Review: Beth Vyse as Olive Hands: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle at Monkey Barrel

When you arrive at Monkey Barrel, prepare to leave the ease of reality and enter the madness of daytime television.

Beth Vyse’s creation, Olive Hands, is a daytime TV presenter frantically attempting to make her grand return following the birth of her son and reclaim her status as Britain’s “number two in the morning”.

What follows is an hour of absurdity and chaos, ranging from a grown man (not a cast member) face-painted as a leopard crawling on all fours and growling at a baby (a cast member), to an apparition of David Jason giving Hands a motivational talk, all beautifully pieced together to produce a show that makes even the weirdest Jeremy Kyle arc seem tame.

The show cleverly pokes fun at the silliness of daytime TV and the stories it presents, all the while topping them exponentially. It also explores the hardships of being a new mother and twists them into jokes ranging from the top of the wholesome scale all the way down to the deep, dark depths. You’re even taught how to make your own sanitary towel slippers.

Vyse puts in a hilariously shameless performance that will leave you aghast in all the right ways. Full of self-aware humour and moronic hand puns, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle has all the makings to be a cult classic and is a must-see for anyone who wants to question their sanity for an hour.

Beth Vyse as Olive Hands: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Monkey Barrel, 16-26 Aug, 3.45pm


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