Ginger Hibiscus | Ginger Hibiscus |REVIEW: Booty and the Biatch at the LOST Theatre
Ginger Hibiscus |REVIEW: Booty and the Biatch at the LOST Theatre
Ginger Hibiscus |REVIEW: Booty and the Biatch at the LOST Theatre
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16 Dec REVIEW: Booty and the Biatch at the LOST Theatre

It’s that time of year again, when otherwise perfectly respectable actors and actresses don ridiculous outfits, overact their hearts out and sing (hopefully) hilarious parodies, all in the name of the Christmas panto. This year’s “Excess All Areas” offering comes not from the usual Battersea Barge, but rather from the LOST Theatre, a decidedly steadier and more traditional venue. Promising to be, “a very dirty, very adult festive pantomime,” the show, “shakes its ‘Booty and the Biatch’ in your face, with a lampooning of Disney like you’ve never seen before.”

One of many pantomimes bastardised into a strictly adult offering, expectations were of a crude, crass, outrageous show that it’s impossible not to enjoy, and that would have the audience laughing, despite themselves, till they cried. Unfortunately, it’s nothing of the sort. Sadly devoid of any semblance of originality, the show puts only gentle nudges on the plotline of Beauty and the Beast, telling tired old regurgitated jokes that are more likely to result in a groan than a laugh. There is absolutely nothing innovative about the age old “calling you the wrong name” joke, that drags on and on throughout the entire show, feeling increasingly tedious with every iteration.

On a similar note, there are only so many laughs you can get out of lazy racial stereotypes, like directing all the IT based comments to the Korean face on stage, or asking her for a chicken chow mein, or from talking about “Angela Merkel the German lesbian.” It’s just boring. Similarly if an offensive joke is going to be made about a sensitive subject, at the very least that joke needs to be funny. It can serve as a talking point, as a matter of contention. But if it’s just not funny in the first place, you’re simply left with a down right inappropriate statement. And the ebola joke definitely fell into that category.

That said, there are some funny moments, even if I could count the number of times I laughed out loud on my fingers. When something went just a tiny bit wrong and the actors had to respond on their feet, they coped brilliantly and the professional in all of them came out, witty and spontaneous in a way that the script generally isn’t. Also Nigel Garage, the resident UKIP candidate is a canny addition, the source of that handful of laughs strutting about in lederhosen, a wittily characterised vile specimen of a man. It doesn’t help that there’s a long, self indulgent “pre-prologue” about the barge and the change in setting for the panto, which adds nothing, but serves to alienate audience members who didn’t go last year and further elongate an already too-long show.

It’s important to note that just because I didn’t find it very funny, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not enjoyable. Looking and listening about the room, most people in there seemed to be having a good time, responding in the right places and getting thoroughly involved with the characters. But with innuendo so tame and infrequent it makes MTV look positively pornographic, it’s impossible to agree that it’s very dirty or indeed very adult. In all, a light and entertaining pantomime, but certainly not my favourite one of the year.

For tickets and information:
Venue: LOST Theatre
Dates: 14th – 17th December

Star Rating

Ginger Hibiscus don’t like using stars as a headline; we think they’re too reductionist, and that decision-making based on stars misses the point of a review. Just as you wouldn’t judge a personality using a five-point scale, theatre is multi-dimensional. So have a read, and then look at the stars afterwards.
Okay, fine, but how many stars do you give it? Click here