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A firm favourite at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, fast-paced stage show Six Chick Flicks features a selection of iconic film moments - although not as you’ll remember them! What’s On recently caught up with two of the production’s creators - Kerry Ipema and KK Apple - to find out more...

You know that moment in the movie Titanic when Rose and Jack say goodbye in the freezing ocean?... Or remember that mega shopping trip that we’d all love to make in Pretty Woman?... Or how about the famous lift in Dirty Dancing?

These are all iconic moments in film history - and they’re currently being parodied in a two-woman show that’s coming to the Midlands this month.

Six Chick Flicks - alternatively known as A Legally Blonde Pretty Woman Dirty Danced On The Beaches While Writing A Notebook On The Titanic - takes Hollywood magic and turns it into a stage comedy. Created by a trio of American actors and writers - Kerry Ipema, KK Apple and TJ Dawe - the show sees Kerry and KK taking on a host of roles from half a dozen carefully selected films and recreating them - with a twist or two!

Premiered in the United States in 2018, Six Chick Flicks was also a hit at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, gaining both critical and audience acclaim. But when there are so many popular chick flicks, how did the team decide which to include?

“One of the criteria was we wanted movies that play constantly on TV,” says Kerry, whose previous shows include One Woman Sex And The City. “So movies that would oftentimes play in the background, where you might not have to actively watch it to know exactly what’s going on.

“So for example, Pretty Woman is one of the movies that we parody, and I don’t think you need to have sat down and dug right into that movie and watched it a million times to know exactly what it’s about. So it’s movies that have reached the zeitgeist in a very obvious way.

“These movies span generations of chick-flick consumers. There are threads that connect them all, and I think one of those threads is truly our communal love for this genre of film.”

In choosing which to parody, the team also asked the essential question, what is a chick flick?

KK says: “The 80s/90s/2000s definitely feels like the height of chick flicks as a Hollywood genre that was marketed to women. For some people, a chick flick is just any movie where the leads are women. For some people, it’s movies that have pink and white DVD, or rather VHS, covers. I think my condition is ‘What is a movie that a straight man would be embarrassed to be caught watching?’ Threads across the movies include friendship, love, loss - and a good dance sequence. Music, too - all of these movies have an iconic part of the soundtrack or songs inside of the movie. Sometimes music is the thing which unlocks your memory even more than the story. It’s like, as soon as you hear My Heart Will Go On, you are in the movie theatre watching Rose and Jack fall in love.

“In the show, we like to reclaim that chick-flick identity and say there is something we all connected to, let’s celebrate that. It’s been fun to talk to audiences after the show because some people come in and they have seen every single movie millions of times and can quote them right along with us. There are some people who might have seen Titanic and none of the other ones. And then there are people who say they’ve never seen, for example, The Notebook, and now they want to go and see it.”

Alongside parodying the films, Six Chick Flicks also celebrates friendship; that idea of going to a cinema together and having fun.

“So much of female friendship is about getting together and having a laugh,” explains Kerry. “Whenever I’m having a bad day and I call a friend and we have a laugh, I feel better. And I think these chick flicks do that as well. If I’m having a bad day, I can still put on Dirty Dancing and feel warm and cosy from watching it.

“Our show celebrates a feeling of recognition, of being seen, and this community that we want to create every night. We want it to feel like you’re with your schoolmates, your mum, your friends, whoever it is in your life, and you’re watching these movies together and you’re laughing at them together.”

But the show also questions the roles women play in these films and how relevant they are to the lives women lead today.

“You’re remembering that you watched them when you were eight years old,” Kerry continues. “And now you’re asking, what did this teach me or how did this condition me for the rest of my life, and can I call it into question?

“There are big ideas in these films that are worth talking about, but also laughter opens you up and you can have these tough conversations and feel heard. There’s a nostalgia - that feeling of recognition and familiarity with these movies - that really makes people want to connect with them and consume them. We just hope that people come to our show to consume them in a comedic way.”

Kerry and KK’s roots are in improvisational comedy. They met at improv leading light the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York. Not surprisingly, therefore, while much of Six Chick Flicks is scripted, there are also opportunities for audiences to be involved.

“We don’t call anyone up on stage or anything crazy,” laughs KK. “But we do a whole improvised section where we incorporate maybe the audience’s favourite chick flicks, and we use their stories as a way of bringing the audience together and connecting them to the chick flicks. The bones of that improv sensibility, of coming to the stage with a point of view and seeing what happens, is very much a part of the show; using that freedom to play with the audience and see how it shapes the show, because it’s a little bit different every time.”

When we speak, Kerry and KK have only been in the UK for three days and have just begun a tour lasting nearly three months. And they are hoping to indulge their love of films with a bit of sightseeing in between performances.

“We want to visit the cottage from The Holiday,” Kerry reveals. “Notting Hill is also on our ‘to do’ list. My favourite is that we can visit 10 Downing Street as a famous Love Actually sight, not because of the prime minister.

“We love Bridget Jones’s Diary, we love The Holiday, Love Actually. There are so many wonderful British chick flicks. So who knows... maybe if we get enough suggestions from people at our shows, we’ll make a sequel.”

Six Chick Flicks shows at Tamworth Assembly Rooms on Wednesday 15 May; Worcester’s Swan Theatre on Friday 17 May; Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, on Saturday 25 May; Stourbridge Town Hall on Friday 31 May; and Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn on Friday 7 & Saturday 8 June

By Diane Parkes