Fizzog Productions Presents: A Black Country Fairytale…Ay It! Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton - review with pics
Take three classic fairytales. Add a bit of mayhem, a lot of fun, a barrel-load of laughs and you have the brilliant Black Country Fairytale.
Ever-popular sketch group The Fizzogs performed their own unique take on Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (or Snow White and the Two Dwarves and a Leprechaun) and Cinderella in front of a sell-out crowd at Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre last night.
It was cowin' marvellous, with lots of laughs from beginning to end.
The stage is set in 1910.
Lizzie Cotterill (Sue Hawkins) and sisters Florrie and Millie Froggatt (Deb Nicholls and Jacky Fellows) have been performing the annual show for townsfolk in Tipton for years. But now they have been told they have "gorra gew".
And so on it moves, to be performed in front of the good people of Wolverhampton.
The format is similar for all three fairytales.
Lizzie acts as narrator – "I'm the only one that can read" – while the sisters perform in the two title roles. Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, Snow White and the Wicked Queen and the two Ugly Sisters.
The comedy comes as Lizzie desperately tries to hold things together as chaos and cat-fighting ensues on the stage between the other two women.
A fall-out between sisters Florrie and Millie is never far away, and Lizzie gets increasingly exasperated as her best-laid plans to put on a "proper" show go up in smoke.
It all makes for very funny stuff, especially when you throw the dim and deadpan Little Willie (James Collins) and the ball of energy that is Eunice Clagg (Esther Stanford) into the mix as well.
A special mention, as well, for Prince Steve, from Birmingham, who was pulled from the audience for his 15 minutes of fame and put in a sterling performance.
How does it end?
There is only one way to ensure a happy ending at a Black Country night – a good old raffle, complete with prestigious prizes such as a packet of pork scratchings and a packet of Tena Lady.
That these three ladies even managed to wring a good few laughs out of that, if you'll pardon the pun, is testament to their comic abilities.
Sadly, this was a one-off performance. But the group is going out on tour with a brand new show – Suck It And See – in December and, if this is anything to go by, will be well worth seeing if you like your loffs.
A Black Country Fairytale is well-written, well-performed and, most importantly, it's very, very funny. Ay It.
By Wayne Beese