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Bold Girls review at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick – ‘an uneven revival’

Theatre by the Lake’s studio usually offers audiences a contemporary work or a modern classic in contrast to the more mainstream main house fare [1]. After the premiere of Simon Longman’s Rails [2]the next offering for the summer repertory is a revival of Rona Munro’s 1991 play Bold Girls.

Munro’s play explores the lives of four Belfast women during the Troubles. It switches in register between naturalistic and more stylised scenes, and contains a number of monologues.

Designer Louie Whitemore has created an unfussy traverse sitting room/kitchen. Jon Nicholls’ sound design and composition and Tim Mascall’s lighting are both impressive, reflecting the impact of an offstage shooting and bombing. But there were some noticeable first night glitches, with a significant technical problem stopping the show early on.

Though Alice Imelda impresses as the vivacious Cassie, Christine Entwisle as her mother Nora, feels underpowered, her performance lacking depth by comparison. The intensity of Sarah Kempton as Marie, Cassie’s friend, is such that it makes for a lack of light and shade until her character’s crisis in the second half of the play.

As a result, the scenes between the three don’t always convince, and the highlights are the monologues. These are adroitly handled by the cast – also including an assuredly enigmatic Lydea Perkins – but the overall rhythm of Bobby Brook’s production doesn’t quite gel.

Rails review at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick – ‘poignant and poetic’ [2]

Verdict
Uneven revival of Rona Munro’s play of female friendship

Production

Production
Bold Girls
Venue
Theatre by the Lake
City
Keswick
Starts
June 21, 2018
Ends
October 4, 2018
Press night
June 23, 2018
Authors
Rona Munro
Director
Bobby Brook
Set
Louie Whitemore
Lighting
Tim Mascall
Sound
Jon Nicholls
Stage manager
Becky Saville
Cast includes
Christine Entwisle, Alice Imelda, Sarah Kempton, Lydea Perkins
Casting
Sue Scott Davison
Producer
Theatre by the Lake
Running time
2hrs 10mins