Three Menopausal Maids get ready for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019
Flushed with the success of their 2018 sell-out stint at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Three Menopausal Maids are preparing to hit the Scottish arts festival once again with a brand-new show.
Sue Last, Carol Parradine and Lesley-Anne Webb have developed a fresh set of comedy sketches for their 2019 Fringe offering, but some popular characters from their debut show will return with new storylines.
Satsumaruma - the 80s girlband who are determined to make their comeback - return this year, along with middle-aged fairytale princesses Snow White, Belle and Jasmine who show audiences what really happens after 'happily ever after'.
Last year's spell at The Fringe marked the trio's first time at the festival, and their main aim was to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the learning curve.
And enjoy it they did. The maids gave out flyers for their show while dressed in their princess costumes. Although they did need to tell a few eager parents that their show was not entirely suitable for young children, they had a lot of fun posing for photographs with families and groups enjoying their stag dos and hen parties.
Although the trip started out as a bucket-list experience, by the end the Menopausal Maids had realised that they were on to something great.
"We sold out all performances, which we really didn't expect," said Sue, who was part of the recent BBC Two show Race Across the World.
While they are called the Three Menopausal Maids, their show is not dedicated to bashing the menopause - it is referenced from time to time, but is by no means the sole focus. Sue, Carol and Lesley-Anne wanted to create some light-relief that everyone could enjoy.
"Quite often, we could hear the men laughing louder than the women," said Carol.
This time around, the Three Menopausal Maids will put on more of the same, but they are going with another goal. They hope to someday make a living out of their comedy show and performing at Edinburgh is an investment - an opportunity to grow their show, forge useful contacts and attract a wider fanbase.
More locally, the Bishop's Stortford trio have cultivated a loyal following. Their next local performance will be at Bolford Hall in Thaxted on Saturday, May 11 and tickets are selling like hot cakes.
The show will be an hour-and-a-half long and will feature 13 comedy sketches, including some new material that the maids cannot squeeze in to their Edinburgh Fringe set.
All profits from this performance will go to cover some of the group's costs which have been incurred by bringing the show to Edinburgh again. It will cost £2,500 for the troupe to hire their venue, theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, for two-weeks between August 12 and 24.
They also have to pay registration fees and public liability and employers liability insurance, before they even think about their living costs in the Scottish capital for two weeks.
But the triad have a few tricks up their sleeve. They recently did a sell-out show at the Canal Café Theatre in London, and they have approached Cambridge Junction and Omnibus Theatre in Clapham, to ask if those venues will include them in their respective Edinburgh Festival preview season.
All money raised during these shows will be put towards the Fringe fund, and they are also planning a community money spinner with a twist, which will be announced nearer the time.
* Tickets to the Three Menopausal Maids' show in Thaxted cost £10 and are available by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about the Menopausal Maids, visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Three-Menopausal-Maids-1580652185411972/ and to book tickets to one of their Edinburgh shows, visit: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/three-menopausal-maids