Pros: With a wonderful design and side-splitting delivery, this play truly is a well crafted delight
Cons: If you’re not a fan of listening to heightened posh British accents for just over two hours then this might not be the play for you
Daisy Pulls It Off, and so, it seems, did this seven strong cast. Hosted in the ever cosy and atmospheric Park Theatre, Daisy Pulls It Off is a roaring and light-hearted comedy set in a prestigious school for girls in the 1920s. Suspension of belief intact, we follow the antics of the ‘young girls’ (played by an evidently adult cast) at Grangewood and their reaction to our endearing and eloquent protagonist Daisy, who has won a scholarship from her common elementary school to attend. With tricks, trouble and treasure hunting galore, this show induces giggles and delight with its playful nature and its refusal to take itself seriously.
The delightfully talented cast of seven doubled on roles, as writer Denise Deegan originally intended, and her adventure storybook-esque narration lent itself to the comically dramatized nature of this play. A well-crafted piece with seamless transitions and a lively energy, this play was both stylistically and performatively riveting. Highlights came from the performances of Pauline McLynn, providing an unrelenting youthful and crafty dynamic with lead Anna Shaffer, and Lucy Eaton who gave a frightfully accurate and audibly hilarious portrayal of a peppy private school headmistress. A truly topping script paired with some utterly splendid direction by Paulette Randall has given rise to a blissfully comic performance to which the audience reacted with hoots and roaring laughter.
The design of the piece had a wonderful consistency and unity to it, from the rainbow of childlike tabards providing the staple of the costume design, to the pleasingly identical shades of wood featured on all set pieces such as the chairs, blackboards and stairs. Libby Watson’s design is gloriously inventive: it features a chalk drawn stately school building as a backdrop, and simple chalk drawn floor boards on the stage, giving a playful schoolground feel in a grand and artistic manor. I must say I was a big fan of this design and on the Park’s thrust stage it looked fantastic!
Quite a few of my favourite moments of the performance came from humorous mishaps such as uncooperative (not so) adhesive moustaches, and the occasional actress spending the entire scene coughing after scoffing a cream bun far too quickly. The way this cast addressed things not going to plan just enhanced the amusement and joy this play brings to an audience. Daisy Pulls It Off is quite simply a charming little comedy with a big spirit and a highly enjoyable way to spend an evening. Hats off to them!
Author: Denise Deegan
Director: Paulette Randall
Producers: Go People and Glass Half Full Productions
Box Office: 020 7870 6876
Booking Link: https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/daisy-pulls-it-off
Booking Until: 13th January 2018