Theatre Critic and Journalist

Review: The Hard Boiled Egg and the Wasp, Lion and Unicorn Theatre

Review: The Hard Boiled Egg and the Wasp, Lion and Unicorn Theatre

Published in Time Out, 28.05.2012

Dan Leno, one of the all-time great dames of the Victorian music hall, was committed to an insane asylum in 1903. Not content with the ample drama in his actual life, Jonathan Kydd and Andy Street’s pudding-headed musical seriously oversteps the mark of poetic licence: Kydd and Street make Leno bisexual – apparently in order to show the crudity of Victorian attitudes to homosexuality and medicine – and change his cause of death – he is bumped off here by a somewhat anachronistic bungled lobotomy.

Even on its own terms, this musical is cackhanded. Comic songs are mirthless – unless sausage gags (wink wink) are your thing. And the straight numbers are risible (‘Amelia/I feel for ya/If I had a rod/I’d reel for ya’). Kudos to the cast for brave faces, but this is rotten.

Photograph: Alistair Muir

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>