schofield joins her as long-suffering social-club host, Harry. 

Stephen and Cath have developed further pieces from BEV, including the short film VIRTUAL INSANITY, supported by RISE FESTIVAL'S micro-commissions, as a direct response to the UK's life in lockdown.
They are currently developing a brand-new sit-com around the character of Bev, set in Liverpool. 

WINNER- OUR BEV'S CHRISTMAS CRACKER- Theatre Culture Award 2018, The Liverpool Echo.

Our Bev is an award-winning, two-act, comedy drama. Following a one-night scratch show of this loveable local character, Bev returned to The Royal Court Studio at the end of 2018, playing to sell-out crowds, to great critical acclaim and a surprise award for one of the best theatre pieces of the year.

Over the course of one evening backstage, we are transported to film sets, audition rooms and holiday camps as ever-ambitious singer and actor, Bev, takes us through her last 30 years in show business. 

OUR BEV was produced by Life in Theatre, in association with The Royal Court.
Starring - Cath Rice
Directed by- Stephen Fletcher
Written by- Cath and Stephen

REVIEW: Catherine Rice shines as the club singer looking to the stars while lugging her own speakers around

Review by Jamie McLoughlin

About 10 years ago, someone in telly hit upon the idea of a pair of shows that were linked but different.

One was Moving Wallpaper, a comedy about the frantic scramble to get a new soap - Echo Beach - on air. Straight after Moving Wallpaper, an actual episode of Echo Beach was aired with some subtle in jokes bleeding through from the former into the script of the latter.

For some reason, this brave experiment kept coming to mind while watching the remarkable tour-de-force underway in the Royal Court basement until Saturday.

Our Bev’s Christmas Cracker is a one-woman show of two halves performed by the remarkable Catherine Rice.

Prior to the interval we have an earthy, warm monologue about a club singer preparing for her last gig after 30 years in the business.

Bev’s had a better career than most, from film and TV extra work to offers of cruise ship residencies and even a brief appearance on Corrie. But the phone call she is waiting for that evening could change her career for ever and propel her into movies.

Rice’s approachable, engaging stage persona, helped no doubt by her own experiences on the comedy and compere circuit, means she never gets lost in the monologue co-written with director Stephen Fletcher.

This is a production which knows its audience as the Court’s studio, fast becoming a venue to try out new writing before unleashing it on a wider world, becomes both sides of the Scotch Broth social club stage, complete with shimmering foil curtains and festive trappings. It’s well-written straightforward comedy with a worldly intelligence underpinning the humour.

Bev doesn’t hold back from telling all about the encounters with sleazy managers and showbiz impresarios which shaped her experiences with fame and is quick to laugh at herself as much as everyone else in a characterisation which brings to mind a Scouse Marti Caine.

It’s an analogy more prominent in the second half.

The shift from monologue to stand-up routine gives the production a welcome depth and it’s interesting to see some punchlines land after being seeded in the first half. Rice is a natural performer with a crowd and despite the acres of dialogue she has to wrangle, can still pause for some impromptu interaction with the crowd.

It’s also in this half we get to hear more of her singing voice as she treats us to The Temptations’ Get Ready and a smattering of audience favourites. Certainly vocals worth waiting for, it was enough to get some of the room on their feet.

It’s a solo show about a strong Liverpool woman dealing with life on her own terms so perhaps there will be inevitable comparisons to a certain Shirley but that would be unfair. Shirl is wistful and wants to escape the grind, Bev is a realist and is quite prepared to launch herself headlong into it.

This is only in town for a short run but for something more intimate with a lot of heart, soul and Merseyside wit, you’ll be glad you popped down to see Bev.

BELOW- The Guide, Liverpool, talks to Stephen Fletcher and Cath Rice about their festive adaptation of OUR BEV.