Mrs Barbara Nice: Hiya And Higher

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Thank you, Mrs Barbara Nice, for making my day. I arrived at the show feeling very tired and grumpy, and with no expectations, having never seen Janice Connolly’s character before.

Then the lovely Mrs Nice bustled in, chatting away, and explaining that she had turned off the air conditioning because of that ‘global warning’, but had opened the windows for a nice breeze. She reminded me of my great aunt, in 1975.

In this age of comedians tackling huge global issues, Mrs Nice tells us about making her husband his supper when, realising she has run out of gravy granules, pops out to the shops. There, she had the chance to say ‘hiya’ to Mrs Carr down the road, for the first time since she moved in years ago.

And that’s what the show’s about: seizing the opportunity to say ‘hiya’ to the neighbours, or anyone else for that matter. As you would on ‘that MyFace’, but in person. It’s about making connections that will take you to a higher level of happiness.

It works, too. By the end, even the most reserved of us (me) are dying to be included in her little social experiment. I am leaning forward in my seat giggling and singing at the top of my voice. She has missed her calling as a Pentecostal church leader. I feel as if I have made 50 new friends in the audience as we all hurry outside for her finale.

This show was not just uplifting, warm and funny. It made me think about how we hide behind our computers and socially exclude ourselves. I think about how I would rather text or email than chat in the street, such is the way of the 21st Century.

I am going to follow Mrs Barbara Nice’s advice. If a strange woman says ‘hiya’ to you, it is probably me.
I don’t remember the last time I felt like skipping home like this.

Reviewed by: Rosie Carnahan

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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