THE HURLY BURLY SHOW
by Polly Rae and William Baker.
Duchess Theatre, Catherine Street, London WC2B 5LA.
Runs 2 hr One interval
Mon–Thu 8pm Fri & Sat 6.30pm & 9pm.
TICKETS: 0844 412 4659.
Review: William Russell 10 July.
Rae’s A Laugh.
Naughty but nice is the subtitle to this burlesque show, making a return to the West End, and it is a fair comment. There are spangles and feathers, very small G-strings, amazing things to cover one’s nipples with, a lady compère, Joanna Woodward, who cracks some mildly smutty jokes which would not be out of place in pantomime and gets the audience to participate from the start, six assorted girls who take their clothes off, and Miss Polly Rae herself, a leggy redhead who can sing, dance and is about as erotic as fish and chips or cold rice pudding.
She seems a very nice girl, as indeed they all do, but some of them are far sexier than Miss Polly and somehow one cannot see Gypsy Rose or our own Phyllis Dixey of blessed memory ever allowing that to happen.
The various acts are entertaining, especially the one with three large bouncy balls, but the climax to Act one, a fan dance, in spite of very handsome cock feather fans, is sadly tame simply because there is no suggestion that should the fans fall we would see anything we ought not to see, and the final scene, a Chinese fantasy, is disappointing although Miss Polly springs a surprise by making her last appearance in a white spangled evening gown that Danny la Rue would have adored.
The girls frequently turn the other cheek, and when they are not doing that turn both cheeks. Perhaps it is not a show for the whole family, but one could safely take one’s maiden aunt as the raunch is mild, everyone looks lovely, and it is about as decadent as a vicarage tea party.
Miss Polly Rae.
Head Girly: Rachel Muldoon.
Hurly Burly Girlys: Caroline Amer, Jennifer White, Joanna Woodward, Latie Ella Hardwicke, Sophie Zucchini, Stephanie Jayne Thomson.
Director: William Baker.
Designer: Alan Macdonald.
Lighting: Nick Whitehouse.
Sound: Richard Lachance.
Vocal Arranger: Terry Ronald.
Musical Staging Director: Wayne Cilento.
Musical Director: Steve Anderson.
Choreographer: Ashley Wallen.
Art Direction: Stevie Stewart.
Props: Carl Hopgood.
Associate director/additional choreography: Adam Murray.