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Review of Flash Festival: Whiplash Theatre Company - Do Gentlemen Prefer Blondes? at the Looking Glass Theatre

Following the tough subject nature of I Forget What I've Forgotten, the perfect antidote came with Do Gentlemen Prefer Blondes? from Whiplash Theatre Company. It also highlighted at the end of the first day the huge contrast and therefore delight in the different pieces. From storytelling to children's entertainment, from technologies impact to tough health issues, I proceeded to high humour and a little pathos with this one. I love the fact that an hour after the tenderness of one show I witness two grown men running around a stage pretending to be apes. Only at Flash maybe?

Our introduction to the show comes in the form of Ashlee Sopher attempting to wear away a pub bar. For five minutes as we await the start of the show as people take their seats, a glass is polished, but mostly the bar is polished. This is presented with perfect showmanship and heralds the delights that are to come. The aforementioned apes are played by Dale Endacott and John Shelley and complete the male part of this quintuple group. They look to have spent much time on perfecting their ape behavior and movement as it is without doubt very realistic. The purpose of this scene is to see how far we have progressed from our animal nature and when introducing lady ape, Chloe Brown (apologies for how insulting this sounds), frictions cascade into chaos and we witness true nature as our lady ape chooses which male she wants to pick the nits from.

Apart from the monkeys, we are treated to a tale of a masturbator, some wonderful heartfelt singing from Chloe in her role as a 45 year old singleton and some superb comic antics to the tune of Fly Me To The Moon. Laying a table will never be the same again. Our final cast member is Riley Stephen who for the most part is aghast at the previously mentioned masturbation. She does however take part in one of the best choreographed scenes. This is one of many scattered through the play, these are both tender and sometimes very humourous to boot.

Overall this is a lovely constructed play and reminded me greatly of The Show Must Go On from last years Flash in its structure and performances and there is no bigger a praise I can give it than that.


The Flash Festival 2015 runs between 18th-23rd May, 2015 at four venues across the town. Details can be found at http://ftfevents.wix.com/flashtheatre2015, while tickets can be booked via the Royal & Derngate. Details at: http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/whatson/2015-2016/Other/FlashFestival15

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