Observations: The Umbrella Birds reveal secret life of the High Street store changing room
Friday 24 July 2009
Anyone who has ever overheard, or more likely taken part in, loud, intimate conversations with friends while trying on clothes in a shop changing room is sure to see the funny side of the latest show by comedy quartet The Umbrella Birds. Titled Sketches in a Shop Changing Room, the show is previewing at London's Kings Place this Tuesday as part of the What Are You Laughing At festival, before heading up to Edinburgh for the Festival Fringe .
The four female comics, Emily Watson Howes, Kate Donmall, Susanna Hislop and Fran Moulds, explore scenarios that include an account manager chucking in her job to become a burlesque dancer, a terrifying wedding planner who squashes a bride's self-esteem, a woman with a fake baby and a sex-obsessed mother trying to share tips with her painfully shy daughter.
Such sketches are nothing new for the group, who debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe festival two years ago with their show WC in a real portable loo. It was based on conversations women have in loos when they're drunk and think no-one's listening. This was followed up with Gym, a series of sketches performed on cross-trainers, and the BBC Radio 4 show, The Ladies which returns next year.
Writer for the group Watson Howes says she started picking such specific venues because she was fascinated by what goes on in them. "People are after privacy but they're also incredibly nosy and everyone's insecurities and vanities come out. There's such a huge range of characters that these setting work really well," she explains. "I have spent a lot of time in cubicles and changing rooms with a notepad."
So be warned, the next time that you're trying on a new top, think twice before sharing those personal details with the whole changing room – you never know who might be listening to you.
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 The top 50 cities for young people to live in
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
The C-Word - review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest adaptation of Lisa Lynch's book about living with cancer
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six: Make-up 'used to darken skin of actors to make them look Native American'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils