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Playhouse Presents: Psychobitches

Thu May 30, 9-9.30pm, Sky Arts 1

By Phil Harrison
Series one, episode one
This ‘Playhouse Presents…’ production from last year returns for a series, boasting the same strengths and weaknesses as its pilot. It’s undeniably pretty slight – the single, running gag is seeing absurdly exaggerated caricatures of famous historical women visit Rebecca Front’s modern shrink and flaunt their entertaining neuroses. But the joke is carried through with enough conviction and élan to make it pretty entertaining.

Tonight’s highlight is Julia Davis’s turn as Sylvia Plath – but a Sylvia Plath who, concerned that her creativity might be compromising her mental health, is considering adopting the poetry stylings of Pam Ayres. Elsewhere, there are foul-mouthed Brontë sisters, an infuriating Audrey Hepburn and the endless bitching of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. The cast is excellent – Davis, Front and Sharon Horgan are now augmented by Frances Barber and Mark Gatiss – and they’re clearly enjoying themselves too. Good fun.

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