Pros: A great set and a beautiful performance by the leading lady.
Cons: The style of dialogue leaves little to the imagination and the transitions between scenes are a bit too long.
A one woman production by Brit Theatre shows humour and a straightforward consistency. Ninety minutes long, with a fifteen minute interval, Two Little Dickie Birds is an almost constant monologue by its main character, Pauline.
Pauline is a northern pub landlady, who lives a mundane existence filled with failed romances. The story we are taken through gives us a quick overview of the ups and downs in her life, and only the scene changes give a little room to breathe. Jo Dakin gives a great show as Pauline, and is more than capable of carrying the whole show by herself. However, due to the constant text, the play is almost tiring at some points. There is little pace to the storyline and unfortunately, this makes it hard to sympathise with the character. The pacing problems cause some scenes to lose their comedic punch as well.
In terms of atmosphere Two Little Dickie Birds has the advantage of being set in an actual pub theatre, the Jack Studio Theatre. Dave Benson’s set is great, and has amazing attention to detail. The visual variety between scenes is a massive positive. One of my favourite parts was the man changing the set, who displayed a range of dance moves that made the audience smile. However, as much as I enjoyed them, the transitions did take quite a while, so much so that at one point I even thought something had gone wrong. On a positive note, however, the small space of the Jack Studio Theatre does make for an intimate and atmospheric performance venue.
The humour itself may not be to some people tastes, but on the evening I attended, the audience took a liking to the sometimes silly jokes. The show is advertised as a comedy, and it certainly managed to hit that mark. The musical numbers woven in between the scenes are borderline cheesy, but the slightly random music does add a certain charm to the show, especially when a slow classic comes on during a particularly sad speech.
Two Little Dickie Birds is an enjoyable and well-balanced show. Although there is room for improvement, it makes for an entertaining evening nonetheless.
Authors: David Allen, Jonathan Clay and Mandy Hester
Director: Jeffrey Longmore
Producer: Brit Theatre
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run.