Tuesday 26 September 2017

Review: Fruity fun from queen of comedy

Comedy... June Rodgers, Gaiety, Dublin

June Rodgers
June Rodgers
Ed Power

Ed Power

June Rodgers' vociferous comedy is not for everyone, but it has won her an enthusiastic body of fans, many of whom made their presence felt on the opening night of her new show. 

Best thought of as a cross between Brendan O'Carroll's Mrs Brown's Boys and a particularly raucous hen party at a karaoke club, the production spliced sitcom-style dialogue with song and dance numbers inspired by, and occasionally broadly pastiching, icons from the 90s.

The formula was straightforward and unyielding. The endlessly cheerful Rodgers, having fun in a variety of ridiculous outfits, would crowbar herself into a well-loved tune, supplementing the lyrics with fruity observations of her own (these she performed flawlessly, never stumbling over the complicated wordplay).

Thus Barbie Girl became an ode to pride in yourself while Meatloaf's I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) was repurposed as a valentine to Barbie's boyfriend Ken (or something - I was starting to fall behind at this point).

There was also a Spice Girls routine in which Rodgers, playing Ginger Spice, wore a tricolour dress, a Kylie Minogue skit where she unsuccessfully propositioned one of her dancers and a piece in which the headliner, donning a spiky wig, passed herself off as Ricky Martin.

The audience lapped up the good clean (ish) fun, won over by Rodgers' uproarious presence as much as by the performance, which was steeped in her background in pantomime (she has appeared in more than a dozen across the years).

The choreography was enthusiastic, the singing ribald and the atmosphere that of a boisterous knees-up.

Judging by the whoops and the claps, 99pc of those present were having the time of their lives.

Irish Independent

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