CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Review: Scenes with Girls, at Royal Court Upstairs

31 January, 2020 — By Clair Chapwell

Rebekah Murrell and Tanya Reynolds in Scenes with Girls. Photo: Helen Murray

TWENTY-FOUR years old, energetic Lou (Rebekah Murrell) and watchful Tosh (Tanya Reynolds) live together. They’re fast and funny, finish one another’s sentences and are completely in synch.

Not until we meet their former flatmate, sweet smiley Fran (Letty Thomas), newly engaged, are we aware of how close their relationship is.

Lou and Tosh play verbal table tennis, sending the ball across the table at dizzying speed. Occasionally Fran pokes her bat in timidly and ruins the rally.

Scenes with Girls was developed by writer Miriam Battye with the Royal Court Writers’ Group.

It’s a many layered piece; the various nuances of women’s lives writ large.

How to be 24 in 2020 as #MeToo calmly and meticulously details the wrongs done to women?

Tosh and Lou long to shuck off the mental chains of romantic love and yet also crave it.

Director Lucy Morrison sets a cracking pace, alternating with sinister slowness. Her work at Clean Break, exploring the complexity of women’s relationships, is in evidence.

There are no stereotypes, just layered questioning, women constantly seeking and wondering who they are, where they are and what they are to one another.

It’s a wonderful tribute to the Royal Court Writers’ group that it is able to take the germ of an idea, work with a talented writer and magical team, and create such a fine piece of work.

Until February 22
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