“If I was to throw myself beneath that tide… If I was to let the water take me, ’til the cold felt like heat, like love…”
Present day. Liverpool. All alone, an old man falls in a basement and loses consciousness. World War Two. Norway. A young sailor with a heart full of hope and courage falls in love.
Narvik tells the story of a Liverpudlian man and a Norwegian woman pulled together and torn apart by war as the events of one summer cause ripples across an ocean of time. After its acclaimed run at Liverpool Playhouse, and marking Manchester company Box of Tricks’ tenth anniversary season, the award-winning playwright Lizzie Nunnery’s Narvik comes to HOME.
Inspired by the tales of navy veterans, this is a play where music and words meet, a powerful story of love, guilt, heroism and betrayal.
★★★★ “It has a dreamlike eeriness, and it is acted with a raw and intimate directness… Has a tang and a tenderness that linger.” – The Times (behind paywall)
★★★★ “Narvik is not like anything else I have heard in the theatre… A compressed exploration of the effects of war, reaching out to a language other than words.” – The Observer
“Haunting… Joe Shipman slips convincingly from playing Jim as a guilt-ridden old man to the mouthy young lad who falls for Else.” – The Sunday Times (behind paywall)
“Director Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder creates a very strong feeling of place on a superb cramped set that resembles the inside of the ship. It’s a play that is meant to make us think… Beautiful and moving.” – Quiet Man Dave
“A powerful and profound play that makes a valuable statement about the realities of love and war.” – Manchester Theatre Awards
★★★★★ “[Director] Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder’s production works as an effortless ensemble piece… A spellbinding study of wartime lovers lost at sea.” – The Stage
★★★★ “The stage directions usefully indicate the leaps of imagination that the play requires from its audience, but their concentration is rewarded with a moving meditation on love, guilt, memory and bravery.” – Northern Soul
★★★★ “A bold and powerful play about of love, guilt, heroism and betrayal… The element that makes Narvik so special is the use of music and sound in the play. You can’t help but get swept away in the story. Compelling, a thrilling piece of local theatre.” – Frankly My Dear
“An enigmatic piece of theatre about love and loss… Set to a mesmeric collection of music, the band create a haunting sound that echoes the dialogue’s poignancy effectively… Beautifully crafted.” – Sincerely, Amy
★★★★ “A strong ensemble piece spearheaded by a charming performance by Joe Shipman… An enchanting, affecting evening of theatre.” – The Reviews Hub
“Certainly packs a punch… Truly mesmerising, chilling and haunting.” – Mancunion
“Beautifully produced and compelling… As for [Lizzie] Nunnery she may have produced a breakthrough work that marks her out as a real talent, but more than she has done her granddad and his mates proud. There really is no higher praise than that.” – Louder Than War
“The fragmented narrative favours the magical over realism at times, but the richness of the play isn’t drastically impacted by these little flights of fantasy.” – Mancunian Matters
★★★★ “Box Of Tricks champions new writing and loves things which challenge and don’t necessarily follow the norm [and] have once again found a winning formula… A very clever and well-crafted play.” – North West End
“Director Hannah Tyrell-Pinder has created a simplistic but truthful production, in which the talents of the cast are allowed to excel without overshadowing [Lizzie] Nunnery’s spectacular writing and songs… A compelling and moving production… Utterly unmissable.” – Upstaged Manchester
“The play uses original music in a clever and effective way – a feat for Manchester-based theatre company Box of Tricks to be extremely proud of.” – Lipstick at Weekends
“As an audience, we weren’t watching the wartime era, we were feeling it… The production was a triumph of collective theatrical elements… An enjoyable evening of experiential theatre.” – State of the Arts
★★★★ “Lizzie Nunnery’s thrillingly enigmatic memory play… Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder’s production for Box of Tricks has a chilled, hallucinatory quality… It is the music – a skein of electronically filtered shanties and ballads performed by Nunnery and her regular collaborators Vidar Norheim and Martin Heslop – that is used to most atmospheric effect… A thrillingly theatrical encapsulation of a little-known theatre of war.” – The Guardian
★★★★ “Nunnery’s words and Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder’s direction quickly draw you in. The cast create an atmospheric soundscape, and the plot zigzags like a ship trying to outrun a German U-boat, throwing up some unexpected moments… Compelling, at times almost poetic, storytelling… Narvik’s 80 minutes move swiftly by, and there’s a satisfying (Arctic) circle to Nunnery’s Norse saga.” – Liverpool Echo
★★★★★ “A moving and powerful piece… Haunting and atmospheric.” – The Skinny
★★★★ “When a piece of theatre like Narvik comes along, rich in dialogue as well as music and song, you cannot help but be completely absorbed… Moments of real tenderness, humour and plenty of tension… A strong script, with excellent performances all round.” – Purple Revolver
“An excellent piece of work… For Lizzie Nunnery, Narvik easily stands side by side with her stunning The Swallowing Dark, a play of great importance and dedication to the story, a skillful piece of artistic undertaking.” – 8.5/10 Liverpool Sound & Vision
“Rebel folk endures and develops uniquely – just listen to Lizzie Nunnery” – The Observer
To celebrate the release of the EP of original music from Narvik, playwright Lizzie Nunnery will be performing music from Narvik and her previous albums alongside collaborators Martin Heslop and Vidar Norheim at HOME on Wednesday 1st February.
Lizzie Nunnery is a singer and songwriter, performing regularly with producer/composer Vidar Norheim. Releases include albums Company of Ghosts (Fellside Recordings 2010) and Black Hound Howling (Red Thread 2012). Their last EP Songs of Drink and Revolution was released in 2013 to critical acclaim.
The performance of Narvik begins at 19.45. After the show, please join us in the ground floor bar for the post-show gig.