Theatre Review- The Pajama
26th June 2013
The Pajama Game
Minerva Theatre, Chichester (until 8th June)
Box Office: 01243 781312
Sassy, sparkling and with more fizz than bottle of Moet that’s been in a pneumatic drill operative’s backpack, Richard Eyre’s production of The Pajama Game is a corker.
Set in the 1950s at the Sleep-Tite pajama factory there’s trouble afoot. Members of the union are demanding a rise in line with the national average, but the boss is cooking the books. And just to complicate matters Sid, the new Superintendent, is about to cop off with Babe, the Union rep.
Designed by Tim Hatley, who has transformed the Minerva stage into a convincing sweatshop, the scene changes are seamless. Sewing machines are swiftly replaced with an all-American refrigerator to become Babe’s kitchen; cacti and illuminated sombreros arrive as if by magic to create the nightclub, a divine dive by the name of Hernando’s Hideaway (where Stephen Mear’s choreography is at its most dazzling).
And there’s no shortage of steam heat between Joanna Riding’s spirited Babe and Hadley Fraser’s Sid, whose love affair is as touching as it is exuberant, especially during the ‘ye ha’ number There Once Was A Man.
A terrific ensemble, there are noteworthy comic performances from Peter Polycarpou as Hines the knife-throwing time and motion man, and Alexis Owen-Hobbs as air head Gladys, the boss’s secretary who when in her cups clonks her head on the table with such force that you expect to hear an ambulance from neighbouring St Richard’s Hospital screeching to a halt outside the theatre to check for concussion.
A glorious start to the 2013 Festival, the vocals are knock-your-socks off superb, raising the roof of the Minerva and making you want to leap from your seat and join in the revelry of this simply fabulous pajama party.
Posted by Stephanie Lawley at 11:22am