Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Thought for the Day • GRUMPY OLD WOMEN LIVE • 2006

Dillie Keane, Linda Robson and Jenny Eclair performing in Grumpy Old Women Live on the 23rd June 2008.

Dillie Keane, Linda Robson and Jenny Éclair performing in Grumpy Old Women Live on the 23rd June 2008.

Shock Horror! The editor of R&V is a grumpy old woman. As are Jenny Éclair, Linda Robson and Dillie Keane – ‘their combined age is unprintable’. It’s easy to reach that stage and you don’t have to be middle-aged or more to feel an empathy (though it certainly helps) or even female. Éclair and Judith Holder, building on the original BBC television series, have put together a live touring show.

Anyone who has ever watched the Grumpy Old Women and Grumpy Old Men series will be aware just how many gripes are shared between the sexes but there are so many issues particular to each. Men have their mid-life crises and women have to cope with varicose veins, hot flushes, multiple moods, endless rows with terrible teens – we’ve had our children late – and a whole lot more designed to send us screaming out of the house brandishing anything from a frying pan or a laptop to a pair of shrunken knickers.

And that’s before you factor in the incompetence of everyone else: meter readers whose incorrect figures produce bills three times the normal size, doctors who can’t tell the difference between a common cold and deep-vein thrombosis, call centre operatives who don’t understand your accent, help centres that do anything but, or male colleagues who still haven’t figured out the distinction between flirting and lunging.

And then there’s the dilemma of whether to go for that well-known acronym, HRT or, as I call it, Horrendous Raging Tension. Or not. Or to go for the patch, taking up surface space on rapidly wrinkling skin – next to the nicotine patch, naturally.

And boy, isn’t it hot. Aren’t you hot? Well, I AM. Turn the f***ing heating OFF!

There are only two good things about being of ‘a certain age’ – you’ve stopped worrying what other people think and you don’t have to waste money on the trappings of fertility.

Following the sell-out mini tour of Autumn 2005, the Grumpy Old Women are back with a vengeance. Many performances have already sold out so hurry, hurry, hurry. No, you didn’t leave the children in the oven, the food in the cat dish or your lover on the ironing board. Don’t turn back – go and enjoy yourself. It’s ‘Fluffier than The Vagina Monologues, sillier than Shirley Valentine, more uplifting than a reinforced Wonderbra,’ writes Bruce Dessau in the Evening Standard.

Tutting is allowed but no heckling – you have been warned! – and everyone, we’re assured, can be home in time for Desperate Housewives and to put a wash on. Marvellous. Wonderful.

Sarah Vernon © 2006

Originally published on R&V 14-05-06


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