The Old Spice Girls

Unfortunately, the likeability of these two ladies wasn’t enough to reject the notion that they should have, to quote an age old cliché, ‘stuck to the day job.’ The concept of the show was interesting in itself, the ultimate ‘girl-power’ group The Spice Girls having aged a bit since the nineties, and as have we. However it was amusingly pointed out by the performers – Katie Field and Kathryn Spencer – that they were actually already a bit old to listen to The Spice Girls the first time around. This fact didn’t detract from the show, but the awkward stage presence, lack of comedic timing and bland ‘back and forth’ puns certainly did.

The Old Spice Girls is a tale of two funny, bright and thoroughly likeable women who are lacking in stage presence and a firm hand to cut the sketch material.

When viewing this show, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was conceived in Katie’s living room between two best friends, perhaps a bottle of wine down. Naturally, the hilarity that ensued helped them to come to the conclusion that this should be shared with the world. Unfortunately, whilst it may have been hilarious at conception, the show just doesn’t work as a set comic piece. It was obviously heavily scripted, with lots of fumbling over words and punchlines – said punchlines being delivered fairly blandly and without aplomb. It seemed that one of the pair, Kathryn I believe, was terrified of the stage, appearing very nervous and refusing to move an inch whilst delivering her 15 minute stand-up set. This onstage timidity alongside the jarring one-liners that the pair regrettably relied upon helped to mould a wave of disinterest within the audience, who raised their heads excitably when Katie offered to distribute some Prozac and then quickly returned to bored eye-rolls and sympathy giggles.

The ‘special guest’ Annabel O’Connell offered a much more accomplished attempt at stand-up comedy, the audience breathing a small sigh of relief as she occupied the stage, regaling the room with her tales of sexual frustrations at Catholic School and her reliance on the cafeteria vending machine. At one point, she completely and utterly duped the audience into believing that she had forgotten her lines – leading to some lovely, encouraging shout-outs from certain audience members – before (WARNING SPOILERS) revealing to us that she was overcome with emotion when an English mugger referred to her as a ‘lady’.

The Old Spice Girls is a tale of two funny, bright and thoroughly likeable women who are lacking in stage presence and a firm hand to cut the sketch material. The script is too rigid and doesn’t allow personality or fun – I personally feel that heavily scripted stand-up acts are always doomed to fail, not permitting energy-laden improvisation or room to respond to the atmosphere. The punchlines of jokes often fell flat, mainly due to Kathryn’s nervously darting eyes, shuffling feet and monotonous delivery. Katie was much more fun to watch, embodying the reliable comic value of an older woman telling dirty jokes. The concept didn’t work in practice as the references to The Spice Girls felt shoehorned in, often in the form of overworked puns – the classic ‘Ginger going Nutty’ being a personal favourite. The highlight of the show was the guest star, Annabel O’Connell; however her interlude remained far too brief to salvage an otherwise supremely unfunny show.

Reviews by Corinne O'Sullivan

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

The Old Spice Girls invite you to ‘spice up your life’ with an hour of comedy fun. Katie (Scary Spice) Field & Kathryn (Posh Spice) Spencer are 'wannabe' post-feminist icons who just fancied being photoshopped onto size 8 bodies in catsuits. With special guests. Katie isn't really scary, though has a killer line in repartee. Kathryn isn't that posh - she's from Bolton. With special guests. Reviewers say: Katie: "Very funny lady" (Joking With Intent); Kathryn: "Hilariously silly" (The Argus)