Where there’s muck there’s brass for telephone belles

Tessa Hatts (Elsie) Clare Owen (Olive) Anita Graham (Gladys) in Dirty Dusting at the Pomegranate, Chesterfield.

Tessa Hatts (Elsie) Clare Owen (Olive) Anita Graham (Gladys) in Dirty Dusting at the Pomegranate, Chesterfield.

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Filthy cleaners talk dirty - it’s impossible to resist cherry-picking the best line in Dirty Dusting.

If saucy comedy rings your bell, then this week’s show at the Pomegranate has your number on it.

Dirty Dusting is a bitter-sweet tale of past-their-prime cleaners facing redundancy who start a phone sex sideline and discover there’s plenty of brass to be made in mucky calls.

There’s death-obsessed divorcee Elsie, a brilliant portrayal by Tessa Hatts who steals the show, loyal wife with a wild streak Gladys, played by Anita Graham, and Girl Guide leader Olive, characterised by Clare Owen.

Bolshie and formidable, woe betide any man who gets in their way of these militant Mrs Mops especially the mouthy boss who puts the perv into supervisor and is played in over-the-top fashion by Adrian Lloyd James.

But the elderly cleaners’ passion for workers’ rights contrasts sharply with the passion missing in their love lives - and it’s down to their new business interest to stimulate libido on both ends of the phone line.

Innuendo, deviant fantasies and a guest appearance from a wannabe Madonna, striking a pose in conical bra, make for a naughty night out.

A large first-night audience on Tuesday hung on every word, laughed in all the right places and made allowances for the odd slip-up in speeches.

Dirty Dusting is directed by Karen Henson for Tabs Productions and is cleaning up at the Pomegranate until Saturday, May 21.

GAY BOLTON