Review: Menopause ? The Musical. Forget Prozac and HRT - go see this instead

Menopause The Musical.

Menopause The Musical. - Credit: Contributed

Menopause – The Musical arrived at The Playhouse, in Weston-super-Mare, on Saturday, providing exactly what it says on the tin.

Laughs came thick and fast in the lively show, bewailing the many downsides of an inevitable but not talked-about-enough stage of every woman’s life, the menopause.

The story centres around four very different ladies of a certain age who meet in a department store and relate their individual struggles with the change and how it has affected their lives. Each symptom including mood swings, frequently having to nip to the loo, increased appetite and resulting weight-gain and of course, perhaps the worst of all, night sweats, is tackled in songs set to familiar tunes, with hilarious effect.

The show’s stars Cheryl Fergison (EastEnders), Maureen Nolan (The Nolans), Rebecca Wheatley (Casualty) and Hilary O’Neil (Copy Cats) are all brilliantly funny and slick and have an obvious chemistry with each other and an affinity with the subject matter. They ensure that what could easily turn into a cheesy show full of one-liners and innuendo is delivered with such expert comic timing and professionalism that it avoids being embarrassing for all the wrong reasons. In short it looked like they were having the time of their lives on stage which transferred to an audience who laughed and nodded along with them in solidarity and recognition of each embarrassing symptom.

A scene where Wheatley struggles to work out how to fit into a cheese-wire sized piece of skimpy lingerie in a bid to spice up her marriage in particular, had the audience wiping away tears of joy and laughter.

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I had to admire the bravery of the few men who ventured to turn out, no doubt to keep their partners company, and one sitting near the front probably regretted the choice of seat quite early on when he was repeatedly targeted by the cast to be the recipient of the token man jibes.

The full house of HRT-fuelled women reacted as one in sympathy with the plight of the characters and seemed eternally grateful there is at last recognition of the horrendous side effects this time of life brings.

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The musical is sure to delight any audience, even if like me, you have not experienced this stage of life yet (although it is not far enough off for my liking!) because as there is absolutely nothing you can do about the embarrassment some of the symptoms cause, it certainly helps enormously to know others are going through exactly the same thing. And if this show teaches us nothing else it’s that you may as well have a laugh about it. This show certainly is a tonic which I heartily recommend, but you would be advised to make sure you have a stash of Tenalady secreted in your bag – you might well need it!

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