Northern Power Blouse (3 stars)

Northern Power Blouse

Gleefully plundering stereotypes provides the proverbial mixed bag

Cassie Atkinson, Kat Butterfield and Charlotte Pearson are a trio of writers and performers, all sharing a fondness for a synthetic, 1980s patterned blouse. The threesome bring a hit-and-miss, bargain multipack of sketches, where they work their way through a checklist of Northern stereotypes about pies, coal mines, gravy, flat caps, Alan Bennett and Morrissey.

There's also a female slant to much of what they do, with lots of the gags revolving around beauty treatments, advertising and the invisibility of certain women when they either hit middle age or don a beige fleece with the magical ability to shield them from unwanted attention from men.

Their knack for serving up a buffet spread of regional accents and rubbery facial expressions is impressive, although some of the skits let them down with weaker, wobbly writing. DC IBS, trying to solve crimes while suffering from stomach pain and bloating doesn't quite hit the spot; but a twist on George Formby's banjo song where he ends up in court after spying on women while cleaning windows gets bigger laughs. Although their talents are obvious, a rushed pace dilutes the quality in places. Still, the lasses are good company for an hour.

Opium, until 26 Aug (not 15, 22), 3.45pm, free.

Northern Power Blouse

  • 3 stars

Northern Power Blouse / PBH's Free Fringe Three feisty northern lasses present a right good sketch show that's full of heart, songs, larger than life characters and highly flammable 80s blouses. Between them, Cassie Atkinson, Kat Butterfield and Charlotte Pearson have written for BBC Radio 4, Russ Abbot and Comic…

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