'Women of An Uncertain Age' comedy review

Flip and Maggie performed an entertaining and thought-provoking hour long show. What does it mean when you become an age when you are no longer the 'girlfriend' but don't want to be the 'mother' or 'grandmother'? When you're still sexy but don't want to go pulling? When you want to be seen and desired and not become invisible or defined by wrinkles or grey hair. If you want to own the aging process and not be desperate to reverse it?

In a series of well thought out sketches Flip and Maggie explored many of these issues with witty and sharp characterisation including those of women who are desperate to stay young and beautiful and the impossibility of it. The show included comedy versions of musical numbers by The Supremes, Take That, Peggy Lee and Amy Winehouse.

My favourite sketches included the period drama where women are defined by their weak physicality, needing vapours, prone to fainting fits but one longs to be a sailor. The sketch about an aging female actor who doesn't yet qualify for a pension, can't find work, is caring for an elderly parent and is forced by the DWP to do something she didn't want to. The sexy Italian TV chef who knows how to 'keep' a man (boobs, impossibly sexy everyday clothing, and food). The contrast between the Italian Nigella Lawson-esqe goddess and her elderly mother is very interesting, because the poor grandmother sits quiet on stage, bent over and covered up and it makes you wonder when or if, this vibrant sexy TV goddess (who seems so powerful but yet is motivated by her insecurities) is going to turn into her mother.

In a different sketch Flip sings a song about wanting to be mistaken for her daughter but knowing she looks like her mother. It's funny and poignant.

While overall the sketches are well thought out and funny I think some could benefit from extra jokes and others could be dramas and perhaps not need comedy. I felt uncomfortable with a couple of jokes at the expense of an Indian call centre worker and Romanian families. Even though this was done by showing us a character with a prejudice, I didn't want to be invited to laugh.

While Flip and Maggie change costume offstage there are a series of pre-recorded voiceovers which are excellent quality. The Woman's Hour piece sounds like it is spoken by Jenny Murray. The show ends on a funny sketch about body pump with two women of an uncertain age desperate to be street.. 'blud'.

'Women of an Uncertain Age' is a good quality, thought provoking show for the fringe, and will be coming to Camden Fringe in August (13th, 14th). One to look out for.

(c) Wendy Thomson 2015
reviewed at Shehnai, Reading 7pm 16.7.15


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