Having recently overheard a teenage girl on a train declare that “leopard print is a state of mind”, this Stephen Nicolazzo-directed production of Charles Busch's beach-based B-movie-esque and its furry furnishings (courtesy of Owen Philips' design) embody the statement. Draped top to bottom in faux fur but too flamboyant to be camouflaged, the order is for prize-winning smiles, big acting and plenty of song and dance.
Ash Flanders seems to delight in the multifaceted role of Florence 'Chicklet' Forrest, as triggers turn her from saccharine sweet teen to mad dominatrix in a believable display of split personalities. Even with his heroic efforts, the rest of the cast offer just as much – Amanda McGregor is the epitome of terrifying housewife glamour; beach boys Paul Blenheim, Kevin Kiernan Molloy, Tom Dent, and Peter Paltos have all the necessary tongue in cheek bravado; and Genevieve Giuffre threatens to steal the show with her hilarious performance as Chicklet's nerdy, excitable sidekick, Berdine, who earns plenty of laughs with a masticated lisp.
While a wonderfully sassy and shamelessly tacky summer romp it may be, it does not quite reach the heights (low culture can get there!) that Nicolazzo's previous work as a director has hinted at.