Dinnerladies Review

Submitted by Alex Eades on Sat, 6 Mar '10 9.46am
Rating (out of 5)
Show details
The Comedy Theatre Company
David Graham (Director/Adapter/Producer), Malvern Hostick (Designer), Antony Bishop (Stage Manager).
Barrie Palmer (Stan), Laura Sheppard (Bren), Andrew Dunn (Tony), Roya Amiri (Anita), Gay Lambert (Dolly), Stella Ross (Jean), Carrie Whitton (Twinkle), Tamsin Heatley (Petula), Sarah Head (Philippa), Sue Devaney (Jane), Peter Brad-Leigh (Bob).
Running time

There is so much bad comedy on the television these days. And most of it, it saddens me to say, home-grown.

Over recent years, aside from the odd flash of brilliance (The Office, Spaced, The Green Wing), we have produced uninspired, lazy shows that seek out cheap laughs from start to finish.

With so many channels now available to us, one would have hoped that fresh, exciting, and edgy talent would begin to grace our screens. But that is not the case.

It reminds me of something that Ben Elton once said in response to a proposal to add an extra lane to our motorways in order to ease traffic: “We will not save this sick, old world until we realise that s**t expands to fill the space provided.”

Dinnerladies, it seemed to me, was just another vehicle in that traffic jam of TV garbage, driven by the rather overrated “National Treasure”. Victoria Wood.

And with the main talent now absent from the stage show, it seems difficult to see how these dinnerladies could serve anything up this evening other than disaster.

So, did they cook up the goods?

To keep it short and simple: no.

The appalling one liners turn up twice as much as the TV show and almost trip up on each other. It is twice as long and twice as ridiculous. The plot is so thin that you can see right through it from the opening scenes and when the interval hit there was a collective sigh of relief.

On the plus side, the performances are actually fine and do well with the material they are lumbered with. Laura Sheppard is identical as Victoria Wood in her role as Bren and Tamsin Heatley is easily as good as Julie Walters in portraying Petula.

But it amounts to nothing. It is not even remotely enjoyable even as a light-hearted evening out with friends.

It should have been said long ago. Ladies, it is time to hang up your aprons and shut down this smelly, old kitchen.

Show runs to 6 Mar