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05:43 | 20th February 2018

Reviews: Live Shows

Sun 21 Jan, 2018
By Robert Ingham


it’s cleverly written to welcome old and new tourists

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B*tches Down Under - theatre review

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Escape the winter blues by booking a trip to sunny Bondi Beach in Vauxhall, South London for the final chapter of the B*tches trilogy – ‘B*tches Down Under!’, currently playing at Above The Stag theatre.

Even if you haven’t seen the first two instalments (‘Alright B*tches!’, set in Gran Canaria, and ‘B*tches Ahoy!’, on a cruise ship), don’t be put-off going to see this lively, energetic and very humorous production. Whilst Garth, Max and Pam are the trilogy’s recurring characters, it’s cleverly written to welcome old and new tourists.

This time round, Garth is on a stopover in Sydney for Mardi Gras with his fiancé, Drew, before heading to New Zealand to get married, with Pam as their Maid of Honour.

There, they meet up with Garth’s best friend Max, swapping his job on the cruise ship for barman at a Bondi Beach bar. Immediately they bump into twink Ollie, who was also in Gran Canaria, and dishy Scott, a lifeguard on the beach. Scott catches everyone’s eye in his “budgie smugglers”, but who will get the first snog?

As with the first two parts, there is much to enjoy in ‘Down Under’, with a lovely script from Martin Blackburn, who gives sly (and sometimes not so sly) nods to his previous plays and the theatre itself. He also creates a plot to fool the audience into thinking the production is going to be full of the usual clichés. However, Martin shows real care for his characters and their friendships that it avoids some of the most obvious pitfalls.

The whole cast give their all, from newcomer Liam Nooney playing Drew (who has some beautiful understated lines which could have been lost by someone less adept) to Tom Mann’s buff Scott, and it’s lovely to see Garth (Ethan Charles) and Max (Lucas Livesey) reprise their bitchy relationship, and the return of Grant Cartwright (Ollie).

However, the night belongs to Hannah Vesty who is glorious as Pam. You cannot help but fall a little bit in love with her once more – she has some of the best lines and delivers them with perfection.

It’s a shame to see this series come to an end, though I’m sure there is still room for a special or two. I know I’d be keen to know what happens next.

Another great production, set and direction from the ATS team - a super way to forget the cold, wind, rain and snow. See it before it ends on 18th February.


 

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