By Frank Marcus. With Jenny Eclair, Catherine Hamilton, Joy McBrinn and Carla Mendonça.
'Derby Playhouse is back in business, after a fashion. The theatre closed its doors at the beginning of the year, and though the building remains in administration, an unsubsidised company, Derby Playhouse Productions, has been created to continue to work on a show-by-show basis. In a climate where even banks cannot guarantee survival, the Playhouse's tenacity is remarkable. That this production has gone on at all is thanks to the work of a skeleton staff, committed volunteers and the goodwill of stand-up star Jenny Eclair who has agreed to appear in Frank Marcus's 1964 comedy about a butch, bad-tempered radio actor and her subservient flatmate. The Sapphic subject matter was so far ahead of its time that the film version was accorded an X certificate. It is now so far behind them as to seem rather quaint; and it's hard to tell from Cal McCrystal's zany production if the play offers a serious dissection of same-sex relationships, or is simply a means of pointing a Carry On-style finger at them. Eclair is a fine actor, though the script is really nothing more than an opportunity to reprise her Grumpy Old Woman persona in plus fours and a frumpy wig. In one of many ad libs she confides: '
'A controversial play of it's day, that has been brought to life by director Cal McCrystal. McCrystal does extract a higher quota of laughs than are probably contained in the original play. This means the show has comic highs. This is a show that deserves to bring back audiences. Hilariously off-the-wall.'
Derby Evening Telegraph