Ringing in The Change, with Menopause: The Musical at The Kings Theatre
The menopause may not seem the most obvious choice for an uplifting musical that has become a global smash.
But in the 15 years since it was first staged in Orlando, Florida, that’s exactly what Menopause: The Musical has become.
‘It’s sexy, sexy, sexy isn’t it?’ laughs Rebecca Wheatley, who is starring in the show when it comes to the Kings tomorrow. The former Casualty star is joined in the four-hander by Linda Nolan, from The Nolans, Cheryl Fergison, best known as Heather from EastEnders, and stage veteran Ruth Berkeley.
‘It really is very popular,’ says Rebecca, ‘I’ve done a lot of women’s shows, like Mum’s The Word and Big Pants and Botox, but this is probably the funniest.’
This all-singing, all-dancing comedy is set in a department store where four women with apparently nothing in common meet, by chance, at a lingerie sale.
The show is full of sharp one-liners about memory loss and hot flushes and backed by an instantly recognisable soundtrack.
‘They’re all these songs you know with different lyrics, and there’s just something very funny about women of a certain age, dancing, singing, moaning about their problems and not taking themselves too seriously.
‘But at the same time it’s not the most dignified thing we’ve ever done – but come on, we’re all in this together, and it is absolutely hilarious.’
The cast take the roles of Professional Woman, Housewife, Earth Mother and the Soap Star.
‘Sadly I’m terribly miscast as the dowdy one. The frumpy housewife who gets the realisation she should be getting out there and enjoying life a bit more. I don’t know how I got it to be honest,’ Rebecca cackles.
‘She chats a bit too much, she’s got kids, her relationship’s not too fantastic, but she doesn’t want to leave him. She’s spent a lot of time looking after a lot of people and suddenly, it’s her time. Life is out there to be taken.’
And how are the cast getting on?
‘We’re all feisty women. We should talk about four or five weeks into the tour and see how we’re getting on by then.’
She gives that big laugh again.
‘But at the moment we’re all getting on well and enjoying hanging out.’
‘They’re really good girls, I couldn’t wish for better.’
Kings Theatre, Southsea
Saturday, April 16