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A bit of Rumpy Pumpy at the Kings Head and the Landor

Rumpy Pumpy

Calm down everyone, there will be no jokes about crumpets, at least not in this newspiece.

BargainTheatre’s eye has been caught by a new musical that combines the venerable Women’s Institute with the world’s oldest profession. Jean Johnson and Shirley Landels launch a campaign to find the perfect brothel, one that protects, supports and helps the women working there, rather than creating a culture of oppression, bondage and fear.

The two very pleasant WI members travel the world in their search, covering Amsterdam, Nevada and New Zealand before taking what they have learned back to the streets of Winchester in their mobile brothel. Fun and games with jaunty songs for sure (with such fruity material what else could there be) but the story (based on a true one and which Jean Johnson is still carrying on in real life) is a clear mix of sugar and spice. The decriminalisation of prostitution and conditions for sex workers is a serious issue, one which writer and composer Barbara Mackie was inspired by.

“I spent time with several brothel Madames, meeting their working girls and hearing their stories. I realised that the story of these girls would intertwine powerfully with the story of the two WI ladies, as all of these women wanted the same thing: the decriminalisation of prostitution. Rumpy Pumpy! is my way of wrapping up a complex subject and creating something fun and frothy with a gritty edge.”

Already causing a splash by being in development for a feature film, Rumpy Pumpy! is part of the King’s Head Theatre’s ‘Without De?cor’ writers season, offering bold writers a platform to develop their work. It shifts over to the Landor (always a favourite when it comes to the capital’s offering of musicals) for the end of its run.


  • Saturday 28th March, 3pm (King’s Head Theatre)
  • Saturday 4th April, 3pm (King’s Head Theatre)
  • Thursday 9th April, 3pm (King’s Head Theatre)
  • Tuesday 14th April – Friday 17th April, 7.30pm (Landor Theatre)
  • Saturday 18th April, 3pm and 7.30pm (Landor Theatre)
  • Sunday 19th April, 3pm (Landor Theatre)

2 hours including an interval

Tickets are available from kingsheadtheatre.com and 0207 478 0160 priced £9.

Or tickets are available from www.landortheatre.co.uk or 020 7737 7276 at £16 (£14).


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