First Night: Epic voyage into toilet humour
Holy Mothers Ambassadors Theatre London
Wednesday 02 June 1999
If your idea of a good night out is listening to three old women natter away about poo and related matter(s), then this is just the play for you. "So many times I've asked myself, why does mankind have to have a bum," muses Valerie Lilley's lugubrious Erna, who has pious designs on the God-fearing, teetotal butcher.
All peroxide beehives, bangles and bored superiority, Paola Dionisotti's deliciously funny superannuated sexpot of a Grete can just about face faeces, particularly those of her beloved dachshund, Lydia ("I always know exactly what she's eaten").
But Linda Dobell's retarded Mariedl, grotesquely decked out in girlish stripy dress and bunches, wins hands down on the laurels of the lavatory. She has an unbeatable ability to unbung blocked loos without the aid of rubber gloves.
The play itself dispenses with hygienic protection as it rams an arm into some mucky corners of Austrian life. Schwab has a keen nose for a whiff of closet Nazis and the first trick-ending leaves two of the characters with the prospect of that "body buried in the cellar", which is supposed to symbolise a furtively guilty society.
Wittily designed by Stewart Laing, and entertainingly produced by Richard Jones, this trip around the U-bend of Schwab's fertile imagination is a splendidly imaginative start to Sonia Friedman's regime at the Ambassadors.
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...