Our reader Josh went to see Jumpy at the Duke of York’s - and laughed all the way through! Here is his Jumpy review – the critically acclaimed show starring Tamsin Greig.
It is easy to see why April de Angelis’s new comedy Jumpy enjoyed such success in its original run at the Royal Court last year. Now playing in the West End, it is a hilarious and pertinent show, clearly written with today’s audience in mind. Tamsin Greig leads the cast with her fantastic portrayal of Hilary, a middle-aged mum whose job prospects and marriage are slowly fading away. The play focuses on the strained relationship between Hilary and her teenage daughter Tilly (Bel Powley), who develops an acute sense of sexual awareness and a tendency promiscuity, to the shock of her mother.
‘even without being a parent, it is impossible not to sympathise with Hilary’s plight’
The production’s core strength lies in its brand of awkward humour. The arguments that take place amongst the cohort of wacky characters will feel like they were lifted straight out of your own family history, evoking both laughs and winces of recognition. Even without being a parent, it is impossible not to sympathise with Hilary’s plight, as she battles daily with a daughter who doesn’t want to work, goes out partying in skimpy dresses, and is always reluctant to listen. Who can say that they have never faced the frustration of trying to hold a conversation with someone whose sole interest is in their mobile phone?
‘quirky characters provide some of the more surreal laughs’
The other quirky characters provide some of the more surreal laughs of the evening. While on a beach holiday in Norfolk, Hilary’s best friend (Doon Mackichan) demonstrates her stubborn reluctance to let go of her youth and sexuality by putting on an unbelievably inappropriate, show-stopping striptease act for all present. The out of work actor Roland (Richard Lintern), father of Tilly’s boyfriend, is wonderfully endearing as he picks apart his own marriage with brutal honesty, and tries relentlessly and unashamedly to seduce Hilary with his charm.
‘an excellent show, filled with laughter and tears’
Those who have experienced for themselves the turbulence of life as a parent will undoubtedly enjoy this the most. However, there is still plenty on offer for others to enjoy. Beneath the humour, this is a brilliantly candid and moving tale, owing much to the heart-warming central performances of Greig and Powley. The play is wrapped up with a hastiness which is a little unsatisfying, however this one weakness is insignificant next to a compelling story and a host of hilarious characters. Those who are still in their early teens will struggle to find as much enjoyment, but for everyone else this promises to be an excellent show, filled with laughter and tears.