Seven Crazy Bitches

Fri 4th – Sun 27th August 2017


Ela Portnoy

at 10:09 on 6th Aug 2017



A man goes into a theatre. He sits in the front row of a small crowded room at the University of Edinburgh. Within 20 minutes, he is holding a 31 year old brunette in his lap who’s singing and swaying her arms and legs and stroking his cheek. Welcome to 'Seven Crazy Bitches.' An hour long romp through an ‘exploration’ of ‘womanhood’ with ‘Shakespeare’ and ‘Cher’ (use your imagination, please), 'Seven Crazy Bitches' is a one-woman cabaret-cum-standup comedy featuring a pet man in a cardboard box. Using song, dance, wigs, and a Stevie Nicks ‘shag chart’, Holly Morgan – superstar - and Tom Moores – pet man - create a beautiful piece of madness at the fringe.

Morgan is confident in her comedy. Her show flows well and her pet man keeps a perfect deadpan to compliment, but there is more to it than this. These people are pros. When a man in the audience tells her his name is Oden, she responds with a funny exclamation about the Gods. When someone tells her they took magic mushrooms, she makes a reference to it in a joke later in the show. It’s one thing to deliver comedy well (which she does, to say the least) it’s another thing to improvise jokes off the cuff which is in some way more impressive. Moores is also capable in this respect, sitting in his box chattering like a madman as the audience walks in and filters out. He is ridiculous but loveable, making references to everything around him.

One thing that bothered me, however, was my 5’1” height. Some jokes were written down on a whiteboard, and the seats were all on one level. So I missed some of Cher’s tweets on the whiteboard and was very disappointed. Another problem was my 20 year oldness. Some of the comedy made references to artists or celebrities I didn’t know, and this troubled me deeply. So much so that when Shirley Bassey turned into Liza Minelli, my musical theatre heart leapt out of its cage and did two laps around the track. Finally, something I understood. Clearly though, none of this criticism does anything scathing to the show as a whole because, frankly, it’s great. One serious thing I would say is that it is messily structured. It’s funny, but doesn’t have a clear direction or plotline. I want to hate Morgan because she’s middle class and her parents own a huge oil painting of her face (or is that a joke?). But she already laughs at herself for this, and has so much charm that I find myself forced to like her. It’s a hard life.


Claire Louise Richardson

at 10:44 on 6th Aug 2017



Seven Crazy Bitches is a journey through the ‘seven ages of woman’ via a curious take on Shakespeare’s ‘Seven Ages of Man’ in ‘As You Like It.’ This version is interspersed with stand-up cabaret, and sets out with a warning for strong language and really bad wigs. Seven wigs were displayed on stage when the audience entered the theatre, ready and waiting to create seven different personas, or ‘ages of women.’ However, this play was more about the musical personas than the ages of female development. To be honest, ‘Seven Crazy Bitches’ should stick with the cabaret, which was outstanding, because the plot was weak and there was a confused sense of direction.

The play is centred upon two characters; the leading lady the Diva, and her male accomplice, seen as Shakespeare, who is described to us by the Diva as ‘basically here to represent the patriarchy so I can put you in a box and shout at you.’ He is forced to sit in his cardboard box in a corner, play the piano and wear a Shakespeare wig for the entirety of the play. From the start, the characters’ tense relationship and the statement that they were ‘trying to make the diva on a bad budget happen’ show that the two are not trying to be taken seriously. They know this is a small, quirky performance and they are, and should be, proud of this. Nevertheless, when Shakespeare piped up midway, ‘so we’ve done stage one and stage two, and I’m not entirely sure what we’ve learned about women,’ I had to check my watch and agree. He is my preferred character, as a constant provider of this jarring and cheeky sense of realism, heckling his own show without pushing it too far.

At the start of the whole performance the audience are told that, above all, the play would discuss what a woman is supposed to be in 2017. Justin Bieber is somehow the face of the Shakespeare section that fades into nothing after the first five minutes, despite its claim to the show’s title. I somewhat lost faith at the statement ‘women are getting enough opportunities, aren’t they?’ and the constant references to women as ‘crazy’ and ‘bitches’ – statements of defiance like ‘we’ll hump your leg.’ I personally do not find this aggressive attitude to feminism liberating, but slightly degrading, although some of the sketches are funny. What were they trying to say about women and what exactly was their interpretation of feminism? It was not clear, and so instead we learnt more about the characters’ musical interests and knowledge, particularly so of the lives and careers of Cher and Prince, which was very enjoyable. Overall, I was disappointed, because I thought that the concept had a lot of potential. They had invested in the wrong genre, because their musical themes and cabaret were sensational. The friction that the characters created was exciting, and some of the jokes brought laughter, but I felt that the script needed some modification to redirect this representation of the female image.


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