51 Shades Of Maggie is the rollercoaster story of a plump chav from the streets of Toxteth, in Liverpool who becomes the unlikely plaything of her best mate’s dole officer.
It’s about as far removed as you can get from a certain couple in a certain trilogy of phenomenally successful mummy-porn books.
The Leesa Harker comedy dropped into Aylesbury Waterside Theatre last night and I think it was a culture shock for all concerned.
Former Hollyoaks star Dannielle Malone gives a hugely energetic solo performance as the cider-drinking, gobby, foul-mouthed Maggie whose idea of a good time is to empty a bucket of KFC and then shag anything in the room.
Together with her benefits-scum girlfriend, Big Sally Anne, the pair stagger from one meaningless moment of sex to another. Her biggest fear is farting in the face of the man servicing her at the time.
We were in for two hours of gross-out humour which was a bit hit-or-miss in the laughter stakes.
It was noticeable that the predominantly female audience laughed more after hitting the bar during the interval.
Maggie is seduced by the handsome green-eyed dole officer – a fact that astonishes her – and she’s a game girl.
After learning about his little peccadilloes she reluctantly agrees to all of his demands. Ladies, if you’ve read the books then you know the score.
But it’s a bit of a one-gag show and no matter how much Malone throws herself into the part, the comedy does, at times, get a bit strained.
I don’t know if something was lost in the translation because I had difficulty understanding her native brogue.
And I’m not sure that working class Liver comedy travels that well to middle-class, genteel, Bucks.
Some of the women in the audience just didn’t know what to make of a species of female that was totally alien to them.
It wasn’t all fun and laughter as Malone’s monologue ran us through the ups and downs of her unconventional relationship.
There were a couple of moments of real pathos which made you question the whole success of a story centred on a man beating a woman for pleasure.
The fish-out-of-water story was given a new twist but I don’t think Christian and Anastasia have much to worry about.
51 Shades Of Maggie is touring.