by Alan Plater.

Coliseum Theatre Fairbottom Street To 4 May.
Tue-Sat 7.30pm, Mat 4 May 2.30pm.
Post-show Discussion 2 May..
TICKETS: 0161 624 2829.

then New Vic Theatre Etruria Road ST5 0JG 16 May-8 June 2013.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm no performance 22, 27, 28 May, 5 June Mat 1, 8 June 2.15pm.
Audio-described 8 June 2.15pm.
Captioned/Post-show Discussion 4 June.
TICKETS: 01782 717962.

Runs 2hr 15min One interval
Review: Stoon 24 Apr 2013.

Blondes need to have more fun.
There’s a point, part-way during the opening act auditions, when this hits top note. Catty banter and freewheeling comic circumstances effortlessly fuse to create a made-up world that’s got a hint of making you believe – not in accurate depiction, but in the sense of a time and a place, and people thereof.

Even better when there’s a shared vibe with a past play – Hammersmith Lyric’s Comedians (2009) – Katharine Moraz’s performance as Lily the Nun is straight out of the middle act and the rest of the cast provide the perfect verbal defrocking. Trouble is you can only get so far on a script full of hi-octane one liners if not much else is going on, which it isn’t.
Granted there’s not much to work with given the veneer-thin characterisation, but varying the comic throttle would enhance the value of the respective back-stories, especially as the cast are talented enough to add value beyond bufoonery.

The other issue’s the play’s structure, a case of hoping it’ll be alright on the night, rendering the whole piece a build-up to the climatic live-on-air finale. Getting that Big Bang ending right can rescue a piece that’s ably performed but lacks sparkle.

Early omens are promising, based on instrumental input and vocal excellence sampled during the auditions, but the broadcast hour proves anti-climatic. Cheerfully adequate but nowhere as buxom as those 2006 Bolton Octagon blondes who irresistibly swung it as well as they flaunted it – these girls needed to let rip a bit.

Worth seeing for the opening part…if you’re prepared to go on rations for the remainder.

May: Marianne Benedict.
Liz: Carla Freeman.
Patrick: Chris Grahamson.
Vera: Sarah Groarke.
Lily: Katharine Moraz.
Miranda: Suzi Power.
Betty: Georgina White.
Grace: Natasha White.

Director: Kevin Shaw.
Designer: Foxton.
Lighting: Daniella Beattie.
Sound: Lorna Munden.
Musical Director: Howard Gray.
Choreographer: Nicola Bolton.

2013-04-30 11:53:21

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