The Playhouse Theatre, Weston-Super-Mare Dirty Dusting, Review

The seriously retro set featuring ancient computers, telephones out of the ark and rickety desks tells you this comedy is set way back in the age before political correctness struck and we weren’t allowed to have fun. As the story goes three lady office cleaners (all of a certain age) face dismissal from their miserable boss determined to replace them with younger models who save time and money and give him a leg up the company ladder. A wrong number on one of the office phones tells them that it has been mistaken for a sex chat line and canny northern lasses that they are, they realise they can make much better money chatting than cleaning, so the idea of the Telephone Belles is born.

It couldn’t be more hilarious; three plump aproned and lisle stockinged ladies of pensionable age breathily wheezing “oh yes, I’m wearing me crotchless knickers right now” is something to behold. Crissy Rock, Leah Bell and Vanessa Karon are a marvellous as their characters, Elsie, Gladys and Olive who’ve been friends for years and have plenty of life experience to spice up their phone calls (especially Gladys whose husband Billy once preferred to tend his leeks on the allotment rather than her). Paul Dunn who plays their miserable boss has a surprise up his sleeve and maybe in other places too as the terrific second half and finale illustrate!

This was quite the most entertaining and funniest play I’ve seen in ages; we were weak from laughter by the end, there are lots of great lines, jokes, visual slap stick and more but it would be too much of a spoiler to report them here. The theatre was full of girls having a great night out and a jolly good laugh but there’s just as much fun to he had for the lads as well as testified by my husband who had to dab his eyes with a hankie at the end.

Just catch this comedy gem if you can; you’ll never look at a hoover in the same light again!

Jacquie Vowles

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