Sometimes when you see a show you have seen on the TV adapted for stage it doesn’t quite work, but this is definitely not the case with ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em’. I remember watching the show as a young child and finding it very funny. This is mainly down to the childlike appeal of main character, Frank Spencer, who Michael Crawford made iconic.
It must be hard to fill these shoes (and trench coat and beret!) but Joe Pasquale could not be a more perfect choice.
Since seeing Joe live many times over the last 18 years, I had a feeling he would be good as Frank, but couldn’t have predicted just how good! Unusually for Joe, he sticks to the script but does so in an extremely impressive way. As well as the inevitable funny lines and slapstick, there are of course the on stage disasters waiting to happen, and these are performed brilliantly with credit to Ian Horrocks-Taylor and Matt Haskins for their sound and light design.
What I also liked was how as an audience we warmed to all of the characters as soon as we were introduced to them. Sarah Earnshaw is equally brilliant as Betty (Frank’s wife) and there are some great lines from Susie Blake (of Russ Abbot Show and Coronation Street fame) who plays Frank’s long suffering mother-in-law!
The 70’s set is very impressive and there is a kind of innocence to the show which is rare to see in this day and age.
I can count on one hand the times I have actually had my eyes fill with tears of laughter and this is one of those times!
Act 1 is very funny and clever in its own right, but Act 2 builds up to a hilarious crescendo and whilst it is nice to watch comedy at home, you can’t beat the atmosphere of a live audience who, judging from the atmosphere, also loved this performance.
Whilst many people in the audience may remember the show from the TV, it was nice to also see a few younger faces, may be experiencing this kind of live humour for the first time.
I would fully recommend this show for the whole family, it runs at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday 19th May, see this link for more details:
I have always been fascinated by the theme of different adaptations of ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ and was looking forward to this being brought to life on stage with the iconic Phil Daniels playing both protagonists.
In Act 1, the tension in the audience was so quiet you could hear a pin drop! This was no doubt intentional by the very talented director Kate Saxon.
This adaptation by David Edgar has a few tweaks to the original, mainly the addition of two women very key to the plot, Jekyll’s sister Katherine and maid Annie.
Perhaps the most sinister addition though is singer Rosie Abraham whose haunting vocals quite literally bridged the gap cleverly between set changes whilst keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.
A lot of thought has clearly been put into the lighting,costumes and props. This production doesn’t particularly rely on the special effects you would usually associate with Jekyll turning into Hyde, although it is very clear to the audience from Phil Daniels’ changes in stance and Scottish dialect which side he is depicting.
The theme of good versus evil is explored in a very intelligent, refreshing way and Phil Daniels’ impressive performances are enhanced by many other fine actors including Ben Jones as Dr Lanyon/Carew and Sam Cox as dry butler Poole. There are additional subplots with interesting twists and turns, particularly in Act 2.
Although the show felt it had been brought up to date in some ways, it still had the feel of a timeless classic and it was refreshing to be surrounded by a mesmerized audience which added to the eerie atmosphere.
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is on at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday 5th May 2018 https://www.grandtheatre.co.uk/whats-on/drama/dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde