Watch Grumpy Old Women Live 2 – Chin Up Britain at the Novello Aldwych theatre in London

Their waistlines have thickened and the wrinkles have multiplied, but
there’s still a lot of life and hope left in these three women of a certain
age as they rage and rampage around a colourful kitchen set.

The precursor
of this spin-off from the TV show hit the stage four years ago, and, with
various casts, has toured both nationally and internationally (including a
visit to Oz) speaking out for the hot-flush but not yet carpet-slippered
brigade of middle-aged women.

Co-scripted by Judith Holder and comedian Jenny Eclair (one of the original
performers and the most uninhibited of the trio) it calls on women get the
nation back on track with a variety of unlikely suggestions, whilst
complaining about embarrassing leaks, the length of the Christmas holidays
and snoring, ageing partners with droopy genitals.

Though high on energy, there’s barely a suspicion of subtlety in this sequel
and a tendency to labour the humour. But, every so often, this Grumpy
Brigade (Eclair plus the more refined Susie Blake and comparative youngster
Wendi Peters) hits just the right comic note – ruefully observing that
looking in the mirror is like seeing your dad in drag, likening sex to
making your own pastry (“you know you should, but you don’t know if you can
be bothered”), and dealing with tampons when you’re not only menopausal but
also very, very forgetful.

At their best, (and if you’re in the right age group) they can be
pant-wettingly funny. For the rest of us, a drink or two beforehand is all
that’s needed to compensate for a lack of bite and ensure an enjoyably
uncomplicated evening in the company of three women who steadfastly refuse
to grow old gracefully.


» Novello Aldwych WC2B 4LD (Charing Cross tube)
0844 482 5170
Until 5th June (£15 – £35)

Louise Kingsley