REVIEW: Living Large with Marge (The Basement)

Review by Tim George

[Easy Living]

There have been many strange and idiosyncratic characters to visit The Basement Studio. The latest occupant is the karaoke and sex-crazed septuagenarian, Marge.

Written and performed by Hamish McGregor, Marge is a narcissist who loves to hold court and dish on her rise from sex-crazed groupie to… sex-crazed hairdresser. If you are a fan of eighties power ballads, and the classic line-up of the Rolling Stones and loose boobs, you’ll have a rough idea of what is going on.

Directed by Bryony Skillington with musical direction by Marge’s favourite pianist/whipping boy Mark Bradley, the show plays out in front of a mock-up of Marge’s beloved camper with the audience playing Marge’s friends, associates, and one-night stands (she gives you a nametag at the door so you know which of them you are playing).

As previously stated, The Basement has played host to a wide variety of characters, and while Marge boasts some great pipes and a nice line in ribald patter, she never really comes into her own.

While her stories are funny, they all begin to feel very similar (Marge meets new person = sexy times), there are no major obstacles, interesting reversals or personal conflicts she has to resolve. It all falls a bit flat.

The show has some fun comic beats (including a Q&A section), and McGregor gives it his all, but my final takeaway was that Marge could have lived a little larger.

Living Large with Marge plays at The Basement Studio until 30 June. 
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