Curl Up and Die is hosted in the spacious 90-seats studio. When we enter, the open set reproduces a 50's hair parlour in the finest detail, with its pastel-pink wallpaper and the rows of funny-shaped bottles aligned on many shelves. A 'fermé' sign hung on the door suggests a wacky attempt at sophistication but everything around looks shabby and outdated.
Director Bryony J. Thompson does an excellent job in coordinating the ten cast members.
Despite them often being on stage all together, the show comes across as overall well-composed and thoroughly rehearsed, with only a couple of occasions where further polishing is needed.
As a costume designer, the same Thompson, picks a selection of outfits that are part modern and part evocative. Some of the wigs used aren't too realistic but seem to fit perfectly within the tacky undertone of the set and the exaggerated acting style.
Written and produced by Anna Longaretti and premiering at the Questors Theatre, Curl Up and Die is an exhilarating farce built on visually funny gags and well-devised characters, whose misconduct offers the principal comic contribution. Rather than a comedy that relies on veracity this a collection of unlikely disasters and scrambled acts that will have you in stitches before eventually falling into place. Go to see it if you're looking for a feel-good drama or need a genuine evening of laughter and make sure you arrive early to enjoy a cuppa in the lovely tearoom.
Review by Marianna Meloni