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Desperate to be Doris (Tour- Oldham)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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This year Lip Service Theatre celebrate their 25th anniversary. In commemoration they are reviving some of their classic shows, including Desperate to be Doris, now playing at the Oldham Coliseum until Saturday 30th October.

This Manchester Evening News Theatre Award nominated production is an outrageous homage to musical icon Doris Day. The production features a selection of Doris’s greatest hits strung happily around the story of Dean, a Buyer for The Pyjama Game, a mail-order nightwear company (in Oldham – at least for this week!). When his local operatic society, Out of My Range, stage the hit musical Calamity Jane, Dean is thrown suddenly in the limelight.

Lip Service duo Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding could never disappoint, playing a multitude of mixed-gender parts with hilarious results. Their charmingly witty script is clever and original with such well-timed deliveries that it is easy to forget that there are actually only two of them onstage.

The lucky man who joins the pair and becomes Doris for the Day is the velvety-voiced Darren Southworth, fresh from the West End hit Spamalot. His sweetly naïve performance as Dean is as endearing as his dog-obsessed best friend, Joy.

Special mention must also go to the fabulous Oldham community chorus, specially recruited for this production and directed by Peter Wakefield, whose cameo appearances fill the stage with fun and fervor.

The heart-warming finale satisfied a very happy audience, reminding me of times gone by. They don’t make ‘em any more like they did in Doris’ day!

- Francesca Waite


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