One man and his frock

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The Independent Culture
Where can you see Danny La Rue duetting with Brian Sewell delivering an art lecture on the History of the Bum in Western Art? Or an impersonation of the lovely Jane Seymour, Medicine Woman and new-age healer? Why, in It Took More Than One Man, the latest show from Akimbo and writer and star-performer Ivan Cartwright (right), last seen as a gloriously outlandish Mrs Malaprop in their hit The Rivals: A Queer Appropriation. Beginning in the North of England 30 years ago in the days when men were men and sheep were worried, Ivan cavorts through a childhood which wasn't exactly unalloyed enchantment thanks to episodes like his father returning early from working down the pit to discover our hero, aged four, dressed in his mother's red crinolined frock.

Not many people have been lucky enough to spend a few years as a pre- operative transexual passing as pretty, blonde Marianne Cartwright working in the Barbican Arts Library and meeting the Queen into the bargain. Fortunately, director Robin Baker has taken time off from a senior position at the British Film Institute to hone the script and direct the show in such a way that you don't need to be on intimate terms with trans-gender issues to be vastly entertained.


'It Took More Than One Man', Southwark Playhouse, London SE1 (0171-620 3494) from Wednesday