Wag! The Musical (starring former Wag Lizzie Cundy) is showing at the Charing Cross Theatre this summer. Is it worth watching? Will Gore went along to find out...
Going to the theatre is something I do fairly regularly and usually with great enthusiasm. I also usually go with someone. Nothing strange there. Who wants to be sat on their own in a dark auditorium looking like a wrist shaker in a Soho cinema?
This week, though, I risked a few desultory looks from the ushers by heading to the Charing Cross Theatre on my tod to catch Wag! The Musical.
On its own, the prospect of a musical about Wags was a grim one, and that extraneous exclamation mark in the title did nothing to allay my fears. The fact the show had also received a savaging from the critics helped me make up my mind. I wouldn't be risking any of my friendships by asking a mate to join me for the evening.
The reviews included such choice insults as "shoddily empty headed", "an iceberg of terrible", and "a dreary experience that makes you want to gnaw your fingers to the bone".
Of course, you should never pre-judge anything in life, and I swear on my dead dog's life that I entered the theatre with an open mind. Turns out, though, that all those reviewers weren't wrong.
There's probably no need for me to join in with the mauling, but what the hell. Wag! The Musical is every bit as terrible as I had been led to believe, featuring dreary songs, one dimensional characters, casual racism, enthusiastic misogyny (including jokes about a woman's need for a tight vagina) and plotting so simplistic, complete with a woefully misjudged domestic violence strand, that it makes Neighbours seem as complex as Ulysses.
It's hard to tell if the show is one monumental mickey take or a celebration of its subject matter. What is clear, however, is that decent money has been spent on it, judging by both the size of the cast, length of the run and piles of unsold merchandise cluttering the foyer.
Presumably, the producers were under the impression that the Wag star, which burned most brightly around the time of the World Cup 2006, still holds some sparkle.
Quite why they thought this when the biggest name they could get into their cast was the awful Lizzie Cundy, an ex-Wag still clinging to Wag status, is utterly beyond me. I presume the full extent of their folly must have finally hit home around the time that such luminaries as Sinitta and Vanessa Feltz turned up on opening night.
Wag! The Musical has missed its moment spectacularly. Too late to jump on the bandwagon, as Footballers' Wives did, and far too early for anyone to be nostalgic about those heady days when Victoria Beckham, Coleen Rooney, and Cheryl Cole settled down in a stadium together, Pukka pies in hand, to watch their men play badly for England.
Our celebrity-obsessed culture moves at a merciless pace, and Wags have been pushed way down the pecking order. Posh has made the transition to the fashion world, Cheryl has ditched Ashley and the public now have more cerebral stars, like Kim Kardashian, to obsess over.
Yet despite all this they're still here. Wag! The Musical might well be about as fun as dying (stick that on the poster), but it doesn't quite mark the death of the Wag phenomenon.
Most wives and girlfriend of footballers wisely stay well away from the spotlight. But there is still a committed band of Wags still giving it some, despite the fact they've been relegated to the showbiz equivalent of the non-league.
As long as there is space at the bottom of the Daily Mail's sidebar of shame to fill and places going begging on Five's Big Brother, then Lizzie Cundy and her buddies will continue to cling on by their brightly varnished talons.
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