⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ An evening of hilarious and unadulterated chaos. A joy to watch!
Note: This review is for the UK 2022 tour.
Based on the beloved 1970’s sitcom by Ray Allen starring Michael Crawford and directed by the award-winning Guy Unsworth, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em tells the story of the accident-prone Frank Spencer (Joe Pasquale). His wife Betty (Sarah Earnshaw) has exciting news, but he’s preoccupied by possible newfound fame as a magician. Joined by Betty’s mother Mrs Fisher (Susie Blake), her boyfriend Mr Luscombe (Moray Treadwell), and priest Father O’Hara (James Paterson), there are plenty crossed wires, misunderstandings and mishaps as Frank and Betty attempt to host a dinner party and do an interview with the BBC.
As someone who has fond memories of watching many re-runs as a child, I admittedly took my seat with a certain amount of trepidation, desperately hoping that the show wouldn’t be a poor imitation of a truly iconic British sitcom.
I was ecstatic that it wasn’t.
Joe Pasquale certainly had plenty of identifiable Crawford-esque mannerisms, but absolutely made the character his own with superb one-liners, mispronunciation of basic words, and impeccable slapstick physical comedy that had me (and the rest of the audience) laughing so hard that my stomach hurt. Frank Spencer is known for being chaotic and bumbling but inherently loveable, and Pasquale played this beautifully, evoking genuine ‘awwwwww’s from the audience during endearing scenes with Betty.
Sarah Earnshaw was fabulous as the exasperated Betty, striking a perfect balance of trying to be the supportive wife while navigating the chaos that follows Frank and his exploits. The chemistry between Earnshaw and Pasquale complimented each other perfectly.
Susie Blake shone as Mrs Fischer, really coming into her own and stealing numerous scenes in the second half as she becomes more and more intoxicated on some rather dangerous prune wine.
The supporting cast were just as good, with several playing multiple roles. Despite the horrendous temperatures they must have been experiencing on stage they were a joy to watch, clearly having as much fun as the audience did and on numerous occasions obviously trying to avoid joining in the laughter amidst the silliness happening around them.
Simon Higlett’s set is a clever nostalgic 70’s masterpiece, with bright and garish wallpaper and curtains that takes on a life of its own. Things fall off, shelves collapse, water squirts everywhere and keep an eye out for the bannisters… brilliant.
It’s a small but incredibly talented cast of seasoned actors who each bring something wonderful to the show. From the drunken stumbling of Mrs Fisher after far too much prune wine, the tongue twisters expertly spouted throughout, three Frank Spencers dancing on the stairs, wet trousers, a ripped poster of Bruce Forsyth and a doorbell that never ends, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em is a surprising evening of pure hilarity.
Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em will be on stage at The Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 23rd July. Purchase your tickets here. You can thank me later.