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November 2003
Baby Jane Show Number 113
Baby Jane
Blonde wigs, cigarettes, too much makeup and lots of drama that's Baby Jane Show Number 113.

Jenny Enarsson was at the Pegasus Theatre to see a dazzling spectacle....


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On a set which is best described as a Big Brother House for actor wannabes, two women and two men report for duty.

The only thing they seem to have in common is that they are all obsessed with the black and white 1962 film 'Whatever happened to Baby Jane' starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

All four have memorised every single scene from the film and are more than ready to act them out.

They are watched - we never find out by whom - through a camera suspended from the ceiling.

As if auditioning (maybe they are?), they act with and against each other while their favourite film runs on fast-forward on four TV screens on the stage.

In true Big Brother House style, conflicts and animosity quickly surface within the group as romance and its faithful companion jealousy come along.

A highpoint of the play is when the audience is treated to the angriest piece of tap-dancing you could ever imagine.

When the furious lead dancer hisses "Smile!" to her partner through clenched teeth, the joylessness of it all is hilarious.

Baby Jane is a slightly uneven performance. It starts out not making sense. After a while the pieces fall into place.

Unfortunately, towards the end it stops making sense again.

A bizarre and unpleasant strangulation scene adds nothing to the story but confusion and a hard-to-shake feeling of disgust.

Still, this is an enjoyable performance by talented actors.

There is acting, dancing and singing and great physical theatre.

The audience is not bored for a second.



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