Stiff at Questors Theatre

Evan Rule warns you to stay away if you are shocked by naked flesh

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The Questors Theatre


By April Phillips
Directed by Gareth Bevan
Questors Theatre 30th May – 1st June

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Funeral Parlours are funny, it might be macabre but they are genuinely funny. Undertakers are full of anecdotes concerning their clients and their relatives. They are also big business but trade can be quite slow when people are not dying. So poor Angel is in a dilemma when her unknown Father dies and leaves her his funeral parlour; she has to keep it and run it for five years before she can realise her assets of three million pounds. Her father’s partner is none to happy either as by rights it should be his. So Angel has to turn to the only assets she knows she can handle, herself and her gang of prostitute friends, a motley crew of transvestites, simpletons and dominatrix and turns it into a brothel where each stiff becomes a part of a stiff so to speak. So we have a very nicely decorated set of young large girls very scantily clad who can cater for any perversion you care to think of, especially ones involving chickens! All runs quite sweetly till the judge, with a liking for electrical appliances, becomes a stiff who really is a stiff.

Do not expect high drama in this production, for it is farce in the very best traditions of Carry On, ample flesh on view, saucy seaside postcard humour an a very hard working cast that drive the jokes and the play to their very obvious conclusions. Indeed it is a very fine cast, Sherry does come over as a very fine simpleton and Roxanne is very scary, particularly with her whip. Delilah, who strangely becomes the sex object of choice for Mr R Swipe, yes the jokes really are that obvious, is delightfully camp even when cleaning the ovens and cooking coq au vin which contains no coq or vin, but lots of au. But particular praise must go to Angel Delight, a poor abandoned orphan, cast away on the stormy seas of life with nothing, but her dreams as her foundations.

This is the stuff of British humour. So if you are a poor sensitive soul, easily shocked by naked flesh and a lover of vinegar and chickens, stay at home, for the rest of us, this really is a hot ticket.

This is billed as the northern hemisphere premiere of what has become a cult play in New Zealand, where, after over 20 productions, now has a following similar to The Rocky Horror Show and where the audiences dress to fit, so beware, this could be the start of something rather strange.


Reviewed by Evan Rule

May 28, 2009