Review: Warm, moving and funny tale of washhouse women a joy to watch

Thirty years on and The Steamie still fills theatres.

Not just with people, although it was a packed house at His Majesty’s last night.

It fills them with gales of laughter, with a touch of sadness, with clever, funny and moving songs.

Which is why three decades since he first penned it, Tony Roper’s love letter to the hard-working women of a bygone era is a classic.

And don’t mistake this for a nostalgia piece. We all know the four women who inhabit that stage – or women like them – which is the genius of the piece.

And as they play out Hogmanay in a Glasgow washhouse in 1950, their stories are still relevant and still sidesplittingly funny, as set pieces of comedy give way to bluesy song, all washed over with a warmth that leaves audiences smiling.

The ensemble cast work their way through a dizzying whirlwhind of words, gags, and moments of pathos with a skill that makes you believe in the characters and their lives.

This 30th anniversary tour is directed by Tony himself and it has a freshness and vitality which is a joy to watch. And no doubt we still will be for decades to come.

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