‘Is that too hot?’ – is a question we’re all too used to hearing at the hairdressers as scalding hot water nearly scalps us. But amongst piling final demand bills, Vajazzle’s gone wrong and a shotgun wedding, the West Belfast family from hit play I’ll Tell My Ma are the ones finding themselves in hot water, once again.

The local hairdressers is a well-known hub of the community – where everyone knows everyone’s business and the world can be put to rights over a cup of tea and a quick blow dry. However, for salon owner Olive (Roisin Gallagher), she’s going to need more than a cup of tea and an economy sized ‘Prosecc-ky’ to solve the salon’s overwhelming debt. With help or not so much help from her trainee Jolene and customer’s Chelsea Marie, Granny Eileen and Mrs Hughes (all played by Christina Nelson), Olive prepares to shut up shop unless she can somehow pay three months’ rent – and sharpish.

Over two hours, we meet three very regulars of the ‘Buns R Us’ salon – Jolene, a selfie-obsessed trainee, Granny Eileen who is keen for her wash and set for her bus day trip and Mrs Hughes – a North Down aristocrat who just so happens to be a fan of bouffant bun hairstyles, the salon’s speciality.

The one final demand Olive can meet, of course, is that of Chelsea Marie – who requests hair, make up and all the works for her aviation themed wedding, a day before Olive is due to be evicted.

In a dramatic and ecstatic turn of events, Mrs Hughes passes away and leaves her vast fortune to Olive, commending her for being a pillar of the local community – as long as she considers changing the salon name. Exiting the stage with Chelsea Marie in her Katie Price prom style wedding dress and a budget bottle of Bottega, Olive manages to keep herself a float for a little while longer.

Written by Patricia Gormley, Is That Too Hot is the sequel play to I’ll Tell My Ma, with similar much loved local humour and of course, the same endearing characters we met a year ago. A timely play of a down on her luck business owner with a looming ‘Hard Breakfast’ (Brexit) who receives support from her clientele and local community just in time, is some much-needed fast-relief for a Friday night in Belfast after a long working week.

Performing in The Mac up until the 10th February, this second instalment is unmissable, and if you’re a fan of belly laughs from local talent – unavoidable.

To buy tickets for Is It Too Hot click the below link.


Author: Anna Louise Crockard

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