This touring hit has been packing them in on tour and, despite its flaws, you can why. Hot Flush follows a tried and tested formula. Take the Menopausal Monologues, throw in songs, some thongs, a vicar and a vibrator and the audience are in stitches, relating the subject of 'the change' to themselves, nodding and winking all the way.
Sheila Ferguson really lets her hair down as Sylvia, the Samantha style character from Sex And The City; caustic, sex mad and not afraid to admit it.Rula Lenska shows a real knack for spitting out the odd one liner and is in fine voice as Myra, a successful barrister specialising in divorce and headed for one herself!
The wonderful Marti Webb plays Helen, whose lonely life is made more so when her daughter goes to university. Lastly, the hilarious Rachel Izen plays Jessica, a woman in the midst of her mid life crisis. Sam Kane represents the males, loads of them in a multitude of scene stealing cameos.
Whilst the show zips along, carried by the charisma of this hard working cast, there are times when the stereotypes on show, including a camp gay man and a Chinese herbalist, seem so dated that you half expect Jim Davidson to come and join in. But these misjudged elements are outweighed by the laugh out load moments, including Izen’s attempt to put her jeans on lying down, with a coat hanger wedged into the zipper, as she turns blue.
Leggy Lenska surprises the audience as she has superb (previously untapped) comic timing and Kane knows how to milk a scene and polish it to perfection. Olly Ashmore’s witty songs never quite hit the heights of Victoria Wood's and some like “Women of The Menopause” are too lightweight to carry the show. You do long for some heartfelt emotion amongst the laughter and the closest you get is via the warm ballad “So Much Love.”
Fitting in with the theme of the show, the great all-female band plays beautifully proving that sisters truly are doing it for themselves. This is one of those shows where a top notch cast lifts the material to such dizzy heights that you quickly forget the many faults. Light, breezy and forgettable it may be, but the performers are darn hot.
- Glenn Meads