Thursday, 4 December 2014

Review: Mrs Hudson’s Christmas Corker at Wilton’s Music Hall

Mrs Hudson’s Christmas Corker
Wilton’s Music Hall 
Reviewed on Wednesday 3rd December 2014

We’ve hardly started December and already Christmas is everywhere! Well, so what? I love London during the festive season and if you do too then Wilton’s Music Hall is the ideal location. It smells of Christmas, it’s covered in fairy lights and festive decorations plus their mulled wine is perhaps the best in south-east London.

So, I was already feeling jolly and Christmassy before the show had even started and I did not leave disappointed! Written by Bob and Barry Cryer, Mrs Hudson’s Christmas Corker is listed as a “Comic Christmas Show”… and that it is!

Of course, in true music hall style it’s a bit ridiculous in places, but the Spymonkey team can take anything an audience throw at them – verbally or physically – and half the time you’re not sure if it’s scripted or improvised, but it doesn’t matter!

The performance is loosely (and I mean, loosely) based on Sherlock Holmes’ case book and thrusts his landlady Mrs Hudson into the limelight, complete with her tenants that include Jack the Ripper (who’s having a ripping time), Oscar Wilde (who utters nothing more than “A Haaaandbaaaag”) and the Elephant Man (whose ham puns leave us completely bewildered).

The four performers are enthusiastic and very talented comic actors. Petra Massey is a born comedienne and has everyone in stitches with each character she takes on (especially Gabriel and King Herod). Plus she had injured her knee in the preview (presumably from all of the falling over she has to do), but you’d never have noticed and the audience can only presume that she’s even more energetic when in full health!

Toby Park takes on the role of the famous detective, camping up the part and insulting the poor ‘British’ Dr Captain Watson, John (Aitor Basauri) until his “lip trembles and his eyes fill up with water”. Sophie Russell makes up the quartet as Mrs Hudson, a classy cockney lady who loves a ‘good knees-up’ and encourages us all to shout “CORKER” whenever the word Christmas is mentioned – something several men in the audience enjoyed far too much!

If I had to fault it I’d say that act one is a little on the long side and act two disintegrates into a surreal retelling of the Christmas story complete with a French Angel Gabriel, a very camp God and a King Louis (of Jungle Book fame) style song from the mafia-esque King Herod, “Ooby doo, I’m the king of the Jews”, but it is a hilarious festive romp around Baker Street, Salisbury Plain and – of course – Bethlehem. This is not a family-friendly pantomime, but a rude, crude corker of a Christmas show!

Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes

Mrs Hudson’s Christmas Corker runs at Wilton’s Music Hall until Wednesday 31st December 2014. Please visit for info and tickets. 

Photo Credit: Steve Ullathorne

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