24-25 April 2014
Reviewed by Lee-Anne McCarthy
When I enjoy a girl’s night out it usually involves copious amounts of wine and meals that contain enough calories to make my slimming world consultants toes curl so when I was asked to review the touring show of Hot Flush I wondered if this could be the alternate for our perfect night out. So glammed up and armed with the obligatory chocolate feast we went to visit.
Hot Flush’ tag line reads “the naughtiest Musical in Town” and it certainly lives up to its name. With tongue in cheek humour and the fantastic use of every possible male and female stereotype that most of us know or have encountered it is a night of real belly laughs. From the very first scene the entire audience is engaged in fantastic comic lines that make not laughing impossible. The musical tells the story of four women transitioning through major life changing events like marriage break ups and teen marriage while struggling to cope with the big M.
Myra, played by Lesley Joseph, is a barrister whose husband has recently left her for the arms of a much younger specimen. When I knew I was going to review Hot Flush I was excited to find out that Lesley Joseph was a part of the show. As Myra, Joseph spends a lot of time as that strong vengeful hurting women however there are moments where she shows pure unadulterated vulnerability that makes you go ahhhh out loud. Sylvia, played by Lori Haley Fox, is a bored wife over sexed and struggling to cope with a husband who is unable satisfy her insatiable needs so indulges in a cougar relationship instead. Helen, played by Anne Smith, is looking for love after the death of her husband and finally Jessica, played by Ruth Keeling, is struggling to cope with her weight (aren’t we all) and the unwanted attentions of the local vicar. Despite not yet being a member of the menopause club, I, like ever woman in the audience could identify with one or more of the ladies on stage. I particularly loved Keeling’s number. I can wholly identify with the expanding waist line and crazy attempts to squeeze yourself into clothes that seemed to fit just yesterday. All the female actresses were brilliant each of them made it so easy for the audience to identify and empathise with them in many different scenarios. Their talent was also event because despite the minimum set they told an incredible story. The music and songs are inspired and so very clever who would have thought Mrs Summers rabbit would provide the inspiration for a whole musical number. The journey of the women although hilarious at times is both touching, heart breaking and ultimately really uplifting.
Something must be said about the only male cast member. Matt Slack is nothing short of amazing. He literally takes on every male persona that appears in the show from the very camp speed dating assistant to the Spanish Adonis/Magnum PI type. He’s comic timing and engagement with the audience never failed to get a laugh. Women across the theatre got to swoon over his bare naked cheek, quite literally in one scene, and the smattering of gentlemen got to engage in his musical number that pointed out the inadequacies of the female (obviously they are few). Slack is very clearly a great talent.
HRT, hot flushes and waning libidos are all a part of this awesome night of fun and laughter. If you looking for a night of light hearted fun and humour whether you are male or female we recommend a trip to see Hot Flush.
We’d watch again and again.
Tickets cost from £10 to £117 (plus £1.75 transaction fee).
For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 029 2087 8889.
New Theatre, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3LN | 029 2087 8889