To paraphrase Amy in the two hander Nanny after singing Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross, ‘they nailed the bollocks out of that one.’ Folio Theatre’s play about two actors working a side gig as child carers has it all: pathos, comedy, arguments, song and dance and above all the trials and tribulations of a friendship tested to the limits in the sticky-fingered nappy-changing world of nannies to the rich.

The drama billed as a comedy play with songs, centres on Amy (Alana Ramsay) and Leanne (Lizzie Stables) who really want to tread the boards in Edinburgh rather then take their darling charges to Stay and Play. Set in a thrust stage in Bristol Old Vic’s Weston Studio complete with child seat, sofa and coffee table, the duo quickly establish their characters: bride-to-be Amy is wealthy, confident and ambitious, while Leanne is poor, forgetful and ‘has issues with pleasing people.’

In one of the songs, they sing of Mel and Sue, French and Saunders and the Chuckle Brothers as double acts they’d like to emulate – well they should have included themselves, as Alana and Lizzie have chemistry and charisma by the pram-full. Brilliant lyrics to Matthew Floyd Jone’s music (played live on set by the composer) a crackling comic meeting of minds and a spirit in a double act that has it all – and set to music as well.

Songs with witty choreography (Jessica Ramsey), facial expressions that make you want to laugh as they accentuate the words and emotions – and slapstick without the custard pies. Songs included, ‘There’s Music Wherever You Go,’ the audience inducing laughter of ‘The Perfect Mum I Get Things Done,’ and ‘Everything You Do Fails,’ inspired by a the less that gracious toddler in Amy’s care deemed a narcissistic sociopath after she failed to work out how to fit a Maxi Cosi 10 car seat.

The audience of mainly young women particularly liked any reference to failed mums, unappreciative partners, and earthy humour at the expense of their wealthy employers. A script by Alana Ramsey, Lizzie Stables and Jenny Rainsford that hits all the funny bones of modern life from text messages sent to the wrong person to parking tickets outside school or having to work with a hangover kept it real and kept it contemporary in a show that should be seen by a wider audience. A stand-out five-star success with added pushchairs and training beakers.

Harry Mottram

Nanny runs from Wednesday 31 January to Saturday 10 February 2024 at the Bristol Old Vic’s Weston Studio. Tickets and information at

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