14 May 2011 WOS Rating: Average Reader Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Lip Service have been entertaining audiences very well for 25 years. They return to Withering Looks, as Artistic Directors/ Performers Sue Ryding and Maggie Fox take the audience on a journey to 19th century Howarth and the Bronte Parsonage. Audrey (Fox) and Olivia (Ryding), who are part of the National Institution for Bringing History to Life Society, don ‘authentic’ Victorian costume and present a potted history of the life and work of the famous sisters. Anne’s just popped out for sugar (they couldn’t afford to pay another actor, they joked) but Charlotte and Emily are here to keep us entertained. The ladies of the society introduce us to the sisters, to Nell the housekeeper, to the lost souls on the moor, even to Merle Oberon, Lawrence Olivier and David Niven. There was a hilarious insight into the sister’s work ethic; Charlotte and Emily copied from each other as if in a school exam and a fabulous play on words, ‘They’re calling Wuthering Heights filth and blasphemy’ says a distraught Emily. ‘Oh, I think Wuthering Heights is a much better title’ replies Charlotte. With clocks to the audience, cheeky asides and knowing glances, this very funny double act has the packed audience in the palm of their hands, and they participate enthusiastically as if at a pantomime. There are lovely, relevant jokes about cuts in arts funding and ‘that hat’ Princess Eugenie wore at the recent Royal Wedding. Despite the talent on stage though, the plot often stalls which affects the energy levels of the whole piece. A particularly marvellous re-enactment of the 1939 MGM film, Wuthering Heights shows Ryding and Fox have much more to offer than this production really allows. For this reviewer, a little less ‘ withering looks’ to the audience and a little more substance to the plot may lead to a more fully-rounded and satisfying experience. But there's no denying that if you enjoy a good spoof, this is for you. - Lucia Cox Related Content
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p... Matilda on Broadway wins five Drama Desk Awards The Broadway transfer of Matilda The Musical has won five gongs at the 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards... Pulitzer winner : Islam is 'ripe territory' for drama Ayad Akhtar Ayad Akhtar's play Disgraced, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, receives its UK premiere ... Michael Coveney: New York honours Matilda with five big awards First blood in the New York awards contest went to Matilda last night, as the show walked off with... Opening: Relatively Speaking, Southwark Playhouse's Tanzi Libre & NT Shed's Bullet Catch Among this week's major London theatre openings, in the West End and further afield, are Relatively ... Young Vic's award-winning Doll's House transfers to West End Carrie Cracknell's critically acclaimed Young Vic production of A Doll's House, using an adaptatio... Let It Be extends booking at Savoy until Jan 2014 Let It Be, the concert show based on the music of The Beatles, has extended its run at the Savoy... West End gets Lucky with Tom Hanks? Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks is reportedly in talks to reprise his role in hit Broadway play Lucky ... Benedict Nightingale on judging the Bruntwood Prize Guest Blog: Former Times theatre critic Benedict Nightingale is among the judges of this year's Bruntwood Priz... : Theatre 'flops' ripe for reinvention Ten of the Best Defining a theatre 'flop' is no straightforward task. A general rule of thumb could be that it mak...