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Grumpy Old Women at Lichfield - Review

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
The 'Grumpies' Of Jenny Eclair, Susie Blake & Kate Robbins
Everyone gets a bit grumpy now and again, but these three ladies have turned grumpiness into something of a cottage industry. The collective sour faces of Perrier Award-winning comedian and writer Jenny Éclair, comedy actress Susie Blake and actress and singer Kate Robbins are the stars of stage show Grumpy Old Women, which is making a welcome return including a performance at the Lichfield Garrick theatre.

Grumpy Old Women
Grumpy Old Women return in 50 Shades of Beige

Entitled Grumpy Old Women: 50 Shades of Beige, in a grumpy reference to the best-selling 50 Shades of Grey, the show is incredibly fast-paced, slick, and extremely funny - especially for female members of the sell-out audience. In fact, barely a handful of men seemed to brave the experience, and of them seemed more intent on watching Andy Murray at Wimbledon on his mobile phone.

Comedian Jenny Eclair (Wikipedia)
Jenny Eclair is the writer and original star of Grumpy Old Women

Grumpy Old Women, which returns after a sell-out spring 2015 tour, follows a tried and tested format, led by Jenny Éclair, who is the writer and original star of the show. Together with Susie Blake, most recently seen in Mrs Brown's Boys on BBC1 and, before that, Coronation Street, and Kate Robbins (Where The Heart Is, Casualty) they seek to put the country right on behalf of grumpy middle-aged women everywhere.

Susie Blake
Susie Blake seen on Victoria Wood TV show in 1986 (Wikipedia)

The first half of the two-hour show concentrates on a pretend pie-chart which seems to explain how 'grumpies', as they are collectively referred to, make up the 24 hours in every day. This ranges from two hours a day getting het up over technology to 45 minutes nagging other people, usually their husbands. The three women, who follow on from each other with impeccable timing throughout, also set out the rules of 'Grumpy Club' and the characteristics that make up its members, such as hair that resembles loft lagging and being incapable of catching anything thrown at them.

Kate Robbins
Actress Kate Robbins (Wikipedia)

The new tour benefits from a series of often hilarious sketches including a restaurant scene where the menu consists of things that make women of a certain age anxious, placing elderly parents in a residential home, a master-class in nagging, and an ideal designated grumpy television channel, named GOW TV.

Grumpy Old Women
See Grumpy Old Women on their new tour

Much of the material is incredibly rude, particularly when dealing with the subject of female grooming. After the interval, the three ladies transform themselves into onesies before continuing on in their grumpy manner, including a routine on why middle-aged women would make the best spies, such as their 'pathological nosiness', and a superb sketch about a middle-class version of the confrontational Jeremy Kyle television show.

Rating: 7/10
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Why? Three Funny Ladies For The Price Of One
When: 6 July 2016
Phone: 01543 412121
Where: Lichfield Garrick, Castle Dyke, Lichfield WS13 6HR
Cost: Tickets £26
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