Pros: In two words: Ellie Nunn. She brought the monologues to technicolour life and had the audience at her beck and call.
Cons: Hardly a con as such, but I left the theatre wanting more. Any plans for a Part 2?
Bombshells is a one-woman show comprising a series of six monologues. All are sharply written and while the show is humorous throughout, the characters manage to carry the audience through an emotional roller coaster.
The Mother is an excellent introduction and will seem like a bosom-buddy (literally!) for all young mums. We watch her juggling two kids and a baby whilst careening through an average day. The feeling of not measuring up brings guilt, guilt and more guilt. The Enthusiast presents her talk about the wonders of cacti and how her succulents helped to bring her comfort after a broken relationship. The Schoolgirl who has unshakeable faith in her stage ability seems so familiar these days due to the likes of X Factor, etc. We see the certainty and idealism of youth before experience begin to tarnish her dreams. The Bride is typically more wrapped up in wedding arrangements than considering her future with her chosen mate for life. And the show (or wedding) must go on. The Senior Citizen and her club of widows provide a look down the years that few of us stop to consider until we find ourselves there. Or maybe we prefer just not to look. And finally The Diva is the perfect way to round off the evening. Sequinned and slurring she’s been through the showbiz ringer and she’s still standing.
Ellie Nunn is a one-woman tour de force. Her performance is an astonishing feat for someone so young. She owns the stage and doesn’t let up for a second. She is on show the whole time thanks to a thinly veiled dressing room at the side of the stage. This allows us to watch each character being put together with wigs, costumes and make-up, only for them to be quickly dismantled before we move onto the next. It’s a clever device which keeps the audience occupied and allows a curiosity to grow which wouldn’t happen if she disappeared off stage each time.
I have to mention her bravery and chutzpah for so confidently strutting her stuff whilst sometimes scantily clad. The amount of sharp dialogue seems like a super-human feat of memory and it’s often delivered at speed. All the monologues are brilliantly funny but all are based on sad or touching events which gives the humour depth. Laughter is so often a thin veneer desperately attempting to paper over the cracks of life and nowhere more so than here. It’s comedy with a heart.
Jermyn Street Theatre is a quirky little gem tucked away just below Piccadilly Circus. Located in a basement it seats an audience of seventy and has a small bar. New visitors may like to be aware that the loos are located at the rear of the stage and are not accessible whilst the show is running. This production is approx. two hours including a fifteen minute interval.
Author: Joanna Murray-Smith
Director: Jack Gamble
Booking Until: 11th January 2014
Box Office: 020 7287 2875
Booking Link: https://www.eticketing.co.uk/jermynstreettheatre/default.aspx