The challenges of modern womanhood are sliced, diced and put to rights by a vivacious cast in an updated version of a comedy sketch show returning to the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline next month.
‘Hormonal Housewives’ is a witty, topical, rude and extremely funny three-hander which started a mammoth 2019 UK tour three weeks ago.
Starring Vicki Michelle (‘Allo ‘Allo, Emmerdale), Josephine Partridge (Top Girls) and writer, actor, comedian and show co-writer Julie Coombe, this no-holds-barred production blasts its way through a catalogue of factors and activities which affect women including: weight gain, weight loss, mood swings, housework, electrolysis, men, sex, working out, staying in, going out, celebrity gossip and a lot of chocolate!
Hormonal Housewives made its debut in 2012, touring again in 2013 and the script has been updated for 2019 to reflect the latest developments in communication, particularly social media with the onset of dating apps and selfies.
And next month, on Saturday, May 5, the show is coming to the Alhambra.
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Julie, who co-wrote the show with John MacIsaac, revealed what Fifers can expect from the production: “We have been to the Alhambra before with the show, around six years ago and it is such a beautiful theatre. We had a great time there!
“Audiences can expect a really fun night and the comments we have been getting from this tour are from people saying they have just had such a good time and the show made them feel so much better about themselves. It is a show about acceptance, that life is funny and this is what we are all dealing with. The feeling that we want for the show is that you feel like you have had a really fun night with your best pal.”
Julie continued: “It’s not a play, it’s definitely a show and for want of a better description, it’s more like a series of sketches. But there is a little through line in it – the three friends having a night together and it coincides with a special birthday for one of them.
“It’s like when you are having a conversation with your pals and someone says ‘Oh remember this and did you hear about this’ and one of these comments jump-starts us into a sketch.
“We are trying to get the message across that life is what you make it and let’s make it fun.”
“We hope that people will go away from the show knowing a little bit more about each of us. We are showing that although Vicki is this glamorous, comedy legend, she goes through the same things that we all go through, and it really is laugh out loud comedy.
“The first celebrity we had in the show was Carol Smilie, then we had Margi Clarke and Toyah Wilcox – it is lovely for audiences to get to know these people and maybe see a different side to them.
“We also try and make the sketches as topical as we can. For example, the last time round we had a sketch on 50 Shades of Grey because it was massive at the time.”
And Julie said that while the show is about these women, men have come along and enjoyed it too: “We find that guys are coming to see it and we actually had this fantastic tweet from a guy in Skegness who went to see Hormonal Housewives with his wife and said it was the funniest thing he had seen in ages!
“I think some guys might find it overwhelming as the audience is mainly made up of women because the title appeals to them, but when the guys do come along, they end up having a lovely time.”
Julie said she came up with the idea for the show 12 years ago when she was appearing in a theatre production of the Vagina Monologues, which was produced by Michael Harrison.
She said: “Michael said to me that he had the title and that he wanted me to write him a new show for it. He told me the title was Hormonal Housewives and I asked him what he wanted the show to be about and he said ‘I just want it to be funny’.
“As an actress I had done a lot of sketch shows and I thought it sounded good. I thought it would be ideal to write about the different roles and places women find themselves in. For example there is a massive sketch about personal grooming which ends the first act and we have a huge sketch in the second act which is about going to the gym. It is a big physical comedy sketch and, by the end of it, there isn’t a dry seat in the house!”
Julie said she is a very physical performer so one of her favourite sketches is the one set in the gym: “I just know how it is going to affect people watching it because everyone out there has at some time been in an exercise class or a Zumba class,” she said.
“Some of us are brilliant at it, but more people are like the character I portray which is a have-a-go-hero who tries but doesn’t really get it right! It isn’t about humiliation but being relatable for all these women and showing that they aren’t the only ones who have been there, that we are all in this together. I also like doing the new sketches as I enjoy seeing how they work within the structure. The relationship with the audience is very important in this show and that is what keeps me going on a nightly basis. All these people coming into the theatre just bring so much with them – the energy is fabulous.”
Julie added she can’t wait to bring the show back to Fife: “I am looking forward to Vicki and Josephine coming up to Scotland and over to Fife for them to experience the audiences up here. They are so warm and welcoming, I am really excited about it!”
Tickets from www.alhambradunfermline.com.