Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Sweet Venues – until 28 August. Reviewed by Jessica Brady
The Happy Idiot presents a new LOOSELY based version of the controversial novel by D.H Lawrence ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ with hilarious results. As a new company they couldn’t have picked a better story to reinvent and put such a unique spin on!
The show follows the newly married Lady Chatterley or Connie as she’s more affectionately known [played by Amy Millns] and war wounded Lord Chatterley [played by Lawrence Russell] as they struggle to adjust to their new lives together since his return from the war. Connie seeks solace and comfort from the lower class grounds man, Mellors [played by Wesley Griffith] while a maid, Mrs Bolton [played by Rebecca McClay] is employed to care for her husband. True to the original, Mellors and Connie strike up an intense relationship that awakens her they fall in love.
The show does follow the general premise of the novel but with all the boring bits missed out and revamped to give you the highlights of the highly sexualised nature of the original text which works so well. Russell has cleverly written a script that mocks all the controversy of the novel and pushes it to the extremes which makes for some wonderful moments of physical comedy and brilliantly sarcastic gags. It is literally a laugh a minute show with all 4 performers striking that perfect balance of taking their roles seriously and completely ridiculing them and the antics that they all get up to. It has so much charm that you can’t help but go along with the story despite it being such an over the top version.
Though limited with space in their venue, that doesn’t stop this crew bringing the complete package of what a fringe show needs, their set was basic but their attention to detail with period costume and props definitely sets the scene and helps you as an audience member to get on board with a nod to original novel (excluding a couple of shocking twists regarding fishnets and balloons which I won’t spoil for you!).
The cast are all excellent in their roles as they manage to get you on side with the outrageous nature of what they are presenting and have no qualms in stripping off, making what some performers find quite uncomfortable effortless and thrive off the sheer raucousness. They all have strong chemistry and do not shy away from the sex or innuendoes but rather embrace them and flaunt it!
Not: Lady Chatterley’s Lover is an hour of perfect fringe fun and will quite simply leave you wiping the tears of laughter from your face. For a small room Happy Idiot really pack a punch and I challenge any audience not to enjoy this! It’s filthy, crude and sexy in the best possible way and I can only hope that it gets to be developed further as it deserves to go far! Go catch this shockingly brilliant show at Sweet Venues and get ready to have your sides split!