Wednesday, July 6

Dirty Corset – The Pleasance

Bang Average Theatre’s playful restoration comedy follows a troupe of actors, Mary Moralless, Isabinda Mclovealot and Neil Hasbeen and their drama both on and off the stage. From shifting dynamics between the three to bickering, grief, unrequited love and disease, there is mayhem throughout. We are transported to the grimy 17th century with crude snippets of the past, featuring an animated skincare routine and multiple dance sequences.

I loved the minimalistic staging with undergarments hung on a clothing line around the room and the imaginative use of props for swift transitions.

The script, written by the performers had fresh, witty dialogue that felt spontaneous as it bounced back and forth. Some of the first scenes were slightly confusing without context but they were then easy to settle into with an understanding of the plot.

Their strong physicality along with the moments of synchronisation directed by Helen Tennison were a joy to watch. The natural rhythm with each other was fascinating, as they were bumbling and scatty yet acutely attuned to each other.

Laurie Coldwell’s Neil is goofy and boastful and is defined by his plethora of diseases. Chloe Darke plays Mary, a bawd with a tough, defensive shell yet is bubbly and coquettish. Susanna Scott is Isabinda, who tentatively fawns over Mary. Scott is particularly impressive with her sprightly, dynamic energy and in managing to convey Isabinda’s sincere feelings whilst still having excellent comedic timing.

Dirty Corset was cheeky, uplifting and spunky. It has a strong sense of self in its creativity and boldness and is full of giggles which make for an entertainingly chaotic evening.

Playing until 24th April, https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/dirty-corset/performances

Reviewer: Riana Howarth

Reviewed: 7th April 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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