Hormonal Housewives Review

Rating
2
Show details
Production
Julie Coombe & John MacIsaac (writers), Michael Harrison (producer)
Performers
Carol Smillie, Julie Coombe, Shonagh Price

Given the success of theatrical forays such as The Vagina Monologues and Grumpy Old Women, one might have had high hopes for Julie Coombe and John MacIsaac's Sex and The City meets HRT themed romp, Hormonal Housewives.

Sadly though this is far from the case as audiences are treated to over two and a half hours worth of grim gags and sloppy slapstick that's about empowering to women as battery farming is to free range chickens.

In it we meet three middle-aged friends who come together to observe, laugh and share the trials and tribulations of womanhood and all the hormones that goes with it. With each of the characters adopting firm stereotypes from the offset, Carol Smillie finds herself playing a rather straight-laced housewife while Shonagh Price is a highly strung businesswoman who's husband recently upped and left her for the much fabled 'younger model'. Finally, writer Julie Coombe completes the trio with her role as a burly, battle-axe mother who's mind is almost as filthy as her turns of phrase.

Billed as "a hilarious evening of excessive laughter", Hormonal Housewives could quite easily find itself in hot water with the 1986 Trade Descriptions Act; mainly due to the lack of genuinely funny moments.

A hotchpotch of adhoc sketches and sit down chinwagging means Hormonal Housewives is as much pantomime as it is stand up as well as veering off towards the hallucinogenic; one scene in particular sees Price feign having her pubic hair waxed before giving birth to a "see you Jimmy hat".

With the premise of the evening's events very much geared towards a fun night out with the girls – the wild cackles and shrieks of laughter from the crowd confirming this at every turn – the constant reference to the idea of the "virgin, mother, whore" means Coombe and MacIsaac do try and inject something more than just a constant slew of anti-men gags into the piece.

Disappointingly, nods such as these to work of theorists like Simone de Beauvoir is like feminism by numbers, except attempted by someone who's colour blind.

That said, Hormonal Housewives was never created to be a searing critique of the gender divide but rather a response to the entertainment wants of a niche group of people.

Be warned though, if an Ann Summers party style squeal-a-thon isn't your bag, Hormonal Housewives is likely to be a very begrudged 180 minutes better spent in the foyer or propping up the bar.

On tour:
1-6  Mar: King's Theatre, Glasgow
9  Mar: Eden Court, Inverness
10 Mar: Caird Hall,
Dundee
11 Mar: His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen