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Scenes With Girls

“Smart new play about contemporary womanhood”

Miriam Battye’s London Royal Court debut is a springy, if wobbly, exploration of contemporary womanhood.

In an effort to extricate themselves from “normative” expectations of young women to find a man and settle down, Lou and Tosh decide to forgo “the narrative” – Lou by having lots of no-strings sex; Tosh by, well, not so much.

There is a lovely tactility to Lucy Morrison’s production and Delphine Gaborit’s movement. Cocooned in Naomi Dawson’s downy-carpeted, pastel-blue set (which eventually becomes a fuzzy amphitheatre), Lou and Tosh sprawl out, collapse in on themselves, and give hugs that seem as if they’re trying to tessellate. There are moments of acutely observed physicality – separated by a door during an argument, Lou silently screams and bites down on the top of her laptop.

Battye’s text is a soup of half-thoughts and scalpel-sharp observations (“She is currently loved by a jar of pesto,” Tosh says of their engaged friend), bringing a discordant musicality to this co-dependent relationship. Tanya Reynolds and Rebekah Murrell have an irresistible chemistry – simpatico at first, and then increasingly corrosive – not even their buoyant, sacred friendship is free from the creep of patriarchal power.

But the play never fully coalesces. The winding of the first two-thirds is undercut by a final third that whips back and forth in a series of rapid plot developments that aren’t given sufficient room to breathe.

There’s a maddening wonkiness to Scenes With Girls. Then again, maybe that’s symptomatic of how it feels to be a young woman.

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Production Details
Production nameScenes With Girls
VenueJerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court
StartsJanuary 15, 2020
EndsFebruary 22, 2020
Running time1hr 20mins
AuthorMiriam Battye
DirectorLucy Morrison
Set designerNaomi Dawson
Costume designerNaomi Dawson
Lighting designerNao Nagai
Sound designerBeth Duke
CastLetty Thomas, Rebekah Murrell, Tanya Reynolds
ProducerRoyal Court Theatre
VerdictSmart, charming, if maddeningly wonky new play exploring contemporary womanhood
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Ava Davies

Ava Davies

Ava Davies

Ava Davies

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