Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ladies Down Under -Review- Westovians

Ladies Down Under
26th September 2011

Can you remember them cheeky lasses that won a bucket load of money in Amanda Whittington's Ladies Day last year, well they have gone and splashed some of it on a lovely holiday to the other side of the world. How will the Aussies cope with the loveable but boisterous girls.

Four intrepid girls Pearl (Joyce Baker), Jan (Carrie Wilson), Shelley (Kylie Ford) and Linda (Amy Jeffels) head out of England with a mixture of fun, fear and who knows what will happen when they get out there. The scenes of them at the airport waiting for take-off were very funny as they all jostled for a bit of the spotlight to highlight their particular problem.
Jan's fear of flying and the impending love interest that awaits her out there, was very well acted. Her I.B.S tales put me right off my crisps, I can tell you!
Shelly with her I am so better than you attitude, grating on her fellow passenger friends with her disregard for the fuss she was making, acted the part brilliantly.
Linda acted to try her best to get her workmates to all pull together and have a great time, she was very excited to be on board with her friends. My viewing of Amy as Eva in kindertransport, is still one of my best.
Pearl the advanced traveller since retiring is keen to get out there and get away from it all. You could sense from her slight cageyness that she was hiding something from the companions though, these scenes were very well played out.
Once in Australia (and Sydney bound) the mayhem really sets in, with a lot of colour and flair. The tide turns a lot along the journey of discovery for the foursome, with sightings of beach bums, an Englishman out there for a never ending stay - just happy with a smoke and the way of living, a happy traveller just taking in all of the land to the vibrant drag queens that would brighten anybody's day. These parts well all played by Mark Lamb and -pinched from Cleadon District Drama Club- Ian Reah, fantastic acting from them both, they also pulled off triumphantly the roles of two of the campest flght attendants I have ever seen.
The moods of the girls having to come to terms with held back information, the general ups and down's of life, love and everything around them, was great acting, really great to see! Superb interaction especially from Joyce and Carrie who after a long time away from the stage are finally back, and I am happy to see them return!
The great props and stage set design were in line with the fab team that The Westovians have in South Shields, lovely paintings of the camp site scenes overlooking Uluru (where the girls -after encountering some problems along the way- ended up at) were set off nicely with a great lighting set by Ian Johnson and Mirim Beber and lovely sound rounded it off with fine atmosphere.
Co-directors Jennifer Allen and David Cooke alongside producer Val Codling, have created a memorable, funny and sentimental play that even a few little opening night prompts couldn't spoil.
If you want a good feel factor thing happening then Ladies Down Under is for you, go and see it!

Ladies Down Under runs until Saturday.

Michael Hunter

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