North West Theatre


Bill Naughton
19 Jan 12 to 18 Feb 12
Octagon Theatre

It’s the height of the Swinging Sixties, and no one is embracing the spirit of free love more than Alfie. But all good things must come to an end and when his no-strings-attached life starts to come apart at the seams, it’s time for him to wonder “what’s it all about”?

...there are large sections that are very narration-heavy, so much so that it is rather like having someone read a book to you... David Ricardo-Pearce in the title role injects a bit of a weary monotone into Alfie's voice, which works surprisingly well... a lovely performance from Barbara Hockaday as Gilda and from Isabel Ford as Lily, and a nice little cameo from John Branwell as hospital visitor Joe... a very uneven show with some very good, funny and intense moments and others that feel rather long and drawn-out...
British Theatre Guide
...David Ricardo-Pearce gives the bravura performance of his career... Annie, the northern lass, done to a turn by Vicky Binns... has hit written all over it - especially when directed by resident genius, David Thacker.
The Stage
...the on-stage Alfie... is hard to love and easy to dismiss as a cocky dodo in a serge suit... begins to feel like a morality play, albeit one in which the (anti)hero addresses the audience directly to explain his philosophy of life... a taut, tight scene with a back-street abortionist... David Ricardo-Pearce's decision to play Alfie as less the Jack-the-lad charmer, more an Everyman in the grip of a growing existential crisis, is the right one... lots of furniture lugged around on stage, and a script that, like Alfie, feels like a bit of dinosaur.
The Guardian (Rating: 2/5)
...David Thacker’s - puzzlingly slow-paced - production underlines the dark heart of the piece... David Ricardo-Pearce certainly looks like the sort of chap who will attract the ladies... he fails to inhabit the role with any conviction... powerful scenes involving a back street abortion. It’s this latter strand of the play that always sticks in the mind and it is very well done here...
What's On Stage (Rating: 3/5)
...Dark haired, handsome and physically attractive,[David Ricardo-Pearce] seems a perfect fit for the role... In Act Two, he provides a performance to remember as his troubles threaten to overwhelm his façade... Although the attitudes of the title character and his search for the ideal form of bachelorhood may now seem extremely dated to a modern audience the play itself feels anything but...
The Public Reviews (Rating: 5/5)