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Bold Girls review at Citizens Theatre, Glasgow – ‘an eloquent revival’

Lucianne McEvoy Deirdre Davis and Sinead Sharkey in Bold Girls at Citizens Theatre, Glasgow. Photo: Tim Morozzo Lucianne McEvoy Deirdre Davis and Sinead Sharkey in Bold Girls at Citizens Theatre, Glasgow. Photo: Tim Morozzo
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Rona Munro’s play, written in the 1990s and concentrating on the pre-accord troubles of Belfast, skilfully exposes the tensions that lurk beneath the friendships of four women.

Widow Marie (Lucianne McEvoy) offers a stoic kindness to the erratic and passionate Cassie (Scarlett Mack), her mother Nora (Deirdre Davis) and a mysterious intruder, Deirdre (Sinead Sharkey) as an evening out gradually reveals the lies that have allowed her to maintain a positive outlook despite the acts of violence that surround them.

Munro’s naturalistic dialogue, especially in the banter between the women in the first act, lends the characters sympathy, presenting the mundane detail of their lives in charming detail.

As the alcohol flows, the facade unravels, with Mack capturing Cassie’s volatile frustrations eloquently: Sharkey’s Deirdre is mysterious, sometimes appearing to have come from another, more surreal production. But in the sudden, awkward monologues to the audience that fill out the character’s histories, the production loses its intimate intensity.

Richard Baron’s direction, however, guides the revelations out at a steady pace, the final confrontation building powerfully from the first act, and providing a trenchant comment on the oppression caused by both the presence of British troops and the local culture of machismo.

Despite being rooted firmly in the past, Bold Girls still works as an analysis of the consequences of patriarchal deceit and domination.

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Verdict
Eloquent revival of Rona Munro’s play about lives lived on the edge of terror
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