Four Yorkshire lasses from a fish factory in Hull won big time at the races. But money does funny things to people; it can bring out unknown characteristics.
This clever script, with characteristic pithy northern humour, follows them on a trip to Australia. The kitchen-sink philosophy and common sense, typical of northern dramas, works especially well. We follow them through numerous scenes starting with a parody of the pre-take off safety demonstration from the stewards (Michael Sealey and Henri West).
The women had different responses to the situations they found themselves in, from Sydney to Ayres Rock. The maturity of Pearl (Kathy Buckingham-Underhill) allowed her to really enjoy the experience and convey a real positivity, whilst keeping a potentially terminal secret from her friends. Homebird Jan (Caroline McCluskey) had hoped to meet up with her boyfriend but a delay in him getting to the airport dashed her hopes. Shelley (Eleanor Lake) continued to hope for success as a model but realised she was too old. She had squandered her winnings and admitted her lack of happiness.
Kind-hearted Linda (Emma Ritson) portrayed ideally the generous, caring person, uncomfortable with her wealth, who was giving it away, unconcerned that she was probably being taken for a ride.
The clever underlying point of the play was that the money was not the issue. It allowed them to expand their horizons and discovered what was really important, bringing about a transformation in each of them.
Michael and Henri play numerous parts as foils to the women’s anxieties, frustrations and hopes. They were both particularly impressive in the last scenes at the LGBTQ Sydney Mardi Gras although Henri would benefit from projecting more when he is speaking with an Australian accent. The enthusiastic audience clearly enjoyed this sequel to Ladies Day aided by the simple set and clever direction from Graham Buckingham-Underhill.
The play runs until February 4. Call 033 666 3366 or visit talismantheatre.co.uk to book