Ready for 50 shades of grim? Coronation Street actress Pauline Fleming (nope, no idea either) is touring a ‘rib tickling, laugh out loud comedy play about dating’ – oh, nurse, stich up our sides and mop up our seats.

Dirty, heading our way this autumn, is a ‘comedyplay about dating!’ (their exclamation mark, not ours). Because, let’s face it, that’s territory we’ve not explored since we cooled down our prickly thighs with a can of diet coke at 11.30.

“ Everyone has dated but not everyone has speed dated, just how wrong could it all go?” says the press release.

Very, we imagine. For a start, speed dating sort of stopped being topical when the Kaiser Chiefs were having hits. Still, comedy’s all about timing, eh?

“Four ladies, mid twenties to mid forties arrive at Henry’s Bar to attend a new speed dating evening. Henry’s is a bar known to all the ladies, all being from the same area, but all have a different tale to tell.

As the ladies start to reveal their backgrounds and opinions of each other, Henry an aging homosexual (of course he is), begins to communicate the male point of view of relationships whilst the women begin to demonstrate their frustrations of the attitudes of men.”

So far, so plot written by speak and spell machine, and an upturned shredder of discarded Sheila’s Wheels scripts.

The Vagina Monologues opened the floodgates, and Grumpy Old Women came late to the party (probably because they dropped an HRT patch in their husband’s pasta, with hilarious consequences). And while the genre’s given us the brilliant Legally Blonde, there’s a lot of cynical padding out there too. Every year there’s another play about hard up male stippers, starring some bloke off Emmerdale and Tinhead, a cobbled together jukebox musical/pension fund for Kid Creole, and Mamma Mia has now been translated into Talagog, Manx and MS Dos.

Currently, Theater Royal Windsor is staging ‘Girls Night’ – ‘a thoughtful, brilliantly funny musical comedy which follows five girlfriends on a riotous, cocktail fuelled night out. You’ll recognize every one of them; Carol the party girl, eccentric Anita, Liza with her issues, boring Kate and gossipy Sharon. Starring Gillian Taylforth…’ We honestly don’t know why we’re still here.

Dirty stars (we use the word advisedly) ex Eurovision loser, Nikki French (you’ll know her by her non-hit ‘Don’t Play That Song Again’. We didn’t) and is set to cement this new social activity ever stronger into the cultural map.

To be a successful girly theatre night, there is a formula as reliable and mechanical as a rampant rabbit. But as soulless too. And we’d approach this one with caution.

Give us Hairspray, give us even The Full Monty or The Calendar Girls. And if you want strippers, go for the real men, not out of work soap stars with judiciously placed contractual cover ups.

Theatre can, of course, conjure up the perfect sociable outing – and we’re not going to get sniffy about bums on seats (especially at the fab new Epstein theatre), but with Nicky Allt’s ever decreasing scouseploitation circles at the Royal Court, we hope the recently reopened Epstein will be putting more meat on its bone in the months to come.

Anyway, the good news is, Joan Rivers is coming to the Phil on 13 October. Now you’re talking.

Epstein Theatre
Hanover Street
Date: Thursday 13th – Friday 14th September
Show Start: 7:30pm

4 Responses to “Here Come The Girls, Again”

  1. Went to see Reds vs Blues. That’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back again. This play can’t be any worse than that. And it might be a little better, because it’s not a cheap knock off, stereotyping scousers, written by a scouser. Mind you, I’ll probably swerve it, don’t want to be eaten alive by a load of revved up hen parties.

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