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  • Writer's pictureSarah

Review: Summer Productions from Lambco - Twinkle, Tickle, Boys in the Buff, Love is Blue.

I'm full of admiration for Lambco Productions. It's quite a feat putting on 4 shows, 2 a night, over a 2 week period in the run up to Edinburgh. Lasting around an hour each, the productions continually push the stories forward, delivering laughs, delving into some tough themes and painful near-history, and deliver plot twists that genuinely surprise.

We were happy to be asked to review 2 of the shows at the Drayton Arms. It's a short stroll from West Brompton tube station, and rather an institution as far as pub theatres go. Even better, it serves rather nice pub food, something vaguely healthy for me and a traditional pie for Alex before the first show.

Dereck Walker plays seasoned pantomime dame Harold Thropp in 'Twinkle'. Upset by being down-graded to Dressing Room 5 on the 1st Floor, his monologue takes us to happier and better times both professionally and personally. His caustic comments about the rise of reality TV stars and their box-office power, as opposed to their talents ring true.

As he applies his make-up and puts on his costume we are taken through his life story; some happy times and some that serve of a reminder of hard-fought for rights for gay couples. It's a mix of acerbic commentary and poignancy that took us on an emotional roller coaster. I did expect a bit of a plot twist, but not quite as dramatic as the revenge that he finally is to get on his talentless and arrogant co-star.

Dereck then re-appears as Tina Tickle in 'Tickle'. This is a musical, loosely based on real events. Chris (played by David Heal) and Callum (played by Owen Dennis) are living in a dead-end town (Redditch sprang to mind), where there are no meaningful jobs, no-where to go, and no way out it seems. Although one of the boys is waiting for his UCAS results to exit to university.

Until Davina Diamond (played by Lauren Wood), the talent spotter for Tina's pay-per-view Tickle empire, spots the lads joshing around. There can't be any harm in it can there, it is a 'sport' after all? It's money for old rope, nothing sleazy going on at all. Until the boys want out when the uni offer comes through, and Tina reveals her not-so-motherly nature.

On now at the Drayton Arms in London, the shows will transfer to Edinburgh in August. There's still time to see 'Love is Blue' and 'Boys in the Buff' which are on at the Drayton Arms 18th to 22nd July 2023. The Saturday show of 'Boys in the Buff' is clothing optional for the audience!

If you're off to Edinburgh - get booking now!

Twinkle credits:

Dereck Walker as Harold Thropp

Written by Philip Meeks

Directed by Robbie O'Reilly

Designed by David Shields

Lighting Richard Lambert

Sound Julian Starr

Production Photography Nick Brittain Photography

Produced by LAMBCO Productions

Tickle credits:

Directed and choreographed by Robbie O’Reilly

Designed by David Shields

Lighting by Richard Lambert Sound Design Julian Starr

Video Design Daniel MacKeown

Stage Manager Richard Lambert

Graphic Design Steve Caplin Production Photography Nick Brittain

Produced by LAMBCO Productions


The Drayton Arms Theatre

153 Old Brompton Road

London SW5 0LJ


Box Office 07917221639

Edinburgh Fringe

All productions at C Cubed 2nd to 27th August

34 York Place


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