Cumbernauld Theatre at Lanternhouse
24 September – 1 October, 2022
‘Bold Girls’ was a play on show at the Cumbernauld Theatre Lanternhouse, in the transformed complex. It is a 31 year old play, giving it a stunning success and obvious popularity. It has travelled the breadth of Scotland and far beyond as part of a fearless Theatre taking down censorship of both large and small proportions. The pleasure to be there was in a huge way a good sign of survival in the unbelievable position the world finds itself in at this time.
The play’s premier at The Cumbernauld Theatre was in a town very different today than it was then. Set in 1991 Belfast it has travelled internationally and to great success with sustainability that audiences have lapped up.
The Irish life of that time in Belfast stirred the Theatre into action, with such a lovely tone and accent, things seemed normal in conversation between the 3 family members (though things fell apart). The smart choice of cast brought a very incentive presentation with an organic quality.
The day to day life was tastefully injected making grounds for a story of survival that struck a painful note stirring feelings of compassion in an audience enthralled. The ‘Troubles’ pointed out as all the more potent.
The three characters had different stage appeal that went a long way into setting the right kind of scene. Written by the playwright Rona Munro after an experience there ‘under the troubles’ of which we shouldn’t estimate acts of depravity that communities lived through.
The lucrative stances of life between the girls came from the great negatives circling the times before there was a political will for peace and extreme violence was all too common. They sat together, made tea together but fiercely argued and fought with each other. Very much bringing the tensions of living during the times to the stage with a cutting, shaping and word smith talent that with strength put human fragility on par with the realities of it.
Families who were close were fragmented in a fearful environment that went about teaching the segregation and separation held on both sides as the one true way. Everything in this expert play was to enhance its sorry, crazy circumstance as it used Zen to place props and tables to portray normality alongside the bloody chaos.
It helps to a large extent to find a voice to express itself, then another, then another, Theatre is at its magical best as a tool for giving this voice so as to at least escape silence that the undeniable trauma had come about in the community as seizure after seizure.
The beauty of the play helped hit home the spirit of a need to protect but it is in a world where nothing could be done to alleviate and even halt the well known proceedings. The joys of discussion with regard to normal life, as it is a bold life, with three close ‘Bold Girls’. But the message consisted around the terrible tragedy of war or occupation, entre the stranger Dierdre (Katya Searle) a hard and mysterious role opened up, but only to a recognition of pain.
Nora (Pauline Goldsmith), Marie (Julie Martis), Cassie (Leigh Lothian) and Dierdre performed as an entourage of a sacred beauty and truth, with words of normality that directed the coming outrage incredibly well.
This was a very touching performance with writing to intercept an object nearly impossible to take. The joy was in the overcoming of the human will and spirit, but it was a world imbued with tales of painful cruelty, unfairness and looking back at the heart.
May we through dialogue find the necessary fact that conflict does harm to the greatest human being’s who survive and lives within dysfunctional boarders. I sensed a bond coming from these repeatedly wonderful actors who had a power to then from a most brilliant play stripped of anything but the lives that mattered most being driven down with hard to bear bearings and actions. That will not soon end because of the amazingly distorted actions in an issue that won’t be forgotten.
A well known and loved play, a play to show love being affected in its soft and pliable influence even in a world of threat, and a performance that makes such sense as to send out its message far into space, with a hope so tender as to make your heat full.
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