Sob Story

Six friends. Five can sing. One most definitely cannot. Set in a barn, the women struggle to agree on their winning strategy to wow the judges at Yorkshire’s Got Talent, and win stardom along with a Matalan gift voucher. While Sob Story initially seems to be a light-hearted comedy, it soon descends into a much darker yet humorous examination of female friendship and the meaning of adulthood.

The script felt in bad taste at some points, though undoubtedly funny in others

Sob Story subtly addresses the realities of growing up and settling down in a small, unchanging town, something that many can relate to. The stark contrast between the womens' lives not only creates tension, but serves as an interesting insight into their characters. For example, Grace (Claire Docherty) is repeatedly teased for being ‘that regular’ in the local pubs and clubs every weekend while Rosie (Becky Niven) is criticised for being too caught up in her university life to keep in touch with her friends. A sense of disappointment is a recurring theme throughout, and in a very cheerful way, Sob Story perfectly captures the modern-day issue of dissatisfaction with life.

The cast are incredibly talented and bring somewhat stereotypical characters to life. Sarah Dingwall does particularly well in the role of Jess, a character defined by being dumb, funny and likeable. Moreover, Mhairi McCall as Sophie plays the headstrong and brash leader so convincingly that her sudden calls to use blackface to get ahead of the competition seem almost convincing. While writers Calum Ferguson and Lewis Lauder make it explicit that Sob Story does not endorse such behaviour, with many cries of “that’s racist!” from the women, it was an instance of being controversial for the sake of it, and the joke was pushed almost too far.

I found the story line’s quality did worsen as the show went on, though it remained thoroughly entertaining and engaging. While discussing serious issues, the cast found key moments of humour to release the tension they had built up so well throughout. Despite this, I feel that the deeper issues surrounding the play’s climax were not sufficiently addressed, being more of a plot device than a genuine reflection of mental health issues.

This, combined with some female stereotypes and dubious provocative humour, meant the script felt in bad taste at some points, though undoubtedly funny in others. A pinch of salt is needed with this show, but it certainly delivers in terms of humour and excellent musical numbers.

Reviews by Becca Chadder

theSpace on the Mile

Sob Story

PQA Venues @Riddle's Court


Greenside @ Nicolson Square

Your Alice

Greenside @ Infirmary Street

How to Swim in Hollywood

Sweet Novotel

Adventurers Wanted: Rebellion


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

What does it take to win Yorkshire’s Got Talent? Six old school friends reunite in the hope of sweeping the contest, but rehearsals get derailed when they realise talent isn’t enough – they need a tale of tragedy and triumph to win the judges’ hearts. In their quest to find (or invent!) their sob story, things take a dark turn. Old wounds and long-buried untruths begin to surface. The afternoon gets hotter, and they begin to realise where the real sob story lies. Will they crack under the pressure as they sing for their lives?

Most Popular See More

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets