What was the last book you read? Perhaps it was a romance? Or a comedy? And maybe you discussed it with friends? That’s exactly what Amanda Muggleton did at the opening night of her hilarious hit show ‘The Book Club’. For ninety minutes we were all Amanda’s friends.
Amanda Muggleton is well known in the UK for her television work, she played Chrissie Lathem in ”Prisoner Cell Block H”, but she is perhaps better known in Australia for her long and successful career on the stage. She’s been performing ‘The Book Club’ on and off since 1999, but this is the first time she’s brought it to London.
‘The Book Club’ is a one-woman show, written by Roger Hall, that originally lasted two and a half hours, but has been adapted to a more enjoyable ninety minutes. Amanda Muggleton plays ‘Deborah’, a bored housewife who joins a local book club, where, over wine and dessert, a group of women discuss popular novels. Eventually Deborah’s life begins to mirror the title character of one of the books.
Amanda plays all of the characters; the women in the book club, her husband and even a baby! She has different accents and characteristics for each of them and the whole ninety minutes is full of genuine comedy that just comes across so easily.
What really elevates this show is Amanda herself, you don’t feel for one second that you are watching a performance, it’s all so incredibly natural, as if you are in the room chatting with all these great characters. Somehow, Amanda managed to engage with every member of the audience, whether it be a knowing glance, a touch of the shoulder or sharing a laugh. Every single person there will have felt like they were one of the few invited guests at Amanda’s very own ‘Book Club’. Her warmth and sense of humor reached out, literally, from the stage and into the audience.
‘The Book Club’ is one of those rare shows that doesn’t have to try to be wonderful, it just simply is. London should feel very privileged that ‘The Book Club’ has chosen to run here and audiences should grasp the opportunity to see a true character actress perform.