Waynetta in The Slobs




[Smaller review]

Coventry Evening Standard, March 2006


Dawn French and Alison Moyet understandably get top billing in this bitter sweet comedy but he real star of the show is June Watson.

Smaller is the story of two sisters and their relationship with their widowed and disabled mum.

Bernice (French) has spent the past 25 years devotedly yet begrudgingly looking after her mum Maureen (Watson), who can't even go to the toilet unaided.

Meanwhile, Cath (Moyet) is a failed singer and actress scraping out a living on the club circuit.

June Watson's performance as the mum is fantastic. You at once want to strangle her yet she has an irresistible dotty charm.

Dawn French is also tremendous. She's taken a big step away from the French and Saunders-style comedy and relishes a role with a real edge.

There are some stand-out comedy moments, noticeably Alison Moyet doing a glum Robbie Williams medley for drunken revellers while wearing a chicken suit.

However, the humour is interspersed with genuinely touching moments, particularly in the second half.

In one heart-breaking scene tough-as-nails Bernice - having suffered a great tragedy - shoos Cath out of the room, switches on the vacuum cleaner and buries in her face in a cloth to stifle her racking sobs so her sister doesn't hear her.

Moyet wrote some original music for the play, which will please fans, but the segments in which she sings feel a little bit shoehorned in. Otherwise it's a great night out.

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