Mrs Brown’s Boys performing D’Musical at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Sunday 21st April 2019

Review by Kevin Cooper

There was no better way to spend a sunny Easter Sunday afternoon than with Mrs Brown and her family at the Motorpoint Arena and judging by the size of the crowd, quite a few people agreed.

Whether you like the TV show or not, what is not in dispute is that Brendan O’Carroll is a very clever writer and was born to entertain. And judging from this audience there was absolutely no doubting the huge popular appeal of his sweary, Irish mammy, Agnes Brown who with his undeniably excellent comic timing and great word play one liners, had the audience laughing from the off.

The plot for this tour continues on from D’Movie in which the Moore Street stall holders won their court case against developers who wished to develop the market but are faced with a legal bill of seventy five thousand euros and with no means to pay it.

So a plan is hatched to put on a musical to raise some cash, and whilst the plot was not the strongest, what draws the audience in is how even the cast, which includes many of his immediate family members, are seemingly unable to stop themselves from collapsing in laughter at O’Carroll’s rapid fire jokes.

Of course, putting on a musical means that there has to be singing, and there is plenty of that. Dermot O’Neill as Grandad Brown gets out of his chair to lead an entertaining boy versus girls mash up about a woman’s place being in the kitchen, whilst Danny O’Carroll (Buster), Martin Delany (Trevor) and Paddy Houlihan’s (Dermot) audition song raised several laughs, and as Cathy Brown, Jennifer Gibney’s husky delivery of I Want To Be Seduced comes very close to stealing the show.

Amongst the laughs there is a poignant subplot that explores Mrs Brown’s relationship with her neighbour Winnie, who has a breast cancer scare, that included none of the usual ‘fecks’ but plenty of tea and sympathy as Winnie misuses words ridiculously to lighten the mood.

With huge side screens that take the audience right into Mrs Brown’s lounge and kitchen, the audience doesn’t miss a thing. And when Mrs Brown ad-libs at the expense of the other cast members, the audience just laps it up.

Of course the musical saves the day as more than sufficient cash is raised, showing that if families stick together, anything is attainable. And that family commitment extends itself to O’Carroll’s own family as he brings his grandchildren on to the stage at the end of the show, much to the delight of the audience.