Menopause Women: Pollard & Lenska in Rival ShowsDate: 14 February 2007
Two musicals about “the change” - Menopause The Musical and Hot Flush!, sub-titled “A Menopause Musical” - will both receive their UK premieres in the coming weeks, and they’re lining up rival companies of formidable British women of a certain age to take audiences through “a celebration of the wonderful world of HRT”.
As previously announced (See News, 12 Oct 2006), American musical comedy Menopause The Musical, about opens on 18 April 2007 (previews from 27 March) at London’s Shaw Theatre, where it’s booking until 25 August 2007.
Seventies recording artist Miquel Brown (whose stage credits include A Streetcar Named Desire and Hair), Su Pollard (Hi De Hi on television, The Pirates of Penzance, Me and My Girl on stage), Samantha Hughes (Blood Brothers in the West End) and Amanda Symonds (Mary Poppins) star as Power Woman, Rutland Housewife, Soap Star and Earth Mother, respectively.
The four women meet at a lingerie sale with nothing in common but a black lace bra – and hot flushes, night sweats, memory loss, chocolate binges, not enough sex and day-to-day challenges with ageing parents, children and partners. The 90-minute show features re-lyricised parodies of 25 Baby Boomer hits including “I Heard It thru the Grapevine, You No Longer See 39” and the Motown classic “My Thighs”.
Since it first opened in Orlando, Florida, in 2001, the show - written and produced by Jeanie Linders - has been seen by more than eight million people (mainly women) in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines, and has garnered a cult following.
Pipping it to the post by a few weeks, Hot Flush!, opens at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre on 13 March 2007 (previews from 9 March), before embarking a UK tour including stops at Edinburgh, Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent and Wimbledon. A new musical, featuring original songs by Olly Ashmire and a book by Julie Benson, Hot Flush! is billed as the “ultimate girls' night out” and carries a warning that “ only audience members who suffer from mood swings, memory loss or night sweats will be admitted”.
Its cast features West End diva Marti Webb (Tell Me on a Sunday), Rula Lenska (The Vagina Monologues on stage, Celebrity Big Brother on TV) and former Three Degrees’ singer and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Here! contestant Sheila Ferguson (last seen in the West End in the short-lived 2005 musical Behind the Iron Mask), as well as Sam Kane (Carousel, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers on stage, Brookside on screen).
- by Terri Paddock