I Heart Peterborough

The sultry tones of Billie Holliday’s I’ll Be Seeing You welcome us into the auditorium of Pleasance Courtyard. A man stands in full makeup and a wig cap and slowly goes through the motions of a routine. His stare is fixed and haunting. The performance that then unfolded in front of us was enchanting, engaging, and highly original. A witty and touching script from Joel Horwood taps into some really deep emotions, and Milo Twomey and Jay Taylor delivered the lines with raw heartfelt feeling.

Lovesick Michael/Lulu played with brilliance and grace by Twomey is a transvestite from the town of Peterborough, a place that revolves around conformity, who becomes the only guardian of his son, Hew, a boy that he has never met. Both Hew and Lulu refuse to be fenced in by society and, as a cabaret duo, they embark on a journey to find themselves. The journey takes us through the struggle of coming to terms with your sexuality, family problems, and unrequited love.

The show is practically non-stop dialogue, with huge sections of monologue from Twomey who commanded the audience’s attention and hearts with the earnest storytelling of his unrequited love interest, Mark. The beautiful description of the painful nature of love really was highly effective. Joel Horwood taps into the wonderful yet painful realities of love - describing it as ‘doing somersaults in the shallow end’ captured the audience instantly. Twoney also takes on his female and male role superbly. He easily switches from high to low pitch and is so convincing as Lulu that at points you completely forget you’re watching a man. Equally, Taylor provides a touching performance as Hew and contributes much of the show’s soundtrack on his piano and show-stealing vocals. With the addition of some well-known eighties dance classics, the music was a shrewdly chosen backdrop to the cheesy bars of Peterborough.

This is a show that requires concentration. It is easy to get lost in the storyline if you are not giving it your full attention, which can be quite demanding. However, it is definitely worth keeping up with the pace of the piece and, once you’re used to the style of narration, it’s much easier to follow. Apart from sometimes being a little hard to follow, it is an exciting, innovative piece of theatre. The two actors complement each other brilliantly and they are working with a magnificent script and direction. Horwood has a great skill in being able to create a mental image of a place or time just through cleverly written dialogue. This show is a definite must-see, but even more so it’s a must-see-again.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Joel Horwood turns from Walberswick crabs to Peterborough trannies. A desperate bloke with a chaotic backstory, wig and killer heels staggers through his car crash of a cabaret act. Not for the faint-hearted! www.easternangles.co.uk.

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