Some Like it Hotter
Posted: 17 Jul 2013
The Customs House, South
Going to a fantasy comedy
billed as not based on (nor a stage version of) the classic film Some Like It
Hot you wonder whether you are going to a dud. Sometimes though you find you
are witnessing a gem and this was the best night I’ve had at the theatre for a
period measured in years not months.
The gist is that the stars
of Some Like It Hot are dead – but still working. Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon
and Tony Curtis are in a half-way house which people who have just passed away
visit on their way to heaven or hell. The play’s protagonist Charlie has always idolised Marilyn Monroe and
gets the chance to meet her.
In reality the plot line has
about as much to do with the night’s enjoyment as the scoring system in many a
Radio Four panel game – i.e. none: it’s merely a vehicle to build the show
Here the six-strong cast
were nothing short of superb. Paul Matania looked and sounded like Tony Curtis
while his partner Jack Lemmon played by Daniel Lloyd was similarly excellent. Good as this duo were, they could only play
second fiddle to Sarah Applewood’s mesmerizing Marilyn.
The fact that Applewood is
best known for appearing in a Halifax Building Society TV commercial tells you
all you need to know about the sad state of much of Britain’s provincial
theatre. Here in a consistently excellent venue with cheap tickets (£14 full
price), the start-of-weekend audience could have only marginally crept into
three figures. Undaunted, the cast were sharp, funny and evidently multi-talented
as all of them also demonstrated their musical prowess as they performed a
dozen songs starting with ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ and closing with Marilyn
testing many a male pacemaker with a pouting ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You.’
I loved this performance. Indeed
it was a show to die for.