It's the 25th anniversary of Bryony Lavery's award-winning
historical rom-com and The Hope Theatre's celebratory production is
a fun-filled treat just in time for Christmas.
This thoroughly entertaining musical romp is expertly steered by
two brilliantly talented actresses. Collette Eaton and Naomi Todd
play Harriet and Molly, a couple in the early stages of dating who
happen to be reading the same trashy bodice-ripper. Both performers
do a fantastic job at bringing the astonishing array of characters
in the book to life, creating laugh-out-loud sketch scenes, which
are interspersed with touchingly nervous phone calls between the
modern day lovebirds.
Collette is a hoot as the highborn dominatric whose hobbies
include fox hunting, swashbuckling and falling for pert-cheeked
fillies. Naomi is all charisma and Carry On facial expressions as
the object of her affection, a wide-eyed maid with a
Disney-princess-esque affinity with woodland creatures. As if these
two comic creations weren't enough, between them they successfully
embody a hunchbacked Cornish grandmother, a money-hungry fop, a
saucy lady's madi and a Yokel stable boy.
The intimate pub theatre venue and sensual set and costume
design - think velvet, fur and tight-laced corsets - make this gem
of a show even more of a festive delight. 25 years after this piece
was written, plays about lesbians and bi women are still sadly few
and far between so it's wonderful to see such an enjoyable one back
on the London theatre scene.
Her Aching Heart is on at The Hope Theatre
until 23 December.
Tickets are available here.
Image: Roy Tan
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