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The Naked Truth (Tour - Manchester)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Date Reviewed: 10 June 2009
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Venue: The Opera House
Where: Manchester

Raw comedy, exposed secrets, but barely intellectual, The Naked Truth is a fun and frivolous production for a girls night out. Put your best heels on, apply the lipstick and take nothing too seriously.

If chick flicks make you smile and the sounds of Tina Turner and The Spice Girls have you turning your radio to full blast, then you are going to love Theatre Production's latest play, which comprises  an all-star cast. When Sarah (Trudie Goodwin) is faced with the prospects of terminal breast cancer, she, with five other women, begins developing her pole-dancing skills for a charity event.

Gabby (Abi Titmuss), the teacher, certainly has her hands full with the hilariously diverse members of the class. Ranging from the funny fat woman, to the self-absorbed bimbo, the comedy optimistically proves how opposites can attract when a goal needs to be achieved.

Each character carries their own secret burdens, which gradually unfold throughout the course of the play.Although a light-hearted quality is necessary for the humour of the piece, the seriousness of revelations are often lost amongst cliché punch lines. Heightening the sad and occasionally reducing the silly would give the production a stronger and more poignant balance of emotion.

Lisa Riley and Emily Watson, who play the parts of Bev and Faith, make the perfect comedy duo, frequently having the audience creased with laughter. One of the most striking and witty moments of the piece comes from their innovative and highly entertaining pole-dancing to the iconic disco tune, "It’s Raining Men.".It’s an experience you won’t forget easily! Together their success surpasses the rest of the cast, yet each performer does deliver stereotypical characters with predictable personalities as best as they can, given the slim material.

Exploring ‘men problems’, women’s confidence and first dates, the production is ideal for middle-aged women to relive the gossips and giggles of a girly sleepover. This is not to say that there is nothing for the men. Plenty of boobs, legs and lycra (not to forget a sensual pole dance from Titmuss) is enough to keep testosterone running high.

Despite having the melodrama of a pantomime or backstage musical, there is a ‘feel-good’ tone to the piece, where the naked truth proves that, ultimately girls just wanna have fun!

-Rebecca Cohen



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