Cherry & Blossom: A Night at the Movies

Kenneth Tynan said “The Western critic… still finds it very hard to go into print and say: ‘I recommend you to go and see this because it gave me an erection.'” BEN BLYTH has reviewed Cherry & Blossom.

Ben Blyth Cherry and Blossom emily-jane swanson eve rosato misogyny night at the movies RE sexism tabloids

ADC Theatre, October 19th (11pm) & 23rd (5pm), £5-6

Directed by Eve Rosato & Emily-Jane Swanson



First step for prospective tabloid journalists: PERFECT YOUR PHWOAR. It must have the perfect balance of consonants and vowels – those cheeky ‘o’s and ‘a’s nestling seductively between the thighs of the more violent, borderline rapine, ‘w’s and ‘r’s.

Next come the headlines:

From The Sun‘s ‘A-D-SEE SOME TITS’ to the Express’ ‘CHERRYS POPPED AS PERVERTS BLOSSOM’, right down to the Mail‘s ‘IMMIGRANTS WOT DON’T EVEN KNOW ENGLISH OUTRAGED BY LATESHOW’ or Heat‘s ‘MY 12-YEAR OLD HERMAPHRODITE SISTER GOT HERSELF PREGNANT’, Cherry and Blossom: A Night at the Movies is a tabloid reviewer’s wet dream of a commission.

BURLESQUE BABES IN STAGE SEX ROMP would be what we in life would call a LIE but having tirelessly searched for an angle by which I am in any way qualified to review this production, I have finally settled on the comfortable archetype of ‘tabloid voyeur’. WOOF. wipe.

Powerful women of the stage, Eve Rosato (THIRTYPHWOAR DD) and Emily-Jane Swanson (BUFF ENUFF STUFF) play the indomitable duo Cherry and Blossom. Charmingly self effacing, their tongue-in-cheek pastiche of the Hollywood entertainment industry of yore forms an excellent conceit by which the pair – writers, directors and performers all – toy with their enraptured audience over the space of a highly enjoyable hour that I didn’t want to end.

The story follows two unsuccessful auditionees as they recreate the well-worn plot lines of some of our favourite black and white ‘flicks’. BUT just as they finally land dream roles in upcoming feature ‘Guys and Dolls Prefer Blondes Who Like It Hot at Christmas’ they are forced on the run. Probably by IMMIGRANT BANKERS who have caused a GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS and are responsible for all of the TERRORISM.

The script was sassy and full of excellent one-liners built upon an in-depth understanding and development of the duo’s character traits. The inevitable romantic finale was not too clichéd either, and handled with the same sense of metatheatrical irony that at once served to keep, and indeed, will, the audience into participation – be it spontaneous applause, laughter, groans or outbursts of another kind usually reserved for page 3. And youporn. Callback. I’m just like that Stewart Lee.

Phwoar me another drink etc.

Rosato and Swanson’s accents transported the audience into the world of glitz and glamour without the need for massive sets, (there’s an all too obvious joke there and I’m tired). The set pieces they had chosen were more than enough and beautifully counterpointed a stunning wardrobe. All of the musical numbers were tight and really well executed – my personal favourites included Pet me Poppa and Lady is a Tramp.

Mention also has to go to Will Karani and Rory Stalibrass, who, along with Cherry and Blossom themselves, managed to balance performance and musical excellence in a way so often lacking in musical theatre.

The production itself could use a little tweaking – the inclusion of incidental music alongside the trimming of scene changes would have better suited the clinical nature of the rest of the production. Especially when so often all that changed was a gobo. This would, however, be nitpickery in an otherwise excellent lateshow.

In short, Cherry and Blossom: A Night at the Movies was so much better than this week’s flaccid mainshow, and was certainly entertaining enough to justify its lack of depth. They return to the ADC at the rather odd time of 5pm this Saturday (23rd October). Make sure you get yourself a ticket. If you don’t enjoy this show you probably don’t have a soul.