DramaLondonReview

Alright Bitches – Above The Stag, London

Reviewer: Jamie Barnes

Writer: Martin Blackburn

Director: Bryan Hodgson

Full of everything you’d expect from a cliché, camp comedy, Alright Bitches delivers a delightfully light-hearted and entertaining performance that playfully caricatures the stereotypes of the gay community.

While celebrating their one year anniversary in a Gran Canaria villa, Josh(Wilson Armour) and his younger boyfriend Ollie(Marcus J Foreman) become acquainted with flatmates Max(Josiah Eloi) and Garth(Daniel Breakwell), two regular visitors to the island, who are in the apartment opposite them. Also thrown into the mix in Max and Garth’s straight, middle-aged friend, Pam(Jackie Pulford), who’s tagged along for the week. Meandering at a slow but steady pace, the week-long “gaycation” has its share of drama, romance, and mystery, keeping the laughs flowing throughout.

The characters are developed, but they still only present as stereotypes at a basic level. Fortunately, this is spun to the show’s advantage, with it ultimately shaping into a humorous and self-critical introspective of the gay community.

Each member of the cast hits near-perfection with their comedic tone and timing. Josiah Eloi and Jackie Pulford are a star pairing as Max and Pam, and easily steal the show when they team up on stage. Marcus J Foreman brings a slightly different tone with his portrayal of Ollie, managing to achieve a subtle element of drama, while retaining the underlying comedic atmosphere and light-heartedness.

While the majority of the show thrives in the fun and goofy microcosm of the clichéd gay lifestyle, there is an unusual and somewhat misplaced shift in mood towards the climax of the piece, becoming more serious and dramatic with very little build-up, leaving the ending a little vague and disorientating. There are also some developments to be made to streamline the inconsistent pacing and some sections of stilted dialogue.

Through its technical and artistic departments, Alright Bitches, exhibits itself in extraordinary form. Set designer David Shields creates a rich and authentic atmosphere with his classic villa, which is enhanced further from video design by George Reeve. To complete the visual spectacle, Joseph Ed Thomas flawlessly brings the lively party climate to life with his stimulating lighting design.

While it may be in need of a little development, there is no doubt that Alright Bitches is unique and fabulously entertaining.

Runs until 4 June 2022

The Reviews Hub Score

Camp, Catty, and Comical

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The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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