Watermill - Some Like It Hotter
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Watermill - Some Like It Hotter

15th to 19th November 2011 and on tour.

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

The red-hot reunion

Characters from the Munroe movie come back from the dead

Some Like it Hotter, at The Watermill, Bagnor, from Tuesday, November 15 to Saturday, November 19 and on tour

Memories of Marilyn Monroe, the star who turned wiggle into an art form, were just one of the reasons The Watermill was packed for this new play from Richard Hurford, directed by Karen Simpson.

The characters from the brilliant movie Some Like It Hot have finally expired and find themselves in a 'trailer to Heaven' condemned, in exchange for retaining their youthful looks, to re-enact scenes from the movie for those on their way to meet their Maker. This enables Tony Curtis (gorgeous Paul Matania) to fulfil, if a little late, the dreams of several elderly lady fans.

When Charlie (a wonderful shambling Patrick Bridgman) arrives clutching his mum's make-up box, he has to be convinced by Tony and Jack Lemmon (the delectably excellent T J Holmes) not only that his idols can re-live the fantasies he had as a nine-year-old fan, but that he is dead too.

Enter Marilyn 'Sugar' Monroe (Sarah Applewood), all glitz, wiggle and breathless pouts fulfilling a few of the audience's dreams herself, and with a voice which outdid that of the charismatic Monroe. Charlie demands that they re-enact the cross-dressing scene and himself joins the 'girl' band as Red Hot Charlie in a sludge-green fairy-like dress.

The four amazingly versatile actor- musicians make the pacey music fast and furious, with the exception of Marilyn's sad I'm Through With Love, an epitaph for the star herself perhaps.

If the pace dragged a little in the first half, it never faltered in the second which began with T J Holmes as alter ego Daphne learning to tango, dressed in a girl's swimsuit and showing a touch of chest hair.

"Don't tease Daphne," says Marilyn, "some girls naturally have a little more than others – look at Lassie." Gorgeous line – one of many.

I'm not sure I understood the storyline about Charlie's mum/Marilyn, but no matter. Finally Tony and Jack are liberated from the endless re-enacting and everything ends joyfully, though with a touch of poignancy as was always the case with beautiful Marilyn.

The Oxfordshire Theatre Company are touring with this sparkling, funny production performed by four stars who entirely capture the feeling of the great movie. Marilyn, Jack and Tony would have been proud of them.

CAROLINE FRANKLIN