Tamsin Greig shines in her musical debut, as a Woman On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
Olivier Award-winning Greig takes the lead in this musical remake of Pedro Almodóvar's 1988 film as Pepa, a voice-over and commercial actress who has been unceremoniously dumped by her cheating lover. We watch as Pepa navigates her way around the city of Madrid, desperately trying to make contact with Ivan - said cheating lover - before encountering his wife, son, and new girlfriend.
In order not to distract from the fact that this production is based on a story of Latino passion, (Greig's British stiff upper lip and gorgeously plummy accent would make that easy) the audience is treated to a guitar-wielding, singing Spaniard, and a mysterious matador who appears in luminous pink tights at any given moment. If you think you're tripping, you should try some of Pepa's valium-laced gazpacho - not an awful idea, when you’re watching 3 strong women lament over one lecherous man.
Surprisingly, this is Greig's first foray into musical theatre but you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise, as she blasts through an energetic score from composer and lyricist, David Yazbek. It’s surprising then, to learn, that she turned down the part several times, thinking it too much of a challenge. Luckily, the producers persisted, because her impeccable comic-timing and sardonic wit drive the production, which, at times has the potential to fall apart. There’s also a strong performance from a support cast including Anna Skellern as Candella, a highly strung model who falls for a Shiite militant and implicates herself in a terrorist attack. Recognise Skellern? That's because she was in the second series of Lip Service, and has since featured in shows like BBC’s The Interceptor, Heading Out or E4’s Drifters.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
The Playhouse Theatre, London, WC2N 5DE
Book your tickets today: 0844 871 7631