Hen Night Horror – Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow

Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys

Writer: Fraser Boyle

Music & Lyrics: Ali Cleland

Choreographer: Chris Stuart Wilson

Directors: Fraser Boyle & Eric Potts

If it’s a brazen, bawdy, but brilliantly funny night out you’re looking for then look no further. Hen Night Horror is a brand new Scottish musical from Fraser Boyle and Ali Cleland packed with banging tunes and jump scares alike.

It’s the middle of nowhere in a cabin deep in the woods of the Scottish countryside. It’s Amanda’s (Kim Shepherd) hen weekend, paid for by maid of honour Donna (Frances Thorburn) who is suddenly quids-in but no one’s really sure how, and featuring Lydia (Louise McCarthy) 42 years old with three feral children, looking for a few nights away and some fun. Social media obsessed Amanda is over the moon at the luxury cabin and is busy posting her dream hen do. But all is not as it seems. It doesn’t take long for Amanda’s dream do to turn into a nightmare. There are shadows outside the windows and a mysterious and unexpected guest creeping around.

So far, so seemingly scary – yes there are some jumpy moments but what marks this as something special is the tone of the writing, the twists and unexpected turns of the plot and the cracking tunes belted out with gusto by this stupendous cast, mixed in with a mascara-busting script, make it a joy.

There are few shows that you can truly claim to have the tears streaming down your face, but this is one. It is firmly planted in west of Scotland humour and the naturalistic and utterly hysterical dialogue is so familiar to anyone who has enjoyed a good banter with a gaggle of Glaswegian female friends. Every joke hits and the audience are firmly on side from the first lines to the last. Though, if you are easily offended it might not be the show for you.

Thanks to the comedy genius of McCarthy whose timing and physicality is exemplary, Shepherd’s spot on portrayal of the tightly wound bride-to-be and Thorburn’s no-nonsense Donna with a set of pipes to die for – this is an absolute winner. When you throw into the mix West End veteran Matthew McKenna who has the voice of an angel (a very powerful angel) and the comedy chops to match and Alan Orr who tackles the, err, unusual role of Mr. Jeffries, with wide-eyed glee, you just can’t fail.

Utterly unhinged in the best possible way, there has to be a life for this show after its first try out here at the Pavilion. It is a tonic for the soul and has all the makings of a sure fire hit that could run and run.

Reviewed on 21 June 2024 | Image: AMD Studios Ltd.

The Reviews Hub Score

Unhinged in the best possible way

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The Reviews Hub - Scotland

The Scotland team is under the editorship of Lauren Humphreys. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.

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