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Mother's Ruin (Manchester)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Venue: Contact
Where: Manchester

Mother’s Ruin showcases the sheer variety of gay theatre available in the northwest – with varying results. The loose concept - that the audience and the cast are taking part in a reality show where their ‘queerness’ is assessed by Johnjo and Sheela Blige - is quickly forgotten.Timberlina (pictured) is the MC – striking in an air hostess uniform and full beard but with a laid back delivery that descends into a mumble and generates little enthusiasm for the acts.
Clementine, the Living Fashion Doll, hides her body behind a black curtain, rests her head on the body of a doll and mimes to songs. It doesn’t sound like much but the big eyes and expressive face along with the knowingly naff effects make it a giddy, silly delight.
A pretentious film from Qasum Riza Shaheen and a startling monologue from Dickie Beau that moves from the mundane to the deeply erotic in the same world-weary tone confirm the diversity of the show.
The spirit of 6th form/Viz humour is represented by Joey Hateley although his diction renders some of the jokes inaudible. Eggs Collective also find humour in naughty words but with much more success. Dressed in beatnik black they read poems about their ladyparts with an aching sincerity that is simply hilarious. They also give a truly alien point of view on sex from, well, an alien.
Chris & Gareth’s Well Arty Revue is a confused concept and their performance plagued by technical problems. They have more success involving the audience in their act in the foyer during the interval. Sophie Willan’s foul-mouthed Bridget Jones routine starts well but goes on too long.
Myra Dubois is totally at ease with her dry but savage character. The put-downs are vicious but screamingly funny and the jokes are horribly near the knuckle. She bemoans the difficulty of finding work in the Manchester area as a children’s entertainer with the name ‘Myra’ and tells a photographer that 'his sort' killed Princess Diana.
A celebration is not expected to be a solemn event but more rehearsal would have made Mother’s Ruin funnier and more powerful
- Dave Cunningham