Thursday, 20 June 2019

REVIEW: Vulvarine at the King's Head Theatre


Now that nationwide comic book connoisseurs have just about recovered from the epic saga final that was ‘Avengers Endgame’, it appears the world is in need of a brand new super hero. Where she resides? Smack bang in the centre of Angel at The Kings Head Theatre in Fat Rascal Theatre’s latest production of ‘Vulvarine: A New Musical’. 

Following their rave success and reviews across the U.K., Fat Rascals sixth and latest instalment follows Bryony Buckle; an astoundingly average woman living in the extremely ordinary town of High Wycombe. Her days are consumed with endless office work, and falling hopelessly for Orson Bloom from IT. However, after an unusual and highly suspicious dose of hormones and a surprisingly convenient bolt of lightning, the world is given Vulvarine, a feminist superhero for the modern day; saviour of womankind. 

Anyone who has paid a trip to The Kings Head Theatre will tell you that the space is nothing mind blowing. Its stripped back, relies solely on public donations to remain open, and is plain and simply, a blank canvas. The perfect location for any artist to bring their latest masterpiece to life. Which is undoubtedly what Fat Rascal Theatre are doing. Upon entering the space the public are greeted by three pieces and handmade and painted set on stage, nothing more, nothing less. There was no gimmicks, no mind blowing technology, just a minimalistic design to aid the genius that was due to entail.

Headed by Fat Rascal Theatres very own Superwoman, Robyn Grant (The Mansplainer/Debbie and Book/Lyricist) the cast of five exploded onto stage and triumphantly had the audience howling within minutes. Accompanied by Allie Munro (Bryony Buckle/Vulvarine), Katie Wells (Poppy/The Doctor), Jamie Mawson (Orson Bloom/The Boss), Steffan Rizzi (Sonya/Phil) the entire cast delve head first into the truly hilarious world of High Wycombe, delivering an unending amount of characters and terrifically timed zingy one liners. 

Traditionally a reviewer would select and give credit to individual cast members based on their performance, however, when a company is as tight and cohesive as this, it’s virtually impossible to do so. Fat Racal Theatre are the definition of fresh and excellent new musical theatre. They are pushing comedic boundaries that rival that of The Book of Mormon, and jumping balls deep into topics and issues that society choose to turn a blind eye to. Their writing is current, relatable and thought provoking, and is guaranteed to provide a laugh each minute. They are a perfect and vital example of precisely why new theatre is essential within the arts community and seem to be rapidly gearing up to give
Mischief Theatre (The Play That Goes Wrong/The Comedy About A Bank Robbery) a run for their money. They are fringe theatre in its very best form, delivered seamlessly by a fearlessly imaginative cast and creative team. 

I feel the best way to describe this production is the theatrical marmite. Not everyone will love it, but if you get a taste of it, you will want it on endless amounts of toast. The only thing that would be more outrageous than this storyline, is if you don’t snap up a ticket to see this show for yourself. 

Review by Adam Tipping

Rating: ★★★★★

£10 tickets for under 30’s every Tuesday Evening. 

Playing 11th June – 6th July 2019 at The Kings Head Theatre
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