The first play in Joe O’Byrne’s critically acclaimed series, Tales from Paradise Heights the series that has critics calling Joe the new Jimmy McGovern and the Salford Scorsese.
It’s a slice-of-life comedy-drama built from urban grit and painted with a little of the strange and supernatural. The play will move you to laughter, horror, and tears. It will have you gripped from start to finish.
It’s 12 months, 12 scenes, 1 park bench, 1 war memorial, 1 bin – and oh yes, 16 characters played by 6 incredibly talented actors. It’s more of a mathematical equation than a synopsis right? But it adds up to so much more than the sum of its parts. It is – as so many audience members have said down the years – just magic! And it’s naughty – so bring yer gran!
Tales from Paradise Heights are a series of separate but connected tales all coming to the Gladstone Theatre in Port Sunlight. They can be watched in any order. You don’t have to have seen any of the other tales to enjoy them, but watch more than one and you see the connections.
They are all set in the heart of a crumbling urban community, a shattered, shuttered, forgotten town. They’ve been called a Canterbury Tales for today. It’s a place where the mean and moody streets whisper secrets, and where between the crumbling walls and stripped-out shells these people call home you will find comedy, tragedy, heart, soul and humanity. There’s enough thrills in each to make you want to see the other tales.
But there’s something else…
There’s something strange here, a darkness nibbling at the edges, a place where the urban meets the supernatural, a community shrouded in ghostly noir. There’s an angel flitting through the tales, she used to live here, and there’s at least one ghost. There’s a cyclops doorman, a feared Frankenstein of a man, he’ll tell you the tale of the eye that died over a whiskey ’n’ dry — he’s a Beast who finds his Beauty, and a whole lot of trouble.
Look closely for an angel of death and oh yes…a stolen baby in a jar, the twin sister of…really, there are so many real but ‘magically or tragically touched’ characters that we have to stop there, we’d stray into spoiler territory.
The Bench – A Tale from Paradise Heights is at the Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight on 16 February 2024 and tickets are available from the theatre box office.