Friday, 31 January 2014

Review: Shang-a-Lang at the King's Head Theatre

King's Head Theatre
Reviewed on

Shang-a-Lang is written by Mamma Mia writer Catherine Johnson. However, take note of a message on the theatre's website which reads 'NOT A MUSICAL. DOES NOT CONTAIN ABBA. NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN' as it couldn't be more apt.

Jackie takes her best friend Pauline to Butlins for the weekend to celebrate her 40th birthday. Their third friend Lauren turns up and the three ladies head out for a seventies night and meet two guys who are tribute performers, cue drinking, bedroom antics and, of course, fallouts...

Whilst Shang-a-Lang couldn't be any further away from being a big scale, commercial musical, those familiar with Mamma Mia will instantly recognise Catherine Johnson's writing style. All the characters have flaws and are instantly recognisable and relatable. Shang-a-Lang is very funny but never loses its heart.

The Butlins Redcoat who welcomes the audience into the King's Head (which has been transformed) creates some awkward situations but sets the atmosphere perfectly. Shang-a-Lang is perfectly suited for the pub theatre.

The entire cast are strong. Kellie Batchelor, Samantha Edmonds and Lisa Kay strike up the perfect chemistry of three friends who love to hate each other. Their friendship is real and fun, but also a little sad. Strong performances also come from Thomas Craig and Ben McGregor.

Shang-a-Lang is a terrific play and this production certainly does it justice. Perfect for a ladies night out!

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Shang-a-Lang runs at the King's Head Theatre until Saturday 15th Feburary 2014.
Please visit for further information and tickets.

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