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2 Become 1, King’s Head Theatre, review: ‘Riotous and completely unabashed’

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 December 2016

2 Become 1 at the King's Head Theatre by Swipe Right Theatre Company

2 Become 1 at the King's Head Theatre by Swipe Right Theatre Company

Archant

2 Become 1 ridicules the idea that all women fit into templates – posh, tomboyish, fierce, innocent – while also being a touching narrative on the importance of female friendships

Audience participation: how do we feel about it? I’d wager that after the opening night performance of 2 Become 1, there will be two men who either love it or never want to go to a musical again.

As an observer of the spectacle, I, thankfully, am in no such predicament. I’d keep going to this musical over and over again until I’m sick of the sound of TLC – which I can’t imagine happening, ever.

Writers and Swipe Right Theatre co-founders Natasha Granger and Kerrie Thomason have managed to take almost every girl band from 90s – globally acknowledged to be the definitive golden age of music – and fit them into a production that lasts only 70 minutes. Also starring, the pair has clearly fine tuned their debut script since it premiered (and sold out) at Edinburgh Fringe in 2015.

Jess, played by Granger, has just been dumped by the man of her dreams so, taking the advice of her three friends – Thomason, Jessica Brady and Eliza Hewitt-Jones – and Cosmo, she agrees to go out speed dating.

Poking fun at pretty much every female 90s pop culture cliché – from magazine relationship quizzes and 5 Tips to Make Him Love You to butterfly clips and platforms – 2 Become 1 is riotous and completely unabashed from the word go.

Comic timing, choreography and musical arrangement: all is on point.

It’s tough to pick a standout performance from these four fabulous women, but a special mention should go to Brady, who shines in the role of romantic Amanda having only joined the team a couple of weeks ago.

2 Become 1 finds a way to softly ridicule the idea that all women fit into templates – posh, tomboyish, fierce, innocent – while also being a touching narrative on the importance of female friendships and having a kebab at the end of a night out.

Who needs the actual Spice Girls when you’ve got Depressed Spice, Suggestive Spice, Soppy Spice and Gyrating Spice all ready to go?

This hilarious musical might not be for everyone, but it is definitely for me.

No woman should have to apologise for their feelings, emotions or sexuality, and it is refreshing to be part of an evening where no one asks them to. In the audience at a play that champions feminism and women supporting each other is exactly where I want to be.

And one final word of advice: only sit at the front if you’re up for getting involved.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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