You know what I love? Theater.
You know what I also love? Writing about things I love.
Funny how these things work out when you have a blog.
I promised myself last September that I would do my best to go to as many productions as I possibly could from now on. So I promptly went and booked as many shows as I could. Next month, I’m going to my first concert (!), but this month, I went to five local productions, featuring local talent, and a few people I actually knew personally.
So, let’s start, one by one!
Girls Like That
I knew about five actresses in this play, through University or through having acted together before. One of them had acted opposite me in Measure for Measure – the Isabella to my Angelo. But that’s a story for another time.
The play deals with the repercussions of bullying in a society that places so much emphasis on personal online presence. We’re always on our phones, checking social media, updating something or other. This play brings the element of technology to a group of girls who have been friends since they were 5 – inevitably so, as they were the brightest of their age and sent to a school where they were taught that they were prestigious, intelligent, on the way to being the absolute best.
The problem with St Helen’s girls, as is said from the start, is that they don’t forget.
The play explores what happens when so-called friends help spread a naked picture of the girl they’ve been friends with for a little over a decade, how she deals with the situation, and how the past – both the girls’ and the more distant past – have had an effect on the way they view each other, and other women. Interspersed with tasteful monologues coming from different, influential eras for women-kind, the play flows smoothly and quickly through its script. The girls have no names, they are simply characters who pick up dialogue from each other and keep the story flowing through. The only character with a name is Scarlett, and she isn’t on stage for most of the play. But when she is…wow. Now that’s a presence.
In short, I really enjoyed this play, and the way that the whole thing was structured. The girls had a brilliant energy between them that made it enjoyable to watch, and I felt the whole production raised some very good questions about cyber-bullying, the toxicity of fake female friendships, and the concept of rape and blame culture. Well done, girls!