REVIEW: Girls and Dolls

Lisa McGee's debut play wows on opening night


The latest offering from the famed writer of Derry Girls, Lisa McGee, debuted at the Millennium Forum with yet more laughs and tribulation from the award winning writer.

The Channel 4 TV show which has been taken to the nation’s heart, has won numerous awards and accolades since appearing on our screens earlier this year, and after watching her debut play, I predict the awards will keep on coming.

This well written script is expertly executed by Jamie Lee O Donnell (Derry Girls) and Jennifer Barry (The Young Offenders), who take this excellent piece of prose and deliver a stage performance to remember.

The script allows them to populate the set with a vast array of characters, highlighting their exquisite talents as they flow effortlessly from the main characters of childhood friends Emma and Clare, to a cast of neighbours, friends, family, a local shopkeeper and even the parish priest.

They suspend your reality and transport you into the world which has been created by Lisa McGee, set in  1980’s Derry. Moving seamlessly from their childhood to adult selves with the grace and timing of expert dancers, they keeping the fast pace of this moving story as spell binding as a well choreographed ballet.

The stage setting incorporates a backdrop of TV golden oldies, that those of a certain age remember with a fondness and nostalgia, and others are exposed to for the first time, transporting us to the age in which the play is set.

From the start we are kept in anticipation, can this friendship and does this friendship survive an event, but what event?

As an audience we laughed lots, held our breath with anticipation, had our minds in overdrive trying to anticipate what may or might have happened. We were taken on a journey with twists and turns, giggles and laughs, sighs and heartbreak, all based around the main theme, the strong friendship and bond of Emma and Clare.

We are given a front row seat into their lives, at a time when the troubles lurked in the background, reflecting a time that some of us remember and others experienced through the superb writing, and the fantastic execution of Lisa McGee’s debut play. It made me proud to be a Derry Girl, and know, one of our own could produce a play of such quality.

Get a bigger display cabinet Lisa, and for everyone else, be sure to catch her stunning debut play Girls and Dolls.


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