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 The Theatreguide.London Review

Grumpy Old Women - Live
Lyric Theatre Summer 2006

Three women of A Certain Age spend a couple of hours complaining, bitching, carping, crabbing, criticizing, disapproving, griping, groaning, grouching, grousing - well, you get the idea - and it is almost uninterruptedly funny.

This stage show is an offshoot of the occasional TV series in which various mature celebrities are invited to kvetch about what annoys them. This version is scripted, by Jenny Eclair and Judith Holder, with three performers embodying and speaking for the entire hot-flashes-and-after brigade.

The three are Jenny Eclair (the acerbic blonde stand-up comic), Dillie Keane (the ditzy blonde singer-songwriter from Fascinating Aida) and Linda Robson (the blonde one in the sitcom Birds of a Feather).

Together and in turns they guide us through the petty annoyances of being somewhere in the broad general neighbourhood of fifty - the impossibility of finding clothes that make sense on you, being torn between feeling sexier than ever and actually preferring a nice cup of cocoa, the insult that lies in the very existence of the young.

Dillie does a turn on how everyday life provides all the exercise a G. O. W. needs, Jenny describes the big mistake of attempting a day at a spa, Linda does a riff on the sudden compulsion to compile lists.

They are distressed to discover that shop-at-home catalogues are as exciting as pornography and grumble about the things they can't (or don't want to) do anymore, but are consoled by the new-found pleasure of tut-tutting disapprovingly at the slightest provocation.

It's a very light-weight evening, more suited for the national tour this London run is briefly interrupting than for the West End. But it is funny, and an ideal place to bring your favourite G. O. W., even if she doesn't realise she is one.

Gerald Berkowitz

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Review - Grumpy Old Women - Lyric Theatre 2006
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