Music: Ben Osborne
Designer: Madeleine Girling
Director: Adam Fuller and Matthew Whittle
Choreographer: Laura Street
Reviewer: Julia Beasley
This is the purr-fect antidote to Xmas ennui – a darkly funny feminist caper from Wardrobe Theatre Company, the creators of Muppits Die Hard, Goldilock, Stock & Three Smoking Bears and Rocky: A Horror Show.
Four cool cats revisit a failed diamond heist that took place 20 years ago. It was meant to be one last job, masterminded by the best goddamned cat burglar of the century. But cats are essentially stupid animals and it becomes a botched job that was bound to end in carnage. It’s handy that cats have nine lives; because these kitties are going to need them.
Reservoir Mogs is a fusion of cultural and animal opposites – Quentin Tarantino’s violent crime film Reservoir Dogs and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats. Both script and musical score move seamlessly between the two genres, with witty song lyrics and atmospheric sound effects.
Fans of Tarantino, in particular, are in for a treat, so long as they don’t mind seeing their favourite seminal cinematic scenes reworked for laughs. Fans of Lloyd Webber be warned – you may need to look away at times.
The claws are out for the gun culture, and this gang of female actors is highly inventive at deflating any notion that masculine menace is plausible. White, Blonde and Orange are all wonderful in their respective roles. Special mention goes to Lotte Allan as Pink, who is especially convincing in her utter cattiness throughout.
Whilst paying irreverent lip-service to the original, this performance also manages to highlight some unflattering parallels between gangster culture and feline society. They both share pointless bitchiness, psychopathic violence and torture, territorial in-fighting, and a tendency to become easily distracted.
Drawling Los Angeles accents translate to mewling and spitting over obscure grudges. Flashbacks become the stuff of parody. Caper turns to catastrophe, with hilarious results in this latest offering from Wardrobe that is simply paw-some.
Runs until 21 January 2018 | Image: Paul Blakemore