On first impression, rape, suicide, gang violence and drugs may not seem the ideal subject matter for light-hearted musical theatre. However the cult TV series Bad Girls makes a hilarious and wildly entertaining stage show. Whilst tackling all the gritty subjects required to bring the drama series to the stage, songs about the life of a middle-aged prostitute and the perils of being banged up “without a bang” are nothing short of hysterical.

I entered the Pavilion Theatre feeling quite sceptical about the whole concept, but the cast from Worthing Light Opera Company excelled themselves with professional performances which made sure the audience was laughing with them not at them. Vickie Hampson’s performance as the leading bad girl Shell Dockley shows she really is the badest and best, and Tony Bright is beautifully loathsome as evil Fenner.

While there are possibly a few too many scenes in the first half devoted to introducing each of the characters, the riot leading into the curtain falling for the interval more than makes up for it, with furniture crashing around the stage and a fire extinguisher being set off. The second half is even more explosive, with big singalong numbers and the whole company getting into the swing of it – including a few elderly gentlemen doing the can-can.

Overall Bad Girls is nothing short of riotously entertaining, with the emphasis on the riot.

* 7.30pm (also matinee 2.30pm Mar 27), £10-£13, call 01903 206206.