Beth Vyse as Olive Hands in All Hands to The Pump.

It’s hard to establish whether the large queue has specifically come to see Beth Vyse’s Olive Hand’s as Olive Hands in all Hands to The Pump. It’s a miserable Saturday afternoon and I wonder if the audience knew what was in store, even though I was aware of Beth Vyse as one of the Weirdo’s collective, I was in for a surprise myself.

Cast members Ali Brice in leopard print dress is asking audience members if they have seen his mum, whilst sugar fuelled Lucy Pearman as the cruise ship’s captain dictates safety protocol with great hyperbole. Cue the star attraction and enters a sloshed one shoe leopard print dressed Beth Vyse, frolicking usual private body parts upon unsuspecting members of the audience. It’s loud, rude, frantic, which has some audience members in nervous hysterics and others wondering what have they embarked upon.

After having her chat show cancelled by ITV, Olive Hands has to travel to North Korea to sustain her career for her three fans, upon her journey she has to find her sass and vagina at the bottom of the sea. Upon her maiden voyage and subsequent submarine journey, they pick up a stray in comic Tash Goldstone, the secret daughter of Jane McDonald, who like Beth’s son has questions regarding her parentage. Particular credit giving to Tash giving the grotesque treatment she has to endure throughout.

Whilst the plot is ludicrous, as are the characters Beth portrays, there’s a lot of Keith Lemon and Vic and Bob in b-celebrity ridiculing, but takes it the extra mile. Some jokes lie a little on the predictable side, sometimes tacky, which is somewhat fitting but is one of the minor criticisms I only felt throughout. Despite the mess and slightly cheap stage production, that fits the tone, you can see the sheer effort that has gone into Olive Hands in All Hands In The Pump, particularly with the visual displays that fulfil the narrative. There’s fantastic energy from Vyse that spreads throughout the room. Anarchic, lewd, messy, daring and bloody good fun, either get on board or take your misery outside with the rain.

★★★★

Chris Aitken

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