MusicalNorth East & YorkshireReview

Typical Girls – The Crucible, Sheffield

Reviewer: Christopher Holmes

Writer: Morgan Lloyd Malcolm

Music: The Slits

Director: Roisin McBrinn

Marking the start of The Crucible’s Autumn season, this riotous prison drama, described as more gig than musical, centres around 5 inmates in a place for women with personality disorders. Through a series of soliloquys and internal monologues these “Typical” Girls find themselves on a journey of discovery to find their brave, bold and authentic selves. These women albeit beautiful and bruised, find their voice through a series of experimental music workshops led by music therapist Marie (Lucy Ellinson). Here, a group of complex characters are able to share their experiences set to the anarchic Punk music of The Slits. This show is an invitation for you to defy the norm.

Typical Girls celebrates life, it asks questions and breaks down barriers of prejudice; dealing with themes such as mental health, relationships and the desire to change. The message here is a clear one and, even those who are not au fait with The Slits will appreciate that Punk music is an outlet for frustration and that creativity is meant to heal.  These women have so much to shout about. They celebrate life and, through the power of music, they come to realise they are all individuals.

These girls are naïve. They shy away from talking about how they feel. They don’t want to discuss their crimes, their mental illness or their personality disorders. They cope though, just, and it’s thanks to the music that they find remedy in a system that suffocates and takes away their dignity.

The show is incredibly funny, moving and uplifting. The seven strong female cast are equally and brilliantly individual, although one must mention Helen Cripps who plays Jane and Alison Fitzjohn who plays Mouth who are wonderfully gifted actors. The show is also beautifully handled by director Roisin McBrinn who understands the women’s frustration and helps the production pack a punch.

Typical girls may take a little time to gear up but once this show is in full throttle there is enough energy here to light up a concert stadium. Cleverly written and devised by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm In collaboration with Clean Break (a theatre company originally set up by two women prisoners) and co-commissioned by The Royal Shakespeare Company, this bold and daring new show is a brilliant and brave addition to the Sheffield Theatres program. So, go find your brave, bold and beautiful self and join the crusade of the punk revolution. Grab a ticket and stick it to the man!

Runs until 16th October 2021

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The Yorkshire & North East team is under the editorship of Mark Clegg. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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One Comment

  1. Brilliant show! 1 hour 45 never passed so quickly! High energy, joy, fury, fun, poignant, sad. Certainly made me think (especially, what DID Jane do?)

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