Review: What would Helen Mirren do? – Waterloo East Theatre

What would Helen Mirren do? 

Waterloo East Theatre

Thursday 1st March 2012What would Helen Mirren do? A great question; She would probably choose a different venue for a start. The Waterloo East Theatre is a small intimate venue which would suit a one-woman show, however, the smell of dampness that welcomes you as you step in is probably something you would rather do without. 

The seats are not allocated so what follows the bad smell is a mad rush, much like cheap airline seats. Once the show starts though these are soon forgotten, that is until the show is marred by the reverberation of the trains passing overhead. Eventually your ear becomes accustomed to the trains and you can begin to enjoy the show.

Anita Parry as Susan
Photo by Tim Parker
Anita Parry stars as Susan, a long-term supermarket checkout operator from Oldham. Susan has not given much thought to her own life until she is forced to do so by the promise of a promotion if she successfully completes a training course. At this course Susan is asked a few tough questions. She develops the mantra ‘What would Helen Mirren do?’ and as a result sets out on a journey of self-improvement.

Parry is clearly a talented actress and pulls off all the characters with great comic value. The script, however, lets her down. Like the set it comes across as dated and that is probably no surprise as the show has been running for over two years. There are great comic moments and for that Josie Melia (writer) should receive some praise but you cannot help but think it is Parry who gives it the edge.

The show is a fun light hearted comedy and I, along with much of the audience, laughed throughout. It does lack some substance and is not to everyone’s taste but it is only 80 minutes long so definitely worth giving it a try just to see if you can spot all the Helen Mirren references. 

Review by Unsa Chaudri

What Would Helen Mirren Do?

Waterloo East Theatre
Brad Street

Box Office: 020 7928 0060

Tuesday February 28 - 
Sunday March 25

Tuesday – Saturday  at 7.30pm
Saturday & Sunday matinees at 3.00pm

Press Night 
Thursday March 1 at 7.30pm

Previews: February 28 & 29 
all seats 

£15.00  (£12.00 concessions)

Friday March 2:  Pay What You Can