Bad Girls The Musical
4th May 2013
Adlington Community Centre
Type of Production
Author: Patricia Connor
When invited to review ‘Bad Girls’ The Musical I was not sure what to expect as I personally had not heard of this musical or seen the award winning television drama on which this original musical was based. The Musical is based on a book by Maureen Chadwick & Ann McManus. The story centres on an idealistic Wing Governor Helen Stewart played by Jen Carney and her battles with the old guard lead by Officer Jim Fenner played by Mike Wignall a rather unsavoury character.
It is very difficult to pick out a singular performance from this production as all cast members portrayed differing complex personalities from varying backgrounds believably giving outstanding performances. Each actor used comedy when appropriate and sensitivity and anguish when needed to highlight their characters inner feelings and demons. There were no weak links in this cast. Company members should also be congratulated for keeping in character at all times which in turn helped to enhance the principle performances.
Unfortunately in the first half there was a problem with the microphones resulting in the audience not being able to hear properly. Well done to the cast for not letting these technical problems influence their performance.
Among the well performed emotional and comedic songs, two appeared to grab the audience’s attention. ’The Future is Bright’ Performed by Jim and Sylvia (Sharon Morris) supported by the company dressed in black with small top hats. This was a big production number which may seem out of place in a musical of this type. However it worked very well and was very entertaining. The second and one of the funniest was ‘All Banged Up’ performed by Yvonne (Dianne Simmons) and the two Julies (Helen Cross and Joy Plowes). The choreography for this number was excellent and well executed. The singers were accompanied proficiently and subtly by the Orchestra lead by Dave Dossett.
Visual and sound effects were used effectively to enhance scene changes. Echoing footsteps with silhouetted figures could be seen and heard, and there was the eerie sound of a cell door closing which could also be felt as the seats appeared to vibrate adding to the experience.
The subject matter of this musical could arguably be controversial. However at no time did I feel uncomfortable or embarrassed during this performance. I believe this was the result of excellent and well thought out direction by Christian Brabin. The audience also appeared to have enjoyed their experience from comments made by members of the audience.
Well done to all involved in this brave choice of production it really paid off. I really enjoyed the evening.