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  • Oliver Hodgson

'Stags and Hens' hits the stage

Whitehaven Theatre Group’s latest production ‘Stags and Hens’ must be one of the funniest shows staged in West Cumbria in a long time. Set in the 1980s it tells the story of a group of lads, and another of lasses, having a wild night out before all getting together at the same wedding the following day. Of course, it’s bad luck for the bride and groom to meet the night before their wedding so when both parties end up at the same venue things start going badly wrong. Throw in a former boyfriend of the ‘hen’ in question and you have a recipe for disaster. Except WTG have made it into a recipe for success. A remarkably strong cast - there’s not a weak link in it - make the most of every line and the story shifts from high comedy to dark drama to heart wrenching emotion. Siobahn O’Donnell shines as the rebellious ‘hen’ unsure about what she’s getting herself into. And while we feel sorry for her to some degree, we should spare a thought for the actor playing the ‘stag’ James Ridehalgh who spends the entire play onstage with his head down the toilet. The whole cast do a great job and special mention should go to Stuart Buchanan for his volatile, menacing Eddy and Sarah Blaney for the slightly gormless Maureen. It’s good to see other actors, usually seen only in WTG’s annual panto, playing straight roles with great ability and conviction, Jodie Morgan among them. The set is remarkably authentic, the whole play is set in the ladies and gents toilets, and unquestionably sets the tone. It will be familiar to anyone who ever used the loos in a nightclub back in the eighties.

If you don’t feel the need to go, you’ll miss out on a great evening’s entertainment.

The play is to run from Today (18th September) until this Friday (20th September) at Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven.

For more information visit Whitehaven Theatre Group on Facebook.

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