Edinburgh Fringe 2017
The show is set on Derwent Island in Cumbria. You will visit the house to meet Kirsty Bird the falconry expert running a pop up falconry cafe, Edith Lavender, a freelance Nana, Listen to Marion Ette’s radio show live from the toy room, get your genetic DNA from Greta Grunhouse, and hear Joy Hope, the darkly twisted children’s author and illustrator.
Jane Postlethwaite has created a series of caricatures of Northern characters in The House. The show is well planned with videos by Kenneth and costume changes that are exaggerations of people we hope we never meet in real life. The writing is good and the wit razor sharp. We are introduced to the house on Derwent Island and told we will get a lovely cup of tea. Postlethwaite shakes everyone’s hand in the audience and welcomes them. “My name is Edith Lavender,” she tells us. “I am the nana of the house.” She tells us there are brownies in the house who come out at night and do good deeds. “They are terrifying,” she says.
We discover that she is a free lance nana with a lot of love to give. “On the second Sunday of the month, I give Kenneth a hot bath. It’s his favorite time of the month.”
The video of the toy room is actually a crime scene and Postlethwaite comes on stage in a green net skirt to welcome the audience into this part of the house “Today is very exciting because we’ve had a live murder,” she tells us.
And so this satirical picture of Northern characters continues. The commentary is always choice. Greta Grunhouse, a hematologist tells us she was born in a test tube and “There is lots of money going around and I can experiment with animals and play around with plants.”
The audience becomes part of the production as well and Postlethwaite calls them up on stage throughout the show. Kersty Bird is a falconer in the Falconer Café and she tells us “Watch yourself if you ordered a cake. The birds are addicted to sugar.”
The show moves along with Postlethwaite changing costumes for each character we meet. All her people are twisted pictures of celebrities we see on TV or read about in the news . Joy Hope is in the library of the house and explains that she is writing murder mysteries for children. “I am an only child and you have to have hobbies. Mine is blackmail.”
Do not expect anything deep from this hour. It is amusing, and frothy with lots of laughs. Postlethwaite’s acting abilities are immense and her personality carries us through the various sketches she has created. If you want an hour of sheer nonsense and a lot of laughs The House is the show for you.