Bitter Review

New Diorama Theatre – 10th & 11th June

Reviewed by Heather Chalkley


In their latest show, Potter and Wagner present the current focus on modern feminism through the dry wit and honest characters of Wendy (Jo McGarry), Melissa (Helen Potter) and Mavis (Emily Hindle). The reality of life after university has hit them hard, all three ending up back in their hometown, working low paid jobs and reforming an awkward friendship that gives them an outlet to vent their frustrations. Self consumed and listening, often without really hearing each other, the truth plays out in hilarious real life honesty.

The stripped back set meant that all eyes remained on the players and drew you in to the facial expressions and transitions between scenes. All 3 women squeezed every ounce of comedy value out of this focus, to great effect. Even the rewind in one of the scenes that went out of sync was expertly captured into a laugh out loud moment. The clever incorporation of physical theatre, song and dance allowed you to skip between sketches and visualise the surroundings, despite the fact that the only scenery was a bench!

Everything that a young women fears in a man is rolled up into one character, Brian (Will Stuart), who ends up accidentally murdered! Will Stuart had the unenviable task of playing every male character in the play, flipping seamlessly from the arrogant Tarquin to the scarily weird Brian, with great comic timing.

The combination of Helen Potter’s writing and Carissa Wagner’s direction has produced classic British comedy, that is at the same time true and complete nonsense! As they hone their skills I can see this team having a future in their own British sitcom, of the ‘Trollied’ or ‘Citizen Khan’ ilk. Well worth taking an hour out of your day to watch.

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