Review: Dirty Dusting − saucy stage comedy at its best

PUBLISHED: 13:37 06 March 2019

The cleaning ladies getting to grips with their phone customers.

The cleaning ladies getting to grips with their phone customers.

Paul Lynch Photography

Proving you don't need elaborate sets and amazing special effects to put on a jolly good stage show, Dirty Dusting, with its saucy-seaside-postcard-style humour arrived at The Playhouse in Weston-super-Mare last night (Tuesday), to rapturous applause.

The cast of Dirty Dusting.The cast of Dirty Dusting.

The touring comedy play is about three cleaners of a certain age who start a telephone sex line and stars Benidorm-star Crissy Rock who held the show together from start to finish as the hilarious death-obsessed Elsie.

Elsie, along with best friend Gladys (Leah Bell) and their former girl-guide leader colleague Olive (Dolores Porretta), are three senior citizens topping up their pensions by cleaning in a large office block.

One day they learn they are about to be let go, to the obvious glee of their manager David (Andrew Green), so when they mistakenly receive a call intended for a local sex line, they are inspired to set themselves up as the Telephone Belles, to raise some extra cash during their final weekend on the premises.

They think their age and appearance will not matter on the phone and providing they can keep it a secret from their boss, they could clean up.

Dirty Dusting will be performed at the Playhouse Theatre. Picture: Paul LynchDirty Dusting will be performed at the Playhouse Theatre. Picture: Paul Lynch

The play was written by two journalists from Newcastle, Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, and it quickly became the most popular play to come out of the city.

The set is simply the room in the office block where the cleaners run their sex line and judging from the equipment, it is set sometime in the 1990s, although with modern topical references thrown-in so the lines are a bit blurred!

The gags and script are somewhat cheesy but the full-house Playhouse audience didn’t mind one bit, in fact they lapped it all up and were in fits of belly laughter from the off.

Acting their wrinkly socks off, the three main characters were completely believable and could be any of our parents or grandparents and the friendship and camaraderie between them is heart-warming.

Andrew Green is also perfect in the nemesis role of the nasty, vindictive and ageist boss and reminded me of the brilliant comedy actor Jason Watkins.

A sprinkling of clap-along song and dance routines add to the sheer joy of the show.

The story unfolds in a natural and entertaining way, building up to a few saucy surprises at the end which I won’t spoil for anyone wishing to enjoy a great night out by seeing it during its UK tour.

If you are in need of a light-hearted night of fun and laughs with a foray into naughtiness this is the play for you.

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