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REVIEW: Free and Easy; Greenbrook Methodist Church

Christine Chadwick, Glenn Hawthorn and Rebbecca Astin as Vanessa, Lonnie and Sharon, taken by Duncan Parkinson. (s)
Christine Chadwick, Glenn Hawthorn and Rebbecca Astin as Vanessa, Lonnie and Sharon, taken by Duncan Parkinson. (s)
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Greenbrook Theatre Group rocked the house with its latest production.

Free and Easy is a comical jukebox musical about a pair of landlords fighting to save their award-winning pub, The Last Drop.

Written by Bill Cronshaw, it is set in 1967 in Manchester and features a medley of karaoke favourites.

It’s a laugh-a-minute show with a superb pub setting - kudos to the design team - and classic hits casting feel-good vibes like Rock Around the Clock, Can’t Help Falling in Love and Dedicated Follower of Fashion.

For this group of actors, the comical lines were a breeze.

Darren Brierly and Lesley Riley made for a charismatic pair as married landlords Eric and Iris while Helen Pollard gave a confident performance as their daughter Tracy.

Christine Chadwick flexed her powerful vocal muscles and Rebbecca Astin proved herself a natural performer as barmaids Vanessa and Sharon.

A brilliant comedy duo was found in James Seymour and Elliot Griffiths as pub regulars Switch and Kev, both with woes in love.

Glenn Hawthorn was endearing and convincing as Lonnie, a regular with a degree of learning disability.

Our villain was Dodgy Ron Stone, a seedy businessman threatening to evict Eric and Iris on behalf of the brewery.

He was played with fabulous stage presence by Duncan Parkinson.

Let’s not forget the supporting chorus which delivered harmonic vocals and the production team which put together a simple yet vibrant show with few errors.

Having laughed till your belly aches, you’ll feel like you’ve had a night dancing and drinking at the pub.

But instead of a pounding headache the next morning, you’ll have cheery songs like Bobby’s Girl swirling around your brain.

Final performances will take place on Thursday and Friday at 7-30pm at Greenbrook Methodist Church, Burnley.

Tickets can be booked on 01282 426889.