Review: 50 Shades of Red, White & Blue at the Forum

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It warned that it wasn’t for the faint hearted - and that was certainly true, Claire Allan writes.

But ‘50 Shades of Red, White and Blue’ - the Belfast based parody of the bestselling ‘50 Shades of Grey’ series is about so much more than the shock factor.

There is no escaping that this is primarily, and unashamedly a bawdy comedy. It follows the adventures of Maggie Muff and her love affair with the mysterious ‘man from the dole’ - Mr White - who she dubs ‘Mr Red White and Blue’.

Following the themes of the original book this is a look at the world of dominance and bondage. But there in the similarity ends.

This is exceptionally, intentionally funny - and indeed the crowds laughed from start to end of this remarkable production. The language is crude at times - but not overly so - and the sharp quips of Maggie keep the play moving at a quick pace.

But underneath the sex jokes and caricatures of the Belfast benefit claiming class is a drama which really does pack a punch.

Indeed as the play questions where you draw the line between consensual sexual experimentation and abuse, the tone of the show changes quickly - and the emotion displayed on stage in truly gut- wrenching.

But fear not - this is entertainment and theatre goers can be sure of a happy ending for our Maggie. While credit must naturally go to Belfast writer Leesa Harker - the person who brings this play, and its cast of sometimes questionable characters to life is actress Caroline Curran.

She moves deftly and impressively from one persona to the next. While she is the only actress ever on stage in this production - you never lose track of who is talking.

Curran takes the role of Maggie Muff - and her friends - and makes it, unquestionably, her own. She really makes you feel as if you have gone on a helluva journey with her - and you’d love to have a drink with her down the local shebeen.I’ll be back the next time Maggie comes to Derry.