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Acorn Antiques

Genre: Comedy musical
Opened 10 Feb 2005
Written: by Victoria Wood, based on the Acorn Antiques characters that appeared as a spoof soap-opera in her television series, As Seen on TV.
Directed: Trevor Nunn
Cast: Victoria Wood (Monday evenings and Wednesday matinees only), Julie Walters (Mrs Overall) (Tuesday to Saturday evenings and Saturday matinees only), Celia Imrie (Miss Babs), Duncan Preston (Mr Clifford), Neil Morrisey (John), Josie Lawrence & Sally Ann Triplett (Mrs Berta)
Synopsis: We begin in a small theatre in Sutton Coldfield, where director John is hoping to rehearse his new work, a bleak uncompromising look at life in modern Britain. In an attempt to lure the middle classes into the the show, he has called it Acorn Antiques, and engaged some of the original cast of the axed TV soap to play their own parts. When BO arrives, happily clutching her unopened script, she is appalled at the tone of the piece and has an idea to shoe horn in some lovely number from a musical she was in, in 1957. When the hapless cast find their dress rehearsal is in fact public, they have no choice but to carry on with the show. In the midst of the ensuing chaos, a stroke of luck allows Bo to realise her dream, to have a 'proper' musical written about the doings of Manchesterford's favourite antique shop. And so the second half of the show, is BO's West End production as commissioned by her, set in the shop, with lots of lovely singing and dancing, and with a whacking great part for her.

What the critics had to say.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "A musical farce and a farsical musical...No Memorable numbers "; MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "A load of slack, self-indulgent rubbish."; PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "I haven't laughed as helplessly since the day I heard Bernadette had closed at the Dominion. It's the supreme cheek of the endeavour that will irritate some people and exhilarate the rest of us." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Mischievous, good-natured, charming. But a comic masterpiece? Not really."

External links to full reviews from popular press
The Independent
The Guardian
The Times

Originally published on

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