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Great Fun at the Talisman!

Ladies Down Under. Talisman Theatre and Arts Centre, Runs from 30 January - Saturday 4 February 2023.

Review by Ashley Hayward.

Written by Amanda Whittington this entertaining but thought provoking comedy is a sequel to ‘Ladies Day’ in which four lucky female fish processing factory workers win a small fortune during a memorable day at the races. Here we accompany the Humberside ladies on the trip of a lifetime to sunny Oz where they enjoy many new and life changing experiences as well as learning a lot about themselves.

All the actors give excellent individual performances but also demonstrate the value of true friendship. The relationship between them is played humorously but sensitively and together they make a delightful quartet. We meet Shelley (Eleanor Lake) who not only appears to have spent her entire fortune on designer clothes but seems determined to pack them all in her suitcases! She certainly has no intention of roughing it in the outback. Then there is the rather reluctant Jan (Caroline McCluskey) who doesn’t really want to go out of her comfort zone and is terrified of flying and preoccupied with her IBS!

Linda (Emma Ritson) is the quietest member of the group. She feels guilty about her newly acquired wealth and is gullible enough to give it away to dubious good causes. Finally, there is pragmatic but fun-loving Pearl (Kathy Buckingham-Underhill) who keeps a motherly eye on the others and reveals a well-kept secret in the second act. Along the way we get to meet some larger than life characters including air cabin crew and drag queens as well as stereotypical Aussie surfers and beach bums. These are gleefully played by two very hardworking and versatile male actors.

Directed by Graham Buckingham-Underhill, who also directed the prequel in 2017. The entire cast give convincing and enthusiastic performances and camp it all up where necessary. The set and scenery are simple but effective and there are some really slick scene changes whilst we listen to some well-chosen and appropriate music. Near the end the whole cast give a rendition of ‘I am what I am’ delivered with great gusto.

I think the audience all enjoyed being transported to an Australian summer even though walking back outside into a chilly late January night in Kenilworth was a bit of a shock to the system!

Great fun!

Ladies Down Under runs until Saturday 4 February. Tickets can be booked online via the website or by calling the Box Office on 01926 856548.


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