Irrelevant ★★★ Seven Dials Playhouse | January 9 - 28, 2023

Who doesn't love Hollywood gossip? Well, Millie Grable knows lots of juicy tidbits about Tinseltown in its golden age. Millie started out to be an actress, she attended RADA with Vivien Leigh and she aspired to be a theatrical artist. However, destiny intervenes and she ends up being an agent and managing other people's careers. In this alcohol fuelled monologue, we learn about her struggles, her disappointments and her moment of transformation into the talent-brokering uber-bitch she is today. It's all a lot of fun, and with this name-dropping diva, Keith Merrill has created a wonderfully over-the-top personality. It's a part that invites an actor to pull out all the stops, and Debbie Chazen takes it on with relish. Her Millie has a bit of Margo Channing, a dollop of Norma Desmond and maybe a soupçon of Martha from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Unfortunately, because Millie's persona is so recognisable and because we only have her perspective on events, the audience's sympathy isn't sufficiently engaged to make a melodramatic ending resonate. It all seemed to fall a little flat. Nevertheless, for an encounter with a delightfully catty character and a peak into that world of celebrity gossip that we all pretend not to care about, Irrelevant is worth a visit.

Rated ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Tristram Kenton.

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