Review: Jumpy, by April De Angelis, Upfront Productions, Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich, until November 5

Jayne Lindill as Hilary; Ellie Netzel as Tilly in Jumpy staged by Upfront Productions at the Sir Joh

Jayne Lindill as Hilary; Ellie Netzel as Tilly in Jumpy staged by Upfront Productions at the Sir John Mills Theatre - Credit: Archant

Upfront Productions presents a “Jumpy”, a very nifty and acclaimed comedy about mothers, daughters and being 50.

Lesley Rawlinson as Frances; Martin Leigh as Roland in Jumpy staged by Upfront Productions at the Si

Lesley Rawlinson as Frances; Martin Leigh as Roland in Jumpy staged by Upfront Productions at the Sir John Mills Theatre - Credit: Archant

Poor Hillary, the put-upon mum, is really put through the mill in this very witty play. She is 50, her daughter, Tilly, doesn’t seem to listen to a word she says (on purpose) and is going off the rails; her best friend is just going off the rails and her husband is, well, just sitting on the fence. But never fear. A glass of wine seems to be at hand as every crisis unfolds.

As a play, it is clear that behind the laughs – and there are many of them – this is an insightful look at how a generation of women that saw it as their mission to do things differently are now making their own mistakes.

There is some fantastic character work here and the dynamic between the actors is sharp and pacey. Hilary (Jayne Lindill) especially handles both the pathos and one liners really well. Her relationships with the men in her life: husband Mark (Phil Cory) and Roland (Martin Leigh) are contrasted strongly, allowing different facets of Hillary’s personality to subtly come through. Careful direction allows the “episodic” nature of the play to not hinder the rhythm of the piece and the fact each character develops thoughtfully- even Tilly (Ellie Netzel)- who is stroppiness personified.

Hillary doesn’t realise that her beliefs about feminism and politics sound to Tilly as didactic and uninspiring as her own mother’s neurosis. It is here the play does, remarkably, feel at bit dated – even though it was written in 2012. There is a large new wave of young women online discussing feminism and activism that the likes of Tilly would have no doubt been exposed to. And Facebook, although mentioned, is just the tip of the app iceberg for teenagers these days.

Ben Maytham as Cam; Jayne Lindill as Hilary in Jumpy staged by Upfront Productions at the Sir John M

Ben Maytham as Cam; Jayne Lindill as Hilary in Jumpy staged by Upfront Productions at the Sir John Mills Theatre - Credit: Archant

This is a super production that is highly enjoyable with many laugh out loud moments. 50 looks quite fun!

Jackie Montague

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