Ladies in Waiting (4 stars)

This article is from 2008.

Ladies in Waiting

Getting Brownie points for this show

Anyone who has broken their childhood promise to 'do their best' will find this show pleasingly subversive. The Brownie leader, Brown Owl, starts the show with a finger pressed to her pursed lips and the audience is told to be 'quiet as mice'. The nostalgic theme is completed with the overpowering brown and yellow colour scheme and an 80s-tastic soundtrack. Based around the story of a Brownie reunion, Ladies in Waiting is a series of vignettes of the now grown-up badge-earners.

It's a neat construct which gives life to a host of characters including an Essex judge, a lazy fitness instructor and an unimpressed careers advisor. The actors (Carolina Giammetta, Charlotte Palmer and Gareth Corne) have cut their teeth on TV shows such as Extras, and all know how to make each scene count. The sketches come from the French and Saunders school of big acting/soft punchlines but what it lacks in writing, it makes up for in their physical expressions and high energy performances.

The most successful is an airport information clerk who cruelly mocks those seeking her assistance by mimicking their every move. In a flash, Palmer's whole mood changes from sweetness to wickedly mischievous. Little dialogue is needed, but a few choice catchphrases round out the characters, such as the Brownie-made-good, Judge Julie and her court-welcoming, 'aw, don't get up'. Only a couple of sketches suffer from length, but generally the show is fast-paced with barely a breath for the costume changes. If there's a badge for amusingness then the Ladies in Waiting team have earned it.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 13), 4.45pm, £10–£11 (£8.50–£9.50).

Ladies in Waiting

  • 4 stars

This character-driven show, which revisits a group of ex-brownies 20 years after they were selected for a special event, suggests these ladies need wait no longer for the big time to come calling. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'.


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