The Wardrobe Theatre’s stage is alive with twirls and music and eccentricities even before the audience has taken to its seat, as a rabble of brightly dressed men and women, some with instruments, sashey around the space. You can tell from the off that this show by Riddlestick Theatre is going to be a bit daft.
Enter Madame Fanny du Thé. Frightfully posh and full of fabulous tales of daring and intrigue. With the help of her Cabinet of Curiosities, Fanny, determined to shake off her 18th Century shackles, invites members of the audience to open a drawer of her cabinet, each one containing a nicknack to transport us on a far-flung adventure that our Georgian Lady insists on sharing with us (and, oh, how we want her to).
Fanny and her servants (men in dresses and make up? That’s exactly how Fanny likes it) delve into an hour of storytelling and music that has us laughing from start to finish. The order in which the stories come depends on which drawer is opened when, so that the flow of the evening will be different each time. Ours starts with a raucous band of pirates who hate girls; surely Fanny can change their minds? An Austrian scientist who transplants brains (my companion was creased up by the vacant stares of the sheep!). A lustful Frenchman who must get his comeuppance. The highly ridiculous, and all the more brilliant for it, tale of El Leche, a milk giving Spaniard (my favourite).
Riddlestick Theatre are a riot of fun. Clever Fun, complete with voice, cello, guitar, accordion and stories galore. The twist at the end is like a knife. We love Fanny and her curios and damn it if we don’t want to see more. Bravo for Fanny!
The Cabinet of Madame Fanny du Thé runs at The Wardrobe Theatre until 22nd February
Visit Riddlestick Theatre’s website