Five minutes with the cast of Hormonal Housewives - including 'Allo 'Allo star Vicki Michelle
One of the stars of the BBC hit sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo, Vicki Michelle, leads the cast of Hormonal Housewives which is on tour.
She played Yvette in the comedy about the French resistance – the show which gave us the catchphrase: Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once.
Here Vicki and her fellow Hormonal Housewives cast members – its writer Julie Coombe and Top Girls star Josephine Partridge – talk about the show.
What appealed to you about the scriptVicki Michelle: The title. I thought, this is different, I haven’t done anything like this before – this has got to be fun. The script is hilarious and it was appealing to be involved in a show which has laugh-out-loud moments. It’ll obviously appeal to women whether or not they’re in a relationship and, crucially, to women of all ages. And I think it’ll appeal to men; men want to know what makes us tick hormonally…if they don’t understand that one week out of the month we’re a bit cranky, then they might learn something and try and understand that it’s not them …well, not entirely!
IN PICTURES: Vicki Michelle in Hormonal Housewives hereTell us about your character VM: She is loosely based on me – I would hate to say everything’s true to life in case I get into trouble with my husband – haha! Julie’s done an amazing job of basing each character on each of us as much as possible. For instance my character and I both love a glass of fizz, we adore talking to our female friends and obviously a glass of wine or fizz makes the experience even more enjoyable. I also share some experiences with my character in terms of family so it’s lovely to be able to bring some of myself to the stage.Who’s your audience and what reactions are you expecting?VM: Mostly female, but it’ll be great to have some guys in the audience too. I think it’ll appeal to single women as much as women in relationships; out of the three characters, two are married and the third is single – and we have a lot of fun in the show trying to get her back on to the dating scene. I already know some men friends who have promised to come to the show. When women get together they have such fun so the men can be included in the fun and find out what we all talk about when they’re not there.Do you have a favourite scene?VM: The waxing scene is going to be hysterical! Julie and I try and encourage Josephine to get back on the dating scene; she’s newly divorced and a bit hesitant. There’s a whole discussion about how much excess hair to wax. What are the key issues addressed in the show? VM: Lots of things – marriage, emotions, relationships, families, guilt complexes, hormones. And eating habits – you know how you reach for the chocolate when you feel tired or your energy is low … well there’s a lot of that.What are you most looking forward to about touringVM: It’s so great to be in a script that you know is funny and that the audience is going to love. There’s nothing better than laughter to cure everything – so hopefully we’re going to laugh onstage, the audience are going to have a laugh and we’ll still be laughing when we have a glass of wine together after the show. I’m also looking forward to performing in a lot of places I’ve been before – I’ve got lots of friends all over the country and although it’s a tight schedule we’re going to fit in seeing friends too.
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What inspired you and John to write ‘Hormonal Housewives’?Julie Coombe: West End theatre producer Michael Harrison – Annie, Bodyguard, Fiddler on the Roof – who said ‘you have to write a show’ and when I said what about he said ‘anything as long as it’s funny’ and I said well my life’s funny and he said ‘well do that then’. Hormonal Housewives is about so many situations John and I have found ourselves in over the years such as our kids growing up and the different worlds they seem to inhabit on a daily basis where you practically have to learn a new language to communicate with them. I had done Vagina Monologues and I wanted to do something about people being thrown into situations that they might not be comfortable in, roles they play, and about women being each other’s therapists. Ultimately I said to John I love spending time with my friends and he said I love spending time with your friends they’re far more interesting than guys. Tell us about your characterJC: My character is like me in that she’s happily married and comfortable in that relationship which allows her to poke fun at it as well. Who’s your audience and what reactions are you expecting?JC: Primarily women; I want them to feel they’ve all come round to Josephine’s house for a night in with a bottle of wine and some good chat. I want people to be howling with recognition and seeing themselves up on the stage. I’d like to think men will come along to see the show as well – probably with female friends – and find out what it is we all talk about. Ultimately I want the audience to feel as if they’ve spent the night in the company of some really good friends.Do you have a favourite scene?JC: I’d defy anyone not to love the gym scene. It’s wild. And is the audience likely to get involved at any stage?JC: It depends on the audience – the beauty of this show is that they should feel they can offer a comment or a shout out from the audience – with comedy it’s always about the audience being the extra character. They’re the other friend you’ve invited to the party.What are the key issues addressed in the show? JC: Body issues is one: my character is always talking about losing half a stone while the other two talk about losing weight even though they don’t need to – and we all know someone like that!And dating – Josephine’s character is looking for love – or rather the other two are trying to push her back on to the dating scene after her divorce. Whatever age you are it’s difficult looking for love. We have fun on stage trying to work out how to use dating apps – it’s a minefield. What are you most looking forward to about touringJC: Road trips with the girls, meeting audiences all over the country and making thousands of new friends!
What appealed to you about the script Josephine Partridge: It’s funny, it’s relatable and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Tell us about your character JP: She is very down to earth, reasonable and she keeps the others grounded. There are certainly aspects of her that are very similar to me – we’re both gym freaks and we both love Poldark…and Tom Hardy!Who’s your audience and what reactions are you expecting?JP: I imagine there will be lots of girls-night-out groups attending the shows, just wanting to have a fun and entertaining evening laughing at the expense of men and the silly things that we women do (but dare not talk about in real life) too. Men don’t need to be afraid to come though - they will get an insight into what we get up to when we’re together and what we talk about. What are the key issues addressed in the show? JP: There are lots of issues raised in the show: the power of friendship, the stereotypical differences between men and women, the struggles women face including PMS, waxing, keeping the body beautiful, bodily functions, hormones at all ages and the things we women deal with at all stages of our lives. The show is like opening a door on all the secret things in life that we generally spend so much time worrying about and laughing at them instead.And finally what are you most looking forward to about going on tour?JP: I can’t wait to share the show with as many different people and locations as possible. I am excited to see whether the reactions are the same regardless of location.
Hormonal Housewives is on at Bridlington Spa on Sunday April 17 at 7.30pm.Tickets can be booked on 01262 678258 or on line: www.bridspa.com
It is on at the Sunderland Empire on Friday May 17 at 7.30pmTickets: 0844 871 3022 or on line here