Tag Archives: BOLD GIRLS

REVIEW: Bold Girls – Lanternhouse, Cumbernauld

Rona Munro’s 1990’s tale of the Troubles, Bold Girls, returns home to where it was first performed by the now legendary 7:84 Scottish People’s Theatre (well, to Cumbernauld Theatre’s newest incarnation at Lanternhouse).

The guns, bombs, helicopters, and RUC, though ever-present, are merely a backdrop to the stories of these bold girls. Marie, Cassie and Nora gather in West Belfast in the run up to a girls’ night out at the local club. An enigmatic young woman appears (almost An Inspector Calls-like) on Marie’s doorstep. Her presence and subsequent revelations break the bonds of the women’s friendship forever.

There’s plenty of banter woven around the reminders of the violence just outside the door, but the reality below the surface manages to quickly rise to the top. The desperation just seeps out. Desperation at the complete inability to escape your circumstances, desperation that you should be thankful your man didn’t hit you, desperation at the inequality of the expectation that you should spoil your sons and reproach your daughters, desperation at maintaining the façade of the perfect widow.

The staging is simplistic, allowing the focus to be on the storytelling and there’s a chemistry between the actors that serves the story well. Stand out among the ensemble is Leigh Lothian’s finely nuanced portrayal of Cassie, a woman wracked with anger and anguish. The tiny details in her characterisation are a delight.

Munro’s piece largely holds up, but one can’t help feeling that it hasn’t entirely stood the test of time. The dialogue, to 2022 ears, isn’t as naturalistic as it could be, and the ending could be trimmed for greater impact. There’s also the problem that the plot’s greatest revelations are a little too clearly signposted that they lack impact.

A worthwhile revival of Munro’s play, enough to tempt you to visit her latest work James IV – Queen of the Fight, the fourth of her James Plays, which tours this autumn.

Runs until 1 October 2022 | Image: Greg MacVean

WHAT’S ON: BOLD GIRLS RETURNS TO CUMBERNAULD

Rona Munro’s celebrated play Bold Girls is returning to Cumbernauld in a newly-imagined staging, more than 30 years after the acclaimed original production by the legendary 7:84 company opened there in 1990.

The play is being produced in-house at Cumbernauld Theatre Trust’s new home at Lanternhouse, a state-of-the-art performing arts centre based at Cumbernauld Community Campus.

It’s 1991 in West Belfast. Despite the bombs, the soldiers, and their husbands being either locked away or killed, Marie, Cassie, and Nora are determined to get on with their lives. That is, until a mysterious young woman turns up on Marie’s doorstep, disrupting their girls’ night out and bringing devastating revelations that threaten to leave their friendships changed forever. Sharply funny, moving, yet never shying from the harsh realities of life during the Troubles, Bold Girls is a celebration of women’s strength under siege.

This new production is being directed by Michael Duke, former Tinderbox Theatre Company (Belfast) Artistic Director, who is originally from County Down, and currently based in Glasgow. It will star Pauline Goldsmith, Katya Searle, Julie Martis, and Leigh Lothian.

Listings

Saturday 24 Sept – 19:30pm

Tuesday 27 Sept – 13:00, 19:30pm

Wednesday 28 Sept – 13:00 (sold out), 19:30

Thursday, 29 Sept – 13:00, 19:30 – BSL/AD

Friday 30 Sept – 10:00, 19:30

Saturday 1 Oct -14:30, 19:30

All weekday performances are school matinees.

Running time: 2 hours (approximate)