COUGAR till 06 06 15

Coventry
COUGAR, THE MUSICAL: Donna Moore
Belgrade Studio

Runs: 2h 05m, one interval, till 06 June

Review: Alexander Ray Edser, 19 05 15

A fresh and fun look at an age-old issue
The term ‘cougar’ came into being in the 90s – and in case anyone doesn’t know, it refers to an older woman who wants to hook up with a younger man for companionship, self-esteem, intellectual discussion . . . and, yes, sex. Nothing wrong with that – women can have fun too.

The musical COUGAR takes three women and follows a short period when their lives intersect. Mary-Marie, owner of a Cougar Bar, who tries just a little too hard; Lily, a divorced woman who’s children have just gone to university; Clarity, who gives up a job in finance to work in the women’s movement.

If you get the show, you’ll realise the show is about getting it. The show’s sufficiently raunchy to feel naughty (the excellent number JULIO is the climax of this) while feel-good enough to let us believe the women have found themselves and found a new path in life. We like this, because we’ve grown to like the women.

With an acting company of four the show has a friendly persona, a warm heart that draws you into it’s ‘let’s have a party.’

The three women work excellently together, creating contrasting characters with a strong performance bond. Full of energy, their performances are engaging, and the reaction of many women in the audience indicate the points are well made and recognised. Lily has a lovely duet with Buck, LET’S TALK ABOUT ME. One male actor brings his own charm in a series of different, and differently gendered, roles.

The Belgrade’s studio ‘B2’ is an excellent space; Juliet Shillingford’s design sits in it with panache. Patricia Benecke keeps the pace bouncing along, but is sensitive to the changes of mood.

Lily: Pippa Winslow
Mary-Marie: Suanne Braun
Clarity: Dawn Hope
Buck, plus . . . : Barnaby Hughes

Director: Patricia Benecke
Choreographer: Rocky Plews
Designer: Juliet Shillingford
Video Designer: Arnim Friess
Casting Director: Debbie O’Brien
Musical Director: Neil MacDonald

2015-05-20 11:20:33

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