Sheffield University Theatre Company’s Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche – 21 February 2024, Sheffield University Drama Studio

Review by Claire Taranaski.

I seem to be having a fifties themed February, from Home, I’m Darling at the theatre last week to probably being one of the last to discover the Marvelous Mrs Maisel on television and, confirming that all good things come in three, SUTCO’s Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche, one of my favourite productions I have seen from the company in recent years.

This is the second production in SUTCO’s 2013/14 season that has involved audience interaction and the company is just getting better and better at it, with the audience acting as the remaining 55 “widows” who make up the membership of The Susan B. Anthony Society For The Sisters of Gertrude Stein for their annual quiche breakfast. Everyone gets name badges on arrival (I was Velma) and if your name tag reads “Marjorie” be prepared. This included some delightful audience interactions between Shruti Deshpande as Dale Prist and Caitlin Wood as Veronica Schultz before the show had even started and quickly developed to some unexpected audience declarations.

The two highlights for me in this side-splitting whilst thought provoking show where the obvious one of when Max Preston as Ginny Cadbury finally get to taste the quiche (think of the most famous scene from American Pie) and Shruti’s monologue about what happened when they were three and their impersonation of their father’s accent.

However all of the five performers, which also included Maple Baker as Lulie Stanwyck (I would be terrified if you were the president of any committee I was a member of) and Becky Guess as Wren Robin were of a superb standard, and they all could easily take this show on tour. There closeness as a cast could clearly be seen by both their energy on stage and beautiful harmonies whilst singing the S.B.A.S.S.G.S. anthem, whilst all capturing the essence of being middle class women in 1950s America hiding a secret whilst celebrating a shared appreciation of eggs.

Off stage I must praise Phoebe Cookson for her superb directing, Phil Saxby and Pary Amin for their sound and lighting (you made me jump when the atomic bomb dropped even if I was expecting it). Ella Hulford and Pary for capturing the looks of the period in the hair, make up and costumes and whoever provided the quiches and painted the interesting portrait of Gertrude Stein.

During LGBTQ+ History Month SUTCO should also be praised for putting on an incredible comedy that will appeal to everyone with an entirely female, trans+ and non-binary cast, crew and production team. I only wish the show had been longer.

Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche is a show I could watch over and over again and, unlike according to the programme the mainly quiche hating company, make me crave quiche.

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