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Theatre review: Her Aching Heart

A lively lesbian comedy of innuendos, bonnets and heaving bosoms.

Roxy Bourdillon

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 07:29:53 GMT | Updated today

It's the 25th anniversary of Bryony Lavery's award-winning historical rom-com and The Hope Theatre's celebratory production is a fun-filled treat just in time for Christmas.


This thoroughly entertaining musical romp is expertly steered by two brilliantly talented actresses. Collette Eaton and Naomi Todd play Harriet and Molly, a couple in the early stages of dating who happen to be reading the same trashy bodice-ripper. Both performers do a fantastic job at bringing the astonishing array of characters in the book to life, creating laugh-out-loud sketch scenes, which are interspersed with touchingly nervous phone calls between the modern day lovebirds.


Collette is a hoot as the highborn dominatric whose hobbies include fox hunting, swashbuckling and falling for pert-cheeked fillies. Naomi is all charisma and Carry On facial expressions as the object of her affection, a wide-eyed maid with a Disney-princess-esque affinity with woodland creatures. As if these two comic creations weren't enough, between them they successfully embody a hunchbacked Cornish grandmother, a money-hungry fop, a saucy lady's madi and a Yokel stable boy.


The intimate pub theatre venue and sensual set and costume design - think velvet, fur and tight-laced corsets - make this gem of a show even more of a festive delight. 25 years after this piece was written, plays about lesbians and bi women are still sadly few and far between so it's wonderful to see such an enjoyable one back on the London theatre scene.


Her Aching Heart is on at The Hope Theatre until 23 December.

Tickets are available here.


Image: Roy Tan


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