REVIEW: Ladies Down Under at The Spring, Havant

The former H&E King sweet shop in Albert Road

The Kings Theatre looks to press forward with multi-million pound regeneration plans

0
Have your say

Amanda Whittington’s play, performed by The Bench at The Spring, is clichéd but nevertheless a funny, uplifting piece.

Director Mark Wakeman has chosen to stage this child of Shirley Valentine by Priscilla, Queen of the Desert with virtually no set, and when taking a chance like that, you’d better hope your actors are up to the mark.

This is one of the all-round strongest amateur casts I’ve seen in a long, long time

And Mr Wakeman need have no fear on that score. This is one of the all-round strongest amateur casts I’ve seen in a long, long time.

To describe it as Chekhovian may seem inappropriate, but the story really is secondary to the characterisation here.

Sarah Parnell, Robin Hall, Beth Evans and Jessi Wilson as the protagonists are both convincing and truthful.

More than able support comes from Callum West (particularly as Danny). There’s also a nice comic double-act from Chris Vanstone and Zack Cuthbertson as trolley-dollies.

If there’s one quibble, the drag-queen lip-syncing sequence to the anthemic I Am What I Am that comes as the climax to the show needs supercharging with voltage and pizzazz. But the quibble is small and the evening is excellent. Until tomorrow.