Fat Rascal Theatre should be pleased with their Fringe so far. Their sister musical, Unfortunate, is having a great run to packed houses and Vulvarine, a silly but fun feminist take on the superhero genre, is keeping smiles broad and toes tapping. A convoluted plot sees a number of persons best described as 'mild-mannered' left to defeat the insidious evil of the patriarchy with some fun songs and gags thrown in. That one of the songs is about a cat's anus may give you an idea of what's to come.
A must-see fun feminist superhero musical
What elevates the production from watchable to must-see is the attention to detail shown across the board and the unrelenting energy and timing of the actors. That they're doing a full run of this and Unfortunate is testament to their endurance. Brilliantly directed and clearly well-rehearsed, a very physically demanding script is made to look effortless. There were laughs from beginning to end and very strong comic performances from each of the cast.
The score is fine if a little monotonous at times. The opening number, a paean to High Wycombe, is great but although there are some very funny lyrics later it never quite musically hits those heights again. Some of the other numbers suffer from trying to fit as many words as possible into each line – sometimes a little room around each joke would have made everything funnier.
Taken as a whole, the sheer endeavour of the cast wins you over and you'll be smiling, laughing and applauding from the off. Vulvarine succeeds with a light treatment of some semi-serious themes and even the odd slightly tone-deaf casting choice doesn't take the gloss off this ultimately feminist romp. Definitely a production to have fun watching.