Tag Archives: Kirk Jameson

Who's Holiday

Who’s Holiday


Southwark Playhouse Borough

WHO’S HOLIDAY at the Southwark Playhouse Borough


Who's Holiday

Fans of Miz Cracker will be thrilled with the highly personal nature of Who’s Holiday


Theatrical reimaginings of some of fiction’s greatest villains from the Wicked Witch of the West to the six wives of Henry VIII have become increasingly popular in the last few decades. So, naturally, why not do the same for Dr. Seuss’ Christmas-stealing Grinch as told by a grown-up Cindy-Lou Who, now a raunchy ex-con who couldn’t be more different than her sweetly hopeful younger self.

Matthew Lombardo’s Who’s Holiday puts a naughty spin on the popular Christmas tale as Cindy-Lou – played by Miz Cracker, a fan favourite from the tenth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race – regales the audience with the story of her tumultuous love affair with the cantankerous old Grinch whilst waiting for her friends to arrive at her holiday party.

The sixty-minute, one-woman show fully embraces the rhyming speech of Dr Seuss’ novels with many hilariously naughty pairings throughout. Directed by Kirk Jameson, Who’s Holiday treats its audience to an intimate chat with Cindy-Lou alongside audience participation and regular movement into the stands which is sure to delight any fan of the talented drag queen.

Miz Cracker does well to hold the audience’s attention throughout the performance and impressively does not err once during the show’s extensive monologue nor a short rap number. She is however at her best when allowed to deviate from the script’s strict rhythm – her little asides to a reluctant participant brought on stage and her witty retorts to overexcited audience members being just some opportunities for her to display her fantastic humour. Brilliantly funny though these moments are, they, unfortunately, also leave the audience wishing that our star was permitted to have some more freedom with the script.

The plot is captivating enough but long sections of speech would perhaps be better received if broken up by other entertainment – it is a shame that there is only one musical number, for instance. Moreover, rather unexpectedly, our (anti)hero’s tale is largely tragic and an audience can expect to go ‘awh’ just as many times as one laughs. The tone is thus slightly confusing and though the play ends on a positive note it is hard to forget the depressing journey it takes to get there.

Successfully lifting the mood throughout however is Justin Williams’ gloriously sparkly set – the interior of Cindy-Lou’s beaten-up old trailer. A real highlight and appropriately festive. The only strange artistic choice is to not have a working door at the back of the stage to allow Miz Cracker to enter her own home – instead she is forced to come from stage left at the play’s opening and do a faux exit at the end.

The lighting (Kieron Johnson) brings a welcomed playfulness to the performance – a wonderful snowing effect in the play’s final scenes is particularly entrancing. The sound design (Mwen) is also strong and situates the audience right in Cindy-Lou’s kitchen from her phone ringing to Whoville locals pelting her door with snowballs.

Fans of Miz Cracker will be thrilled with the highly personal nature of Who’s Holiday and impartial viewers will be easily charmed by the queen’s natural stage presence. The confused and rigid script is however a significant let down and won’t leave most audience members feeling particularly festive at all.



Reviewed on 10th December 2022

by Flora Doble

Photography by Mark Senior



Previously reviewed at this venue:


The Woods | ★★★ | March 2022
Anyone Can Whistle | ★★★★ | April 2022
I Know I Know I Know | ★★★★ | April 2022
The Lion | ★★★ | May 2022
Evelyn | ★★★ | June 2022
Tasting Notes | ★★ | July 2022
The Prince | ★★★ | September 2022
Doctor Faustus | ★★★★★ | September 2022


Click here to read all our latest reviews


Marry Me A Little


Online | The Barn Theatre

Marry Me A Little

Marry Me A Little

Online via barntheatre.org.uk

Reviewed – 18th November 2020



“this exquisite production still bubbles with hope”


The year 2020 will be remembered, for many, as the year of outtakes. Our plans – and in some cases our hopes and dreams – strewn on the cutting room floor. It seems timely, then, to be reminded of the song-cycle, “Marry Me A Little”, which comprises, in the main, a collection of Stephen Sondheim numbers that were cut from some of his most noted shows – particularly ‘Follies’ and ‘A Little Night Music’. Sondheim was a master of the ‘could-have-been-should-have-been’ love song; a theme that pulses through this show and resonates all the more as we approach our own individual winter of discontent and isolation.

The two anonymous characters are alone, in their own New York apartments. Initially, it is not completely clear whether they are an estranged couple or merely strangers, but they both share a burning desire to reconnect somehow. The show could just as easily be titled ‘Two Fairy Tales’, the opening number which is sung with a melancholic optimism that sets the scene for the next sixty minutes. Devoid of any plot and dialogue, the show is carried by Rob Houchen and Celinde Schoenmaker who undeniably give real depth to a fairly narrow concept. The two beautiful voices on display lavish extra layers of meaning and poignancy onto the lyrics, while their harmonies unite their separation. While knowing little about them you do, in fact, care quite deeply.

Kirk Jameson’s production brings the narrative into the Tinder Age, the pair swiping texts and images on their phones as they sweep through the numbers. The split lives are neatly conveyed by the split set and split screen backdrop. But the focus is always on the music. Stripped back to just Arlene McNaught’s piano accompaniment the songs’ lyrical content is pushed centre stage and it is a pure delight to hear the richness of Sondheim’s libretto delivered with comparable splendour by Houchen and Schoenmaker. From the Jazz Age, innuendo laden, pastiche of ‘Can That Boy Foxtrot!’ and the yearning harmonies of ‘Who Could Be Blue?’ – both cut from “Follies”; through to the familiar ‘Marry Me A Little’ from “Company”; and the relatively unknown but hauntingly beautiful ‘The Girls of Summer’. The show packs in nearly twenty of Sondheim’s compositions in just one hour, closing with another number that never initially made the grade – the aptly titled ‘It Wasn’t Meant To Happen’ – steeped in yearning, regret and nostalgia.

A nostalgia that is sadly brought to the fore watching an online show of such a performance. Recorded with a socially distanced audience before the second lockdown, the sense of loss is unavoidable. Musical revues of this kind never fully translate to the small screen. “… The champagne was flat, the timing was wrong…” Sondheim’s closing lyrics tell us. Yet this exquisite production still bubbles with hope. Like this collection of songs that has eventually made it onto the stage, we too can all pick up the debris of this disastrous year and build something memorable.

In the meantime: “So what can you do on a Saturday night alone?” sing Houchen and Schoenmaker early on in the show. And straight away you know the answer.


Reviewed by Jonathan Evans

Photography by Eve Dunlop


Marry Me A Little

Online via barntheatre.org.uk from 19th to 22nd November


Recently reviewed by Jonathan:
Henry V | ★★★★ | The Maltings | August 2020
St Anne Comes Home | ★★★★ | St Paul’s Church Covent Garden | August 2020
A Hero Of Our Time | ★★★★ | Stone Nest | September 2020
Buyer and Cellar | ★★★★ | Above the Stag | October 2020
The Great Gatsby | ★★★★★ | Immersive LDN | October 2020
The Last Five Years | ★★★★★ | Southwark Playhouse | October 2020
The Off Key | ★★★ | White Bear Theatre | October 2020
What a Carve Up! | ★★★★★ | Online | October 2020
Little Wars | ★★★★ | Online | October 2020
Right Left With Heels | ★★★★ | Online | November 2020


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