Manchester Theatre Awards

> Independent informed reviews by the region’s most experienced critics


Liz Richardson
Tara Robinson
19 July 2017 to 22 July 2017

Are you squeamish?    "Gutted"  (an appropriate title) had busy  houses on its first visit to HOME last year and nobody left last night.  Liz Robertson, the sole cast member has had twenty years of hospitals and treatment for ulcerative colitis, the medical name for inflammatory bowel ulcers and they don't go away.   We follow this extraordinary life of embarrassing accidents, the smells, the pain and tears but also the hilarity.  Liz takes on all the roles and voices of intense consultants,  bossy nurses,  crabby patients, her family and the promising relationship with Luke, adding a one-woman demonstration of their experimental sexual workouts - brave?    A screen at the back follows progress on film of these characters (not the sexy bits!) and identifies them by name, plus a snippet  from Liz's own bowel X-ray in  glorious technicolour - non-medics be warned.


The stage set is just three toilets with lids (used for prop storage) and a writing desk with two chairs.    A few members of the audience are enticed (with free bottles of beer and fancy cakes) to come on stage and read out revealing excerpts of parents and pals letters and diaries, filling in both the stubborness and comedy of it all. 


The crowning moment is Liz's appearance in a black bikini when she sketches a diagram of tubes and tummy bags on her body and explains how they work (apparently the medical profession greatly approved).   This is an absorbing hour of knowledge and admiration of generous revelation.


PS  Liz Robertson married Luke



Reviewer: Diana Stenson