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Birds of a Feather (Coventry)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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A decade ago, Birds of a Feather was one of the most widely watched television shows in Great Britain. The escapades of Sharon, Tracey and Dorian were welcomed into the homes of up to twenty million viewers, and this year the show makes the transition from screen to stage on a tour across the country.

The premise is simple, ten years on and things have changed, though watch for long enough and you realise that below the surface, these characters are still very much the same. The plot and script are simple enough, and the laughs come easily, but I would judge that they may not sit well with a younger audience, given that although many of the jokes are rooted in very current affairs, there are some which may find them in poorer taste than others. Part of it seems dated - though I think that is because, of course, this is a show catering to an established fan-base, rather than somebody who is coming for a complex night at the theatre - but the echoes of the nineties are what make this production great.

Set partly in a care home, and partly at the home of the sisters, this production centres around Dorian being accused of a crime and what that means for the friendship between the women. Linda Robson, Pauline Quirke and Lesley Joseph all reprise their original roles as Tracey, Sharon and Dorian respectively, and the ease at which they fall back into character after so long away is wonderful. One could argue that this felt like the audience was watching an episode being recorded; such was the familiarity of their performances. Though not always fluent, their acting was admirable and entertaining, and they held the piece together neatly, keeping the pace and tension throughout.

Birds of a Feather was both enjoyable and entertaining, especially for those who have seen and enjoyed it on television. A tongue-in-cheek look at the way we live now, it is an appropriately timed revival which will capitalise on the lack of morals and money so widely broadcast in the media.

 - Kirsty Emmerson


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