BIRDS OF A FEATHER
by Gary Lawson and John Phelps and Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran.
Tour to 7 July 2012.
Runs: 2hr One interval.
Review: Jan Pick 14 May at New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham.
Sister Act proves a survivor.
What a pleasure to see the Birds of a Feather team on stage in this well-crafted and witty play, based on the popular 1990s television sitcom. The story here moves the characters on in life, but the situation has remained very much the same. The women are coping alone, sharing Tracey’s house, with her son Travis, who believes that his father is dead, unaware that he has only just been released from prison. Young Charlie Quirke gave a very assured performance as the teenage Travis, skilfully treading the path between rebellion and uncertainty.
The play revolves around the reappearance of Dorien, who breezes back into their lives and inveigles the ladies to help out in her luxury care-home for the wealthy elderly. With Sharon around things are never dull and soon the three ladies are enmeshed in a situation which quickly spirals out of hand.
Robert Maskell and Caroline Burns Cooke supply solid support in their rather thankless, but necessary roles.
With three strong central performances from Pauline Quirke as Sharon, Linda Robson as Tracey, and Lesley Joseph as the ever ‘young’ and sex-hungry Dorien, the audience is assured of a great night out with lots of laughs from a script full of wit and wry observational humour.
The excellent and adaptable set, with clever use of projected images, moves seamlessly from drawing-room to care-home, and good sound and lighting complement the work of the ensemble. This is not just for fans of the original television series, but for anyone who appreciates a good, undemanding, entertaining show.
Travis: Charlie Quirke/Louis Dunford.
Sharon: Pauline Quirke.
Tracey: Linda Robson.
Dorien: Lesley Joseph.
Roger Zimmerman: Robert Maskell.
D S Teddern: Caroline Burns Cooke.
Director: Simon James Green.
Designer: Malvern Hostick.
Lighting: Leigh Porter.
Costume: Frank Kershaw.