Rumpy Pumpy – Landor Theatre

Rumpy Pumpy at The Kings Head TheatreCan the perfect brothel exist? Rumpy Pumpy is the true story of two Women’s Institute workers who set out on a mission around the world, to find out how to create the perfect safe environment for working girls to be in. But can they get the rest of the WI to agree that prostitution should be decriminalised or will they alienate themselves from the group?

With lyrics like “Boobs, Tubes, Jellies and Lubes, all do the trick if the problems a prick”, this comedy musical is a good attempt at being funny but it crosses the line and becomes cringeworthy. Other songs included Rumpy Pumpy and Rumpy Pumpy Pumpy Pumpy Pumpy, going to show that a little help with the song writing could have been worthwhile. At the beginning of act 2 there were a couple of good songs, leading me to think I was watching a completely different show and things could be looking up. I felt like Velma Kelly in Chicago saying “the first part can always be rewritten” but sadly after Wouldn’t It Be Nice and My Nemesis, things went back downhill.

Mandi Symonds was good as brothel owner Holly Spencer. Her powerful voice was overpowering and quite shouty at times but on the whole her performance was good. Scarlett Courtney and Joanne Sandi also stood out for having good voices. Musical Director Tom Marlow did a good job with the material he had to play and kept the show alive.

Rumpy Pumpy is like an unrehearsed, am-dram read-through, with stuttered lines and not much to look at. The set is non-existent. A black box with five chairs and a black phone stuck to the wall. For a show about a brothel, a set could have been easily thrown together with red curtains and some pictures on the wall but no effort has been made for this production at all.

It is funny in places and a bit of fun, but a professional musical it isn’t. With some heavy rewrites, more rehearsal time and some form of an actual set, Rumpy Pumpy could be passable show. It was so bad that I quite liked it but if that’s what rumpy pumpy is all about then I’m going celibate.

Reviewed by West End Wilma 

Rumpy Pumpy is playing at the Landor Theatre until 19 April 2015. Click here for tickets