Thursday 7th July 2022 at the White Bear Theatre, London
Reviewer: Maygan Forbes
Welcome to the wildly catchy named town called Tittitutar (pronounced Tit-it-two-tar) where everything is slightly upside down! This wonderfully wacky show birthed from the mind of Manchester born and bred multi-award-winning comedienne Sonja Doubleday is bizarre, eccentric, utterly zany and oddly uplifting! There are no words that can really describe this show in its entirety, it really is a “got to see it to believe it” type of play, but believe me – you will have a great time!
The play begins with a young bright eyed yuppie couple, fresh from London city, ready to gentrify Manchester. However they are alarmed to find out the kindness of strangers has a more sinister side. A seemingly harmless encounter causes the couple to be captured and banished to Tittitutar Town. Armed with creepy anecdotes, the actors take you on a journey to Tittitutar Town – an imaginary place in titular character Sally’s mind where hairdressers are rockers are cannibals, and barmaids are obsessed bunny boilers. If you’re struggling to make sense of what I’ve just written, that’s because the show doesn’t make sense. At all. But it works. Described as being “the Mighty Boosh meets David lynch, but with eels”, only the eels are demons, and the demons are inside a northern woman. It definitely follows in that vein of topsy turvy, bizarre entertainment!
Doubleday doesn’t hold back on the ridiculousness of the characters in the script. A solid mix of deadpan, bleak British humour and Noel Fielding quirky commentary. If you’re a fan of Beetlejuice or The Rocky Horror Picture Show, you will love this. The play is rich with camp cultural references and the ballroom culture, whilst still sprinkling some cult horror film classics in there. For a small stage, the creative team did a marvellous job of using all aspects to create a show worth watching. The lightening was used effectively to separate place and time of the characters, and the soundtrack was superb. Starman by David Bowie was one great highlight to the sound.
Sally is great character and I would definitely pay to see a spin off of her doing more crazy, silly things in the name of demonic possession. She was without a doubt the starman of the play, I got excited whenever I saw her character on stage because I knew she would be a fun time to watch. The audience seemed to agree, and her presence on stage warranted a great deal of hoots and belly heaving laughter. Who would think to use a northern woman who wanders around the stage looking like the exorcist in a nightie and is possessed by a demon, as the star of the show for a rock’n’roll comedy play?
This play is like Marmite – you either love it or hate it. The audience was definitely a mixed bag of reactions. Many were laughing whilst many remained straight faced. I certainly had my moments where I was not laughing whilst others were clutching their stomachs in hysterics. And the play is so odd that it’s hard to find a place where you stand with your feelings towards it. But overall it is enjoyable and something I would recommend to anyone interested in viewing something a little different after a few G&T’s.