Miz Cracker in Who’s Holiday at Southwark Playhouse
Who’s Holiday is a new (to the UK) take on the Grinch and Cindy Lou. We meet Cindy Lou, played by Miz Cracker several years since we last saw her in The Grinch. In our last meeting of Cindy- Lou she was 2 years old but she has now grown up and a lot has happened to her in the interim period.
The concept of turning a well know story or characters on its head is a well trodden one and frankly one I adore, combing this with a drag queen and some adult humour means there is a lot of possibility. Who’s Holiday sees Cindy-Lou preparing her trailer for her Christmas gathering and whilst she does she she fills the audience in with her life since we last met her. We soon learn that whilst Cindy-Lou seems chipper she has had it hard including stint in prison, estranged family and a troublesome love life. Due to Cindy-Lou’s troubled past the show flicks between the frivolous and fun to the more sombre very quickly but it seems to work well and means that the show has a bit of depth to it.
The show itself is told entirely in rhyme, very much in the style of Dr Seuss. Whilst this was an impressive feat of writing by Matthew Lombardo and delivery by Miz Cracker it did mean that at times the expression and energy was a bit limited. There were times that I would have liked to have seen some more off the cuff remarks but the rhyming format of the show meant that this was curtailed and possibly that some of the comedy was left unexplored due to the writing limitations. The portrayal of Cindy-Lou by a drag queen was also under utilised and it seemed as if a cis female playing the role could deliver the lines without many (if any) changes to the dialogue. I would have therefore loved to have seen some more drag references to help contextualise Miz Cracker in the role.
The set by Justin Williams was very well designed with the style of the trailer mimicking how Whoville is portrayed with its pastel pinks and blues but contrasted with crack pipes on the table and empty alcohol bottles and sums up the idea of the show in a simple image.
Overall Who’s Holiday is a quirky take on the Grinch which means that you may never be able to watch this Christmas movie in quite the same way again but still requires some tweaking to have quite the same impact as its source material.
Who’s Holiday is playing at Southwark Playhouse until 7th January 2023. You can find out more and book tickets here.