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Tuesdays at Tesco's

From 21 critic and 1 member reviews
Members say: Quirky, Funny, Relevant, Edgy, Great acting

About the show

Pauline, once Paul, recounts one of her regular Tuesday visits to her old, recently-widowed Dad. More…

Every Tuesday, Pauline visits her elderly father to do household chores and take him to the supermarket. Desperate to connect with her father between the aisles and in line for the checkout, Pauline is met with gruff disrespect and embarrassment, for her father much preferred things when his daughter was his son, Paul.


"Metropolitan area audiences should take advantage of the opportunity to see this great theatrical event...Callow's heartrending portrayal of Pauline is inspired. And he seamlessly brings a number of other characters into the narrative...This is an important piece of theater." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"During this ordinary Tuesday of cleaning, washing, ironing and shopping, each encounter with her father or with people in Tesco’s is met with bravado on the outside and heartbreak within...'Tuesdays at Tesco’s' and Mr. Callow’s tour de force performance are a study in and triumph over shame. It is a must see!" Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"'Tuesdays at Tesco's' ends with a brief, tragic coda that reveals much more about Pauline than has been previously disclosed and makes clear that Andy has a profound shock coming his way...In my experience, only 'Tuesdays at Tesco's' evokes so clearly the experience of a transgender person facing down a hostile environment. It's an experience that isn't easily forgotten." Full Review


"I did not care for the jarring ending, which seems to come out of nowhere. But I liked and admired everything else about the play, and about the production, too...Reliving my 75 minutes with Simon Callow’s Pauline a few days afterwards, I’m filled with with a dark, vivid delight. It’s an extravagant, finely polished, emotionally and comically transcendent performance." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"Callow’s performance is a real triumph. Aside from casting a trans actress in the part, a better actor could scarce be found to embody this complicated woman...What’s most important here is Callow’s performance. It demands to be seen. Where some male actors might shy away from playing a woman, Callow isn’t afraid to embrace his feminine side." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"'Tuesday at Tesco's' has very little in the way of drama; it’s essentially an ordinary litany of Pauline’s poignant complaints about her dad’s failure to accept her and the boredom of her care-taking responsibilities, but it’s enough to inspire a performance that seems to find multiple nuances in every sentence...Simon Callow is a uniquely gifted actor, and he's enough of a reason to see this play." Full Review

The New York Times

"A bold and expert performance that makes no concessions to an actor’s vanity or an audience’s sympathy...Everything about this show’s first 70 minutes is completely of a piece. So it comes as a jolt when the script moves on to a melodramatic and sensational postscript. After all, what makes Pauline compelling has been her wish to be boring. Denying her that wish so extravagantly feels cheap." Full Review

New York Post

"Simon Callow has an easy control of the stage and effortlessly holds our attention. His Pauline can be proud and strong, but also vulnerable and wounded. She stands tall, even without the heels." Full Review


""A powerful one-performer show about a transwoman that dramatizes and invokes the terror of the everyday...Audiences will leave feeling as though they have spent a lifetime with these characters. It is a sympathetic and intellectual play in one, in a perfect balance to inspire conversation long after leaving the theater." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"Under Simon Stokes’ direction, Mr. Callow wrestles the sparse story and manages to kick it to the curb, finding within the few morsels of transcendence that make his performance authentic and memorable. But it is not an easy match. The script is full of repetition and leaves the actor the daunting task of creating a believable character...'Tuesdays at Tesco's' is - because of Mr. Callow - a rich examination of the interior-scape of a transgender woman." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"A mystifying monodrama with some head-scratching twists and turns...But Mr. Callow gives a committed, intricately nuanced performance. The glances, the entire physical attitude and the slow, droll accent he affects all create a detailed portrait of a troubled human being. Simon Stokes, the director, kept the play moving along at a relaxed, but never monotonous pace." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Simon Callow's performance as a transgender woman is the best part of an uneven production...The writing is repetitive and not that interesting, focusing on mundane details like which queue to join. It is only through Callow's performance that it comes alive. Robin Don's set also raises questions. It is unfortunate that every element of the production seems like its own entity and not a cohesive whole." Full Review


"All of these misfires and neglected details make for a theatrical experience that ranges from frustrating to boring. The show is over in 75 minutes, but it feels a lot longer. This is even more disappointing considering the fact that Darley has written a very real and sympathetic character in Pauline. She deserves a much better outing than 'Tuesdays at Tesco's.'" Full Review


for a previous production "This tender one-man portrait of a transsexual woman trying in vain to earn her father’s acceptance is an authoritative, humane and brave performance that quietly challenges the perceptions of a mainstream aud...The gulf of misunderstanding between the generations and the duo’s inability to retie the bonds of parent-child love have universal resonance. The poignancy of Darley’s script lies as much in this as it does in its liberal plea for tolerating people as they want to be." Full Review

Joyce McMillan - Online

for a previous production "The play’s ending is sensational, unnecessarily so; and Callow’s bravura performance – as ever – is not for those who like their acting naturalistic and understated. For those who accept the bruised drama-queen style, though, there is a profoundly moving performance here, brave, strong, and full of a frustrated sweetness that pierces the heart." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "There are funny-peculiar interludes, accompanied by plinky-plonky piano, in which he goes into agonised, mock-jaunty, spasmodic jigs, as if expressing his character’s repressed interior state. But both Callow and director Simon Stokes are groping for richness of psychological detail where the script supplies bargain-bucket observations about father-son relationships, bare shelves where the back story should be and drearily piled-high descriptions of the weekly routine." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "Callow fights manfully with Emmanuel Darley's dull monologue, which is about as thrilling as someone else's shopping list...While it offers a largely sympathetic portrait of the transgendered Pauline, it tips over into all the tired old stereotypes in a final, failed bid for dramatic life." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "It's a wistful exploration of acceptance and identity but what it requires in performance are two qualities not easily associated with Callow's acting style, namely nuance and understatement...There are occasional shafts of true emotion but largely it's all surface show and mincing around." Full Review

Daily Mail (UK)

for a previous production "There is much good-humoured laughter from the audience, but the problem is Callow treats Emmanuel Darley’s flimsy script as if it were penned by the Bard himself. The story is relayed with subtlety and sympathy, but Callow is like a pantomime dame, offering little sense of what makes his transvestite tick." Full Review

Sans Taste

for a previous production "The text is best described as interesting, although it’s far from compelling. The character of Pauline is sympathetic and engaging, but the text feels like a character poured out on stage rather than a performance. As for plot – anything actually happening – you can pretty much forget it until the last few minutes, and this 'twist' when it comes feels forced and unnatural in the context...the text and Simon Callow’s performance do not do enough to engage or take the audience anywhere." Th... Full Review

Fest (UK)

for a previous production "'Tuesday at Tescos' is a really crass production. The staging doesn't make sense. The script is the very definition of turgid...Worst of all, 'Tuesday at Tescos' is criminally boring...In the end, 'Tuesday at Tescos' feels like a Value range production masquerading as Finest." Full Review

Great acting, Funny, Relevant, Quirky, Edgy

See it if You want to see Simon Callow at the top of his game.

Don't see it if You don't like one-person plays.

Cast & Creatives

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