Review: The Belle Bottoms
This pair might have sass to burn, but the lame jokes mean this comedy never quite gets off the ground
Venue: Smock Alley
Date Reviewed: September 17th, 2014
The Belle Bottoms
For a fun night out, there’s nothing like a zingy musical comedy. And, alas, that’s the problem with The Belle Bottoms: it’s nothing like a zingy musical comedy. It’s perplexing, as all the elements seem in place for a cracking show about Belle and Mags, the eponymous singing duo of worldly Wexford women. The script is by the reliably inventive Eoin Colfer, and sterling musicians such as Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook, Eleanor McEvoy and Bressie provide the songs. Meanwhile, performers Sharon Clancy (Belle) and Aileen Mythen (Mags) bring sassy presence and formidable vocals to their roles, as they recall their romantic tribulations through the medium of kitschy disco tunes.
But for all the infectiously upbeat numbers and constant fruity gags, the show never catches fire. The humour is too often tiresomely obvious – titles include Ugly Sex and Danger Balls – while the perfunctory song-skit-song staging loses momentum, particularly in a sober theatre venue. Add some better jokes and a more raucous audience setting, however, and the Belle Bottoms could yet reach the top.
Ends Sept 20