Menopause may be a troublesome experience, but judging by the cackling coming from the audience of mostly menopausal age women and a few brave males thrown in, its a hoot!
Menopause the Musical presented by the Perth Theatre Trust at the Playhouse Theatre is a hysterical show that turns a somewhat taboo subject into a series of musical numbers set to well known songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s with altered lyrics.
Picking a favourite is difficult but the disco number I Will Survive about hot flushes is particularly catchy. A disco ball descends, coloured lights start flashing and the high energy cast break out their disco moves. Other catchy tunes include The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Great Pretender, Only You and Fever.
The show is set in a department store where the four women meet and find plenty of antics to get up to while they discuss all the symptoms of menopause from night sweats, mood swings, wrinkles, weight gain and memory loss.
The cast consisting of seasoned performers Donna Lee, Maria Mercedes, Cindy Pritchard and Carolyn Waddell maintain high energy throughout the performance and are a well oiled team. Skilled comedians, each woman has her character down pat and has developed their own quirky little nuances - but it was Lee who I couldn't draw my eyes away from, who's facial expressions and dance moves were hilarious.
Just as the audience is starting to tire from all the high performance musical numbers, playwright Jeanie Linders throws in a song about mothers called I’m No Babe. This song is perfectly timed to give the audience a breather and then look forward to the final numbers.
Despite all the high energy numbers from the cast there is something that stops the show from being sensational rather than just very good. Although its hard to pinpoint it might be the minimalistic set and lighting to blame.
At the end of the show there is a nice little twist, which I won't give away, but I will say that it leaves you feeling all warm and tingly inside, or wait is that just a hot flush coming on?
Perth Theatre Trust & Playhouse Theatre present
Menopause The Musical
Book and Lyrics by Jeanie Linders
Directed by Gary Young
Venue: Playhouse Theatre
Dates: Nov 24 - Dec 12, 2009
Bookings: BOCS 9484 1133 or online www.bocsticketing.com.au or at any BOCS outlet