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Sharon Osbourne Cut the CRAP! at the Fortune Theatre

If there were to be, I remarked before the show, so much as the tiniest hint of ‘crap’ in a show with “Cut The Crap!” in its title, I wouldn’t be very happy to say the least. A fellow theatregoer tried to pacify me, and his counterargument was logical – there needs to be some crap, because if there wasn’t, there wouldn’t be any crap to cut. I knew very little about Sharon Osbourne before seeing this show (it’s not like she has a plethora of theatre credits), which was a sit-down interview with journalist Jane Moore – nothing more and nothing less. Its title and its marketing, however, suggested something supposedly controversial. “Live and uncensored!” screamed the freesheet, as though this were an evening full of shouty swearing and outrageous remarks.

Sharon Osbourne - Cut The Crap. Photograph by Elliott Franks.
Sharon Osbourne – Cut The Crap. Photograph by Elliott Franks.

As it was, she kept her cool throughout, often smiling, and taking heckling and other audience interruptions in her stride. So sparse was my pre-knowledge of Osbourne that I hadn’t known, for instance, she had lost a considerable amount of weight recently, at least partly because of a course of Ozempic injections, which she is no longer taking. Moore was an excellent choice of interviewer, bolshy when required, continuing to pursue lines of questioning even when Osbourne had made it clear when she wanted to move swiftly on.

Towards the end of the interview, questions were read out that had been submitted by members of the audience, though it wasn’t clear to me how anyone could have submitted a question beforehand, and by not taking questions directly, live and uncensored (to coin a phrase), the opportunity was lost to see how Osbourne would handle a proverbial curveball or hot potato. Anyway, Osbourne was very civilised, pointing out the red mist would only really come down if people made unfair criticisms of her (now grown-up) children, or indeed of Ozzy. There was a bit of swearing, but she apologised before using the f-word (there’s far more profanity in, say, The Book of Mormon), though there were hints of unorthodox behaviours, such as when she instructed her son Jack, when he was still a child, to excrete into boxes which would then be sent to certain people who had antagonised Osbourne by making “writing s—t” about Ozzy. It’s more imaginative than legal action, I suppose.

Her defence of Piers Morgan, which saw her being harshly criticised on American television, such that she left the talk show she was a panellist on, was, in her mind at least, more of a defence of the principle of free speech – that is, Morgan has the right to disagree with someone, or indeed anyone, as much as anyone has the right to disagree with him. In August 1989 (according to one of Moore’s cue cards), Ozzy was arrested for attempted murder, having tried to strangle his wife whilst under the influence: the result, Osbourne candidly remarked, was six months in rehab in which Ozzy was not permitted to even contact his wife or children.

There was much talk, too, of The Osbournes, an American reality television show that lasted four seasons (fifty-two episodes in total: the original plan, Osbourne said, was three episodes). Osbourne did not take kindly to Moore comparing The Osbournes with other family-based reality shows, pointing out the uniqueness of the other shows mentioned and their different emphases. Her working relationship with Simon Cowell (she was a judge on The X-Factor and America’s Got Talent) was never anything other than a typical employer / employee one, and they had never even met for coffee outside working hours.

All things considered, this was an affirming and enjoyable experience for her considerable fanbase, and for the uninitiated, like yours truly, an enlightening and fascinating evening.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

A huge TV star on both sides of the Atlantic from more than 20 years, Sharon Osbourne was a much loved judge and mentor on ITV’s The X Factor from its first series in 2004. On the 10th series her act Sam Bailey was the winner, marking Sharon’s first victory as a mentor.

‍Sharon, her heavy metal icon husband Ozzy and their kids first burst onto our screens in 2002 in MTV’s ground-breaking fly-on-the-wall reality show, The Osbournes, which followed the family’s crazy life in Beverly Hills.

‍The show runs on Sun 21 Jan and Sun 28 Jan 2024 at The Fortune Theatre, Russell St, London, WC2B 5HH.


Cut the Crap!
Fortune Theatre

Book Tickets for the Fortune Theatre

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