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Angus, Thongs and Even More Snogging review at West Yorkshire Playhouse Leeds

Louise Rennison’s witty, well-observed tales of teenage life make a winning transition to the stage care of Ryan McBryde’s lively production.

Rennison’s view of adolescence is, admittedly, a rose-tinted one, free of school bullying and the casual cruelty of the playground – the biggest dilemma that her protagonist Georgia Nicolson ever faces is whether to go out with Robbie, the hunky lead singer of the Stiff Dylans, or with Massimo, the Italian sex god. But this is kind of the point – this is an affectionate, warm-hearted look at the world of the teenage girl from someone who understands them and there are plenty of laughs to be had as Georgia gets to grips with the mysteries of “boy-dom” and frets about her ranking on the snog-o-meter.

Though the production feels overly episodic at times, it’s studded with funny moments – the flirtation between two of Georgia’s teachers provides a sweet subplot and the musical numbers are great fun – and seems well pitched towards its target audience, with plenty to entertain both the tweenage contingent and their parents.

Naomi Petersen, making her professional stage debut as Georgia, is the perfect everygirl, likeable and self-deprecating if a little ditzy. The ensemble cast work well together and Emily Houghton is particularly good value as the boisterous Rosie. Lewis Rainer is suitably endearing as Dave the Laugh, the boy who harbours a bit of a crush on Georgia, not that she notices. The eponymous Angus – the vast randy tomcat of whom Georgia is so fond – is even on hand in suitably furry form, as supplied by puppet-makers, Blind Summit.

Production Information

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, February 11-March 3

Authors
Louise Rennison, Mark Catley
Director
Ryan McBryde
Producers
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Micklelou
Cast includes
Naomi Petersen, Emily Houghton, Lewis Rainer, George Potts, Leon Scott, Mabel Clements, Margaret Cabourn-Smith
Running time
2hrs 30mins

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