Following extensive touring last year, Jenny Eclair and her fellow “grumpy old women” Susie Blake and Wendi Peters returned to the West End this week for a second helping of menopausal mayhem. Grumpy Old Women Live 2 - Chin Up Britain opened on 20 April 2010 (previews from 14 April) at the Novello Theatre, where it’s booking through to 5 June.

Inspired by the BBC Two series and the Grumpy Old Women Official Handbook, Grumpy Old Women Live is billed as “an orgy of middle-aged mayhem”, including “a belly full of new grumps and handy hints on getting through these hard times the grumpy way” and “Grumpometer tests” for measuring grumpiness levels. The original live show had a West End stint at Shaftesbury Avenue’s Lyric Theatre in 2006.

Grumpy Old Women Live is co-written by Eclair with Judith Holder, producer of the TV series. The new production is directed by Owen Lewis and designed by Susannah Henry, with lighting by Matt Veitch and sound by Nick Manning. It’s presented by Avalon Promotions and Liberty Bell Productions.

** DON'T MISS our exclusive Outing to GRUMPY OLD WOMEN 2 on 19 May 2010 including a FREE drink & access to our EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A with Jenny Eclair & her Grumpy company – All for only £25! Click here for details! **

  • Honour Bayes on (four stars) –“Bossy, no nonsense and bizarrely flatulent, Susie Blake, Wendi Peters and Jenny Eclair have reached their grumpy prime and are here to sort out emotionally wet Britain … This is a very silly and at times delightfully childish show … Owen Lewis’ smooth direction makes sure that each moment is carefully choreographed. But whilst he does a fabulous job of powering on a piece mainly consisting of grumbling, there’s little space left for any ‘live’ moments. Tellingly, some of the largest laughs come when the cast make mistakes and riff off script … Eclair’s comedy is at times overly grotesque, it’s hard not to raise a smile when she likens her proudly homegrown tomatoes to being as tasteless and bland as fellatio on Tim Henman!”
  • Bruce Dessau in the Evening Standard (four stars) –“It will appeal largely to a niche of like-minded souls, but it serves that niche brilliantly … Jenny Eclair steals the show with her breathless rants and the plaintive description of herself as her ‘dad in drag’. Maybe there is too much about chocolate, flatulence and fading libidos, but there is something incredibly enjoyable about the heartfelt irreverence. The trio might moan about their bodies sagging but their humour is as toned as a teenage gymnast.”
  • Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph (three stars) – “For all the boisterous, mop-in-hand energy of our three hostesses for the evening - veteran grouch-bag Jenny Eclair together with TV regulars Susie Blake and Wendi Peters - there’s little disguising the fact that this chorus of tutting disapproval has been round the block one too many times. Eclair and co-writer Judith Holder have cooked up a new script, but essentially this sequel runs along the same lines as the original 2005 touring incarnation. If anything, this is a slicker proposition but that’s part of the problem - the exasperation at the ageing process and anger at life’s minor irritations have started to feel over-rehearsed … Still, if passably funny japes about the menopause, sanitary towels, cellulite and the like are your cup of tea, then no critic, male or otherwise, should stand in your way.”
  • Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail (three stars) – “There are few shows where to complain that they're both coarse and predictable actually qualifies as a compliment. This is one. To say so is entirely entering into the spirit of the new stage version of the axe-grinding TV programme. Led by the gloriously lewd Jenny Éclair (alongside Susie Blake and Wendi Peters), it wallows in the sometimes lurid spectacle of menopausal women growing old, disgracefully … In comic terms, the show could certainly do with a bit of toning. Still, Judith Holder's script keeps the jokes coming thick and fast, and the 'another-thing-that-really-gets-my-goat' format means you can see 'em coming.”
  • ** DON'T MISS our exclusive Outing to GRUMPY OLD WOMEN 2 on 19 May 2010 including a FREE drink & access to our EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A with Jenny Eclair & her Grumpy company – All for only £25! Click here for details! **