DAISY PULLS IT OFF
by Denise Deegan.
Park Theatre 2000, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP to 13 January 2018.
Tues-Sat 7.30pm Mat Thu & Sat 3pm.
Runs 2.hr 30 mins One interval.
TICKETS; 020 7870 6876
Review: William Russell 8 December.
Jolly hockey sticks, spiffing fun and midnight feasts
The shades of Angela Brazil and Ethel M Dell must once again be turning in their graves as this glorious spoof of their much loved stories about nice gels at boarding school returns to the stage. It is a one joke affair to some extent so if you don’t get the joke it may be a mite unfunny. The girls are not like those at St Trinians, who were either sex pots or monsters up to no good, but just gels from good homes who are being groomed to go out into the world and get a socially acceptable man whose home she will duly run – this being 1927 – with the help of cook and a parlour maid. Or maybe more if she is lucky.
The seven strong cast – six women, one man – double roles splendidly as we follow what happens to Daisy (Anna Shaffer all sugar and spice and all things nice), the girl from – shock, horror – an elementary school who comes on a scholarship. Naturally the school snob Monica (Clare Perkins being gloriously vicious) and her sidekick Sybil (Shobna Gulati booming sonorously) object and do nasty things to Daisy. But Daisy has her dear dorm mate chum Trixie (Pauline McLynn brilliantly banishing the ghost of Mrs Doyle) to help her survive.
They duly discover the lost treasure hidden in the premises of Grangewood School be a previous owner, Daisy saves Monica and Sybil from certain death, scores the winning goals in the vital hockey match against a rival school, and wins first prize in the poetry competition – in spite of being accused of plagiarism and cheating and being confined in the “san” waiting expulsion. She also meets her long lost father – a devastating performance byClare Perkins who successfully coped with a wayward false moustache on press night, bet they keep that in – and, as the title says, pulls it off. So do director Paulette Randall and the rest of the cast.
Alice/ Miss Gibson: Lucy Eaton.
Clare/ Winnie/ Miss Granville: Melanie Fullbrook.
Sybil/ Mother: Shobna Gulati.
Belinda/ Mr Scoblowski: Freddie Hutchins.
Trixie: Pauline McLynn.
Monica/Mr Thompson/Mademoiselle: Clare Perkins.
Daisy: Anna Shafer.
Director: Paulette Randall.
Designer: Libby Watson.
Lighting Designer: Mike Robertson.
Sound Designer: Kate Cogan.
Sound & Music Supervisor: Simon Slater.
Costume Supervisor: Claire Nicholas.