From the moment the Divas step out on stage clad in their funky wigs and shimmering silver hot pants, it’s fun all the way: ‘Mama I’m ‘Ere’ is jam packed full of gags and dancing girls all to a pulsating, at times gyrating seventies soundtrack. What’s not to like?
Aided and abetted by Al (Paul Duckworth) and Barry (Alan Stocks), Dave (Andrew Schofield) runs an ailing Welsh holiday park specialising in seventies’ themed events. Meanwhile, on the eve of her wedding, daughter Sally (Rachel Rae) has hatched a cunning plan guaranteed to upset this ‘shabby-chic’ applecart.
Mark Walter’s set manages to make a grotty old caravan park look totally glam. ‘Boogie Wonderland’ comes complete with a fab live band and a couple of creaking caravans and as such is undoubtedly one of the Royal Court’s best realisations to date. Remember how camp-sites used to be in the stone-age?
Julie (Helen Carter) Brenda (Eithne Brown) and Mandy (Keddy Sutton) are a trio of top heavy ladies (with lungs to match) who have all ‘won’ a weekend at the holiday camp from hell. Hi-di-Hi it ain’t.
It is here that Schofield’s considerable comic talents come to the fore as the caravan park owner is unwittingly visited by these three larger than life blasts from the past.
Indeed, the whole cast deliver the kind of performances that can only come when all the elements are in complete harmony. Duckworth and Stocks play the stooges with just the right amount of goofiness while Schofield reveals comic timing that would make Wisdom himself proud. All this and barely a single expletive all night!
The pace of the show never drops for a single moment. If it’s not the dancing girls raising dad’s temperatures to dangerously high levels, then the rhythm will most definitely get you: ‘Have you Seen her’, ‘Boogie Wonderland’ – those glorious seventies sounds don’t stop coming. Simeon Schueber and her fellow musicians hit all the right notes.
Direction is crisp and always creative. The night club scene in particularly is a perfectly crafted example where action, dialogue and music blend together effortlessly. The bass and hips groove. It could have been frenetic, but not this time.
Mama I’m ‘Ere is simply a great night out, the type of show that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The cast are having a whale of a time and it shows.
If you wanna know the name of the game, just take three letters: J-O-Y.