STAGE REVIEW Bonnie & Fanny’s Xmas Spectacular @ Live Theatre, Newcastle (11.12.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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It didn’t have to be this good. Two hours of funny sketches and banging dance numbers and with some tinsel thrown in would have nailed it, yet Bonnie and the Bonnettes and Your Aunt Fanny went all-out with a blistering, surreal, painfully well-observed Christmas special that told a proper story and winning every heart in the house.

Set across one night at the office party from hell, this thing was lewd, rude and on greased wheels out of the gate. A knock-down, drag-out race for who was going to steal the show, you couldn’t fit a fart between Matilda Neill’s ice queen, Brogan Gilbert’s doe-eyed charmer, Katie Powell’s lush work mam, Lydia Brickland’s muddled middle manager and Hattie Eason’s seriously dark horse. The gorgeous romance (and that kiss!) between Jackie Edward’s foul-mouthed little bugger and Becky Glendinning-Laycock’s Napa DJ was truly cockle-warming, while Cameron Sharp as old lush Lynne licked the best lip sync of Memory this side of Barbra Streisand.

A fastidiously-polished drag trio/sketch troupe mash-up, the few charmingly fluffed lines and an unforgettable bit of protracted corpsing only served to make this even more human, vibrant and special.

I want my sequel. I want this lot in a boat, on holiday, in the army, in a damn sequin-covered spaceship. If this was a one-off, there’s no justice in the world.

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