Who's Holiday

Review: Who’s Holiday, Southwark Playhouse

Review: Who’s Holiday, Southwark Playhouse

A show that’s meant to leave you feeling fuzzy and warm and slightly “awwwwwww.” And it does.


Dr Seuss’s fans, listen up – Cindy Lou Who is in town. Just out of prison after her failed marriage with Grinch. And that’s not a joke – and yet it is – that’s the plot of Who’s Holiday starring a drag superstar Miz Cracker.  

There are adult jokes aplenty – to put it very mildly, as the entire show is based on what is basically a single joke repeated in many variations: the cute, adorable, innocent Cindy Lou Who is telling the story of her life which took an unexpectedly nasty turn. She got knocked up by Grinch, subsequently married him and ended up in prison estranged from all friends and family. She is now back attempting to throw a Christmas party but naturally, no one is keen on hanging out with an ex-inmate. The writing itself (by Matthew Lombardo) is formally excellent indeed: in Seussian rhyme, with lots of attention to details, narrative and rhythmical, it also, unfortunately, proves to be the show’s biggest flaw. There are barely any changes in tempo or rhythm whatsoever and the joke funny as it is, gets old fairly quickly. Nursery rhyme style – so curated almost sterile – makes it rather difficult for the audience to become really hooked on the plot or sympathetic towards Cindy and the horrible mishaps of her life with Grinch. There are also a couple of jokes that perhaps shouldn’t have made the final script – chiefly comparing the horrible marriage between Cindy and Grinch to an interracial relationship. 

Miz Cracker is fantastic throughout – articulate and classy, and absolutely hilarious. Strutting the stage in a sky-high blonde bouffant and pastel attire, she has flawless comedic timing and a great ability to make all asides seem completely natural. Obviously a born entertainer, she keeps the pace and adds just the right amount of sugar and camp to the mix.  

There’s no real moral or Christmassy message to the show – it is meant to leave you feeling fuzzy and warm and slightly “awwwwwww.” And it does.  

Southwark Playhouse, until 7 January

Image: Mark Senior