Vibrantly Lieu: Welcome to the PVC Shopping Channel

'Get yourself an oil-based boyfriend'. If there was ever a piece of advice to take forward into the remainder of 2018, this would be one of the best.

If more TV shows panned out like Vibrantly Lieu, I daresay their ratings would increase faster than Neve's alcohol content.

Written by and starring Gemma Jones, Vibrantly Lieu: Welcome to the PVC Shopping Channel tells the sloppy-drunk rise, fall and rise again of Neve, a young woman desperate to become a shopping channel star. Landing a job with skincare brand Vibrantly Lieu, she is pumped to make her debut until her boyfriend of four dates and five sleepovers dumps her minutes before she goes on air. What follows is Neve's spectacular unravelling on live TV fuelled by lovesick bitterness and, crucially, wine. Unfortunately, very few people were in to see the madness unfold.

Dressed in a hot pink suit, Neve chatters away to her boss Alexandra and desperately seeks her approval, while Alexandra (played with lofty arrogance by Victoria Welsh) taps on her phone and frets (glamorously, mind you) over pressure to sell all of their stock to please their investors. Rebecca Cutts stepped into the role of smarmy (award winning, lest we forget) shopping channel veteran Emily Lively and was convincing throughout as she desperately tried to pull together a show that was rapidly falling apart.

There were heaps of genuinely funny moments throughout the play, most notably Neve's precarious lotus position meditation session on a stool and her bitter analogies linking beauty products and disappointing boyfriends. Scene changes were smoothed over with a wonderfully tacky intro to the PVC Shopping Channel. Overall the piece felt more like an extended sketch rather than an entire play, and while Neve's descent into inebriated chaos on live TV was very funny, there needed to be a little more story around that as the comedy of the situation did begin to lose steam as the conclusion brought the story to a slightly abrupt end.

The reasons behind the high number of empty seats was unclear; overall the quality of the production was high, a lot of effort seemed to have been put in to marketing the show's Brighton Fringe run, and perhaps it was just the lure of the summer sunshine on the beach two minutes away that robbed the show of its audience. However, the small turn out wasn't a reflection on the quality of the show, and it didn't deter any of the cast. The show went ahead full steam and without a single hitch.

Vibrantly Lieu: Welcome to the PVC Shopping Channel is a witty production that is definitely deserving of a larger audience. If more TV shows panned out like Vibrantly Lieu... I daresay their ratings would increase faster than Neve's alcohol content.

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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.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A short comedy play based on the realities of modern dating and the less-than-glamorous truth of the beauty industry. Neve Turner has always wanted to present on the shopping channel PVC. She finally gets her big break working with skincare brand, Vibrantly Lieu. However, just before her TV debut, she gets dumped by her 'boyfriend'*. Neve chooses to repress her feelings with an age old fail safe: wine. Will her unusual sales technique pay off? *4 dates, 5 sleepovers

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