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Tuesday 19 March 2019

Hormonal Housewives: The Comic Three-Hander No-Holds-Barred Sketch Show Comes To Sussex

Hormonal Housewives is billed as a witty, topical, rude and extremely funny three hander which is a no-holds-barred show that blasts its way through a catalogue of women's bits: weight gain, weight loss, mood swings, housework, homework, electrolysis, men, sex, working out, staying in, going out, celebrity gossip, and a lot of chocolate.
Credit Darren Bell

Starring Vicki Michelle ('Allo 'Allo, Emmerdale) with Josephine Partridge (Top Girls) and co-writer Julie Coombe, in Hormonal Housewives no subject is taboo and no thought too private as the challenges of modern womanhood are sliced, diced and put to rights by this vivacious cast.

As for what kind of audience and reaction is expected? Julie Coombe says:

"I think our audience is primarily women; I want them to feel they've all come round to Josephine's house for a night in with a bottle of wine and some good chat.  

"I want people to be howling with recognition and seeing themselves up on the stage – we want people to be sitting in the audience saying ooh that"s me up there!  

"I'd like to think men will come along to see the show as well – probably with female friends – and find out what it is we all talk about!  

"Ultimately I want the audience to feel as if they've spent the night in the company of some really good friends."

As a co-writer Julie adds:

"I was inspired more than a little by West End theatre producer Michael Harrison (Annie, Bodyguard, Fiddler on the Roof) who said 'you have to write a show' and when I said what about he said 'anything as long as it's funny' and I said well my life's funny and he said 'well do that then'! 

"Hormonal Housewives is about so many situations John and I have found ourselves in over the years such as our kids growing up and the different worlds they seem to inhabit on a daily basis where you practically have to learn a new language to communicate with them!  

"I had done Vagina Monologues and I wanted to do something about people being thrown into situations that they might not be comfortable in, roles they play, and about women being each other"s therapists.  

"Ultimately I said to John I love spending time with my friends and he said I love spending time with your friends they're far more interesting than guys!"

In 2017 Josephine Partridge landed the leading role of Marlene in Caryl Churchill's classic 1982 play Top Girls and recently performed a piece she'd written for the London-based theatre company Bee In My Beanie. But Hormonal Housewives is her first theatrical tour:

"There are lots of issues raised in the show: the power of friendship, the stereotypical differences between men and women, the struggles women face including PMS, waxing, keeping the body beautiful, bodily functions, hormones at all ages and the things we women deal with at all stages of our lives.  

"The show is like opening a door on all the secret things in life that we generally spend so much time worrying about and laughing at them instead."

Vicki Michelle is best known for her role as Yvette Carte-Blanche in the BBC television comedy series 'Allo 'Allo! and says her character is Hormonal Housewives is loosely based on herself:

"I would hate to say everything's true to life in case I get into trouble with my husband – haha!  

"Julie's done an amazing job of basing each character on each of us as much as possible.  

"For instance my character and I both love a glass of fizz, we adore talking to our female friends and obviously a glass of wine or fizz makes the experience even more enjoyable!  

"I also share some experiences with my character in terms of family so it's lovely to be able to bring some of myself to the stage."

As for her favourite scene Vicki says:

"The waxing scene is going to be hysterical! Julie and I try and encourage Josephine to get back on the dating scene; she's newly divorced and a bit hesitant.  

"There's a whole discussion about how much excess hair to wax – I don't want to give too much away but I get to play the 'waxer'!"  

And finally Julie Coombe reveals the key issues addressed in the show: 

"Body issues is one: my character is always talking about losing half a stone while the other two talk about losing weight even though they don't need to – and we all know someone like that!

"Another issue is about women dressing for other women rather than men – men don't seem to notice what you're wearing.  

"And dating – Josephine's character is looking for love – or rather the other two are trying to push her back onto the dating scene after her divorce.  

"Whatever age you are it's difficult looking for love; that basic human instinct never changes.  

"We have fun onstage trying to work out how to use dating apps – it's a minefield!" 

Hormonal Housewives plays Eastbourne Royal Hippodrome Theatre on Tuesday 9th April 2019. CLICK HERE to book tickets.

by: Mike Cobley




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