If you’re already starting to feel like a bit of a Grinch this festive season, then spare a thought for Cindy Lou Who. The pyjama clad toddler is all grown up now, and in Matthew Lombardo’s Who’s Holiday, we find out that life didn’t exactly go to plan for Cindy Lou after getting screwed (metaphorically and literally) by the green-furred stealer of Christmas.
This sixty-minute, one-person show is most definitely in the style of Dr. Seuss, but don’t even think about bringing the kids along. The hard-drinking, drug guzzling Cindy Lou Who (Miz Cracker) is preparing her brightly coloured one room trailer park home for a Christmas party, but the question is will anyone turn up?
Directed by Kirk Jameson, Who’s Holiday starts off as a laugh a minute romp, as Cindy Lou brings us up to speed on the plans for the evening and gets the audience in the mood with some lighthearted ribbing. But it doesn’t take long for us to realise that Cindy Lou has had things tough, and suddenly we veer into a heartwarming underdog comes good Christmas story.
That isn’t to say this is a depressing show, quite the opposite; for the most part it’s truly hilarious as Cindy Lou comes out with the most outrageous of lines, all in Dr. Seuss’s trademark rhyming couplets. If the show had been any longer these might have become a little tiresome, but as it was the delivery felt very natural.
Who’s Holiday has become a bit of perennial favourite in the US, with stars like Lesli Margherita taking on the role of Cindy Lou. For this UK premiere, it’s Ru Paul’s Drag Race star Miz Cracker that takes to the stage. In a superbly endearing performance, Miz Cracker connects wholly with the audience, and along with a couple of songs, performs the entire monologue without missing a beat.
Justin Williams’ set design is gloriously Christmassy and looks like it’s been lifted straight out of the pages of a Dr. Seuss book, matching Kirk Jameson’s playful direction that sees this solo performance fill the whole stage of Southwark Playhouse’s large space. The whole thing is surprisingly enjoyable, and presents a real alternative to a more traditional Christmas show.
Sometimes the most endearing Christmas tales can be found in the unlikeliest of places, but it was clear to see from the smiles and the grins on the audience’s faces, Who’s Holiday is a Christmas hit, thanks to the one who’s hair’s caked in lacquer; the delightfully talented New York drag queen, by the name of Miz Cracker.
Who’s Holiday is at Southwark Playhouse until 7th January 2023.