4-7 March 2015
Reviewed by Debbie Tasker
Lip Service, Sue Ryding & Maggie Fox, and Oldham Coliseum brought their amusing show, The Picture of Doreen Gray, to The Lowry in Manchester this week as part of a national tour that ends on the 30th April in Tewkesbury.
We decided to use public transport for our visit and found it relatively easy to get to. We got a bus then tram both running frequently and stopping a short walk away from The Lowry itself. I looked at the different routes and it seemed like it is a simple journey from most Manchester and North West areas. We picked up tickets from the box office and as usual they were friendly and welcoming. The show was in the Quays Theatre so we made our way round and took our seats in the stalls where we had a great view.
Doreen Gray has had a successful career in radio and television but as she is now in her 50s producers have decided she is over the hill and no longer want her. She is invited to a school reunion as guest speaker and during the party wanders off into the old art rooms where she comes across a self-portrait of herself when she was young and beautiful. As she gazes at her youthful picture it begins to talk and offers to swap places. Of course Doreen jumps at the chance and so the switch takes place.
As the second act opens Doreen is in demand and her fresh face kick-starts her career again. It is not long before she realises this isn’t really what she wants and longs to be her old self again. The swap back takes place and we end with Doreen happy in her K Skips shoes (I had forgotten all about them until they were mentioned), grey hair and elasticated waists.
Sue Ryding plays the young and old Doreen. Maggie Fox the remaining characters apart from the old head mistress, she does so with great comedy and gusto and had us in stitches many times. The pair work well together and bounce off each other. A local amateur dramatic society make up the rest of the cast and seem to be enjoying every minute.
Myself and my mum enjoyed this comedy about approaching a certain age and came away wondering can you still get K Skips? Only because we want a pair of comfy old lady shoes ourselves now!!
Tickets cost from £17 to £20 (includes £2 booking fee).
The Picture of Doreen Gray is at The Lowry until 7 March 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000