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.
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
Arts & Ents blogs
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 2 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 3 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 4 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- < Previous
- Next >