Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Dinnerladies - The Lowry Theatre, Salford

Writer/Director: David Graham
Reviewer: Joanne Kirkham

Dinnerladies is a humble Northern comedy set in the kitchens of a fictional factory in Manchester; it ran on BBC1 in the late 90’s. The show consists mostly of a female cast in which we hear about their day to day lives and observe how they interact with each other.

If you are a fan of the show then it is likely to predict what is to be expected and it appeared from the audience response tonight that most were avid watchers of the programme-it actually felt quite homely sat with an audience that wanted to be involved with the performance.

The set was also to be expected, a kitchen, nothing out of the ordinary there, but nonetheless quite impressive, however I wasn’t taken with the lighting sign and supermarket music in between each scene change on how long had. It just felt rather non-naturalistic, we need to know the time change between each scene but I just don’t know how appropriate this piece of staging was?

Anita played by Shobna Gulati really came in to her own by the second half of the first act, even corpsing at a joke about breasts being referred to as yoghurt did not phase the audience and although corpsing is a big NO in the world of acting it was truly quite charming.

The performances given by Bren played by Laura Sheppard and Petula portrayed by Jacqueline Clarke were excellent; both replicated the characters very well and had excellent comedic timing. There was a fantastic scene with Petula after she had been ‘blown up’; on the other hand it was not Victoria Wood and Julie Walters.

This play has generally been written for an older audience only for the simple reason of the content of some of the jokes referred to old Hollywood movie stars and classic singers. All in all a very pleasant evening and from the sounds of it the audience thoroughly enjoyed themselves, it was nice to see some of the original cast involved, a very simple play with a well written script.

Photos: John Kemp
Dinnerladies runs at The Lowry until Sat 12th Sept
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