Based on the lives of his own siblings who grew up in Preston in the ‘70s with a violent father and much-loved mother, Dermot Canavan’s touching and warm-hearted two-hander (his first full length play) paints a picture of youthful rebellion against a backdrop of the liberating excitement of discovering Northern soul at Wigan Casino.

Amanda Daniels (who has already played the part in York and Edinburgh) reprises the role of Grace who stayed behind to pick up the pieces, whilst Imogen Stubbs gives the more glamorous Niamh a restless exuberance – until illness cruelly strikes. Both are excellent, and if the play (with its evocative personal references) is stronger on atmosphere than plot, that’s more than compensated for by the infectious likeability of Ian Talbot’s production which blends sadness and disappointment with unfulfilled optimism and some joyful time-warp dancing to the Tamla Motown tunes of the era.

Trafalgar Studios (2) | £15.00 – £30.00
Whitehall, SW1A 2DY
Tube | Charing Cross
till 27th April

Image via Helen Murray