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Theatre Review: For Love or Money @ Liverpool Playhouse


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Adapted by Blake Morrison from Alain-Rene Lesage’s Turcaret for Northern Broadsides, the play which was originally performed in 1709 and almost stopped before it hit the stage, 'For Love or Money' been brought to a Yorkshire town in the 1920’s.

Modern or classical, the themes do genuinely seem to be timeless. The play centres around the viciousness of Capitalism and due to its satirical nature, the play came off stage after a mere 7 performances in its original run. Today, it’s a far cry from shocking; in fact its themes are plastered in newspapers almost every week.

Photograph by Nobby Clark

Perhaps that’s why it works so well being performed by Northern Broadsides. The West Yorkshire accents rest well on the ears of the Liverpudlian crowd, and played with our want for the working class underdog to win. What’s clever about the play, though, is that the identity of the underdog isn’t always clear. 

We’re introduced to Rose’s world through a room where the walls are missing paintings, with a conversation between herself and Marlene, the somewhat faithful housekeeper. Marlene plays the role of the anchor, bringing Rose back down to the real world with a broad Yorkshire accent and a quick sense of humour. We continue to be introduced to characters all the while asking ourselves whether they’re in it for love, or money?

Fuller and Arthur who play two parts of the love triangle with Rose were both diverse and almost caricature in parts, creating a lively performance. Ruddle, played by Matthew Booth, was very believable and sincere in his performance and, despite having not as much stage time, stood out in the cast.

Snippets of 1920’s music highlighted the entrance of each new character and with the hypocrisy exaggerating from character to character it left the audience with a consistent hum of laughter.  Though perhaps slow to start and quite predictable throughout, the interesting use of movement and humour made it the perfect Tuesday evening treat.

'For Love or Money' runs until Saturday 25th November at Liverpool Playhouse. Tickets can be bought here.

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