Ethel (Charlotte Weston) and Phyllis (Kellie Batchelor) are actors about to make the last live episode of the period drama soap they are starring in. In their dressing room, drinking champagne out of tea cups with fellow actor Rupert (Jonny Freeman), they discuss some of the script writers more dubious plot decisions.
It is classic lovey-bitching, name-dropping and moaning about the next job but when they discover that the script writers have taken inspiration from their own private lives - secret same sex liaisons - which could fatally damage their careers if exposed, the panic sets in.
The 1960s set play's second act is the live broadcast of the final episode which has shades of Acorn Antiques. The actors forget lines, miss cues and their marks, discretely shuffling in or out of shot. The question is will they stick to the script? The final act is the aftermath of that decision.
Act 1 is a nice amusing warm up to the second act which is where the strength of Sellotape Sisters' lies. It borders farce and is expertly executed and sometimes laugh out loud funny.
The final act has a heavier tone dealing with the consequences of their decisions during the live broadcast and feels like an attempt to give the piece a serious message which doesn't quite work. The 1960s setting serves to demonstrate how attitudes towards gay relationships have changed but I'm not sure weaving it into an farce-like story gives it the punch it needs.
Sellotape Sisters is in the main amusing, entertaining and fun enough for hour long show and I'm giving it three and a half stars. It is on at the Tristan Bates Theatre until August 20.