Verdict: Damned good giggle
Touring/Cheltenham - Everyman Theatre - June
Cheltenham Everyman Theatre
The theatre's seams are close to bursting as women pile in to catch a glimpse of the cheeky smash-hit comedy (writes Samantha Darling). Husbands and boyfriends have been locked away. This is definitely a Ladies Night out - though lady-like is not quite the way to describe these flesh-hungry gals.
As the music blares disco tunes of the '80s the audience of rampant women stirs into a hyperactive frenzy - and the curtain hasn't gone up yet.
Ladies Night kicks off in the Hotspot Nightclub. A group of lads are up to the usual Saturday-night games - booze, fights and tottie-watch.
Craig - has suffered a blow to the love weapon, and the lads rally around to check the injury. Gavin chats about the amount of money women pay to go to strip-clubs. The lads are unemployed, and decide to give it a shot - as the 'Raging Rhinos'.
Sensible and somewhat bitter Graham opts out - it's not his way of making money - a decision he'll come to regret.
It's very similar to The Full Monty' - but the boys have the bodies to, er, pull it off. It's a panorama of muscle and tight butt-cheeks. The character-mix is a combination of The Young Ones and Men Behaving Badly.
Barry is the punk-rock, simple-minded, lovable guy, who has problems with his girlfriend Denise. He also has problems understanding that women don't dig bass guitar. His first strip for club-owner Bernie is a disaster. It's to 'Wild thing'. Barry's anything but - he's barely able to get the guitar off, let alone his kit.
Wesley jumps on-stage in builder's boots, lumberjack shirt and not much else. His chain-saw dance unnerves - he jumps around the stage completely out of rhythm. And his choice of soundtrack lets him down - 'Bob the Builder'.
Next up is Gavin who appears in toga and straight face. As he throws his fruit around, his efforts to be sexual quickly deflate.
Out comes Norman - bless him! The stuttering, geeky one of the group emerges, strutting his stuff in a Spiderman outfit - minus the backside area. The audience goes wild.
The lads look like a helpless cause. Enter Glenda - here's a powerful lady, with the boys' balls in her hands - her sexual presence makes the boys look even wimpier. It's not long before she has the lads whipped into shape - there's signs of envy from the female audience as Glenda handles the boy's bodies and bends them over for inspection.
In the second half, the theatre becomes the club - the performance the strip-tease. The excitement reaches near-climax as the guys pick ladies from the audience to rub baby-oil (among other things) over.
Gavin appears as drag-queen Gloria Winstanton, manager of the Rhinos. He plays her as Dame Edna with the brass balls of Lily Savage - fantastic.
Craig, Barry and Wesley raise the heat with a raunchy shower-dance. Dim lights, Robbie Williams's music and wet sponges over rippling muscles work their magic.
Ladies Night's leaves the audience hyperactive and ready to hit the town. It's the kind of show you could take an idiosyncratic Granny to. It's cheeky, fun, a little bit naughty - and a damned good giggle.
Credits: Director - Stuart Morrison, Stage Management - Craig Bryce, Marielle Dawson, David Whitfield. Poster Design - Dave Dennison, Peter Mair - Directa (UK) Ltd. Gloria Winstanton's costumes designed and created by David Rumelle and Julie Sinden. Main Costumes – designed and created by Colin Coleman. 'Ladies Night' by Anthony McCarten and Stephen Sincl
Another review from the same tour - s morrison
20 Oct 09
Ladies Night - not for the faint of heart
Ladies’ Night by Anthony McCarten and Stephen Sinclair is a funny, outrageous story about male strippers.
Just my cup of tea.
Review by Carol Griffith
The first half is very much along the lines of ‘The Full Monty’ although Ladies’ Night has actually been around for much longer.
However, after the interval is where the similarity ends completely. The second half is nothing short of a strip show, with wonderful, sexy bodies strutting their stuff before a very excited audience.
The show features Nottingham born and bred, Andrew Kwame, who really should be classed as one of the city’s top exports.
The audience also loved the cheeky Dan Baines, although it was hard to distinguish who had the best body, as they were all pretty nearly perfect.
The story line was also good, although it would have been enjoyed just the same if the actors had been miming.
This is not a show to take your boyfriend or husband too, nor probably your mother-in-law, but go with a group of friends and it’ll be the best night out you’ve had in ages.
The only disappointment on the night was that I couldn’t stay long enough to meet the guys in the bar afterwards.
Another reviewe from the same tour - same venue and even same night !!! - s morrison
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