Playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s return to theatre after a three-year break has many theatre-goers expecting big things. And with Typical Girls at the Crucible Theatre, we aren’t disappointed.
Set in a women’s prison, Typical Girls explores the stories of five incarcerated women against the backdrop of music workshops, as they navigate their experiences via the medium of music and the power of punk.
Breathing life into the songs of legendary Brit punk band The Slits, these women show us raw emotion in each and every performance. Expertly entwining the lyrics with real-life scenarios that many women in prison face, the show gives a voice and vehicle to these strong women to say a big “f*** you” to the system. It’s the very soul of punk!
Typical Girls is commissioned and developed by theatre company Clean Break, whose members are women with lived experience of the criminal justice system. Here they give us a glimpse into a flawed system, a reality that many women have faced, and continue to face. In doing so, they truly bring the show to life.
Loud without being obnoxious, energetic without being tiring – the play strikes that perfect, yet often hard to achieve, balance between humour and hard-hitting honesty. There are some sidesplittingly funny moments from characters such as Alison Fitzjohn’s Mouth. Meanwhile Lucy Ellinson’s “prim and proper” music teacher Marie has a naivety towards prison life that is presumably mirrored by much of the audience, creating a good dollop of empathy throughout.
Not your average night at the theatre – there’s nothing Typical about this show. An electric, enjoyable experience from start to the finish, you’ll leave Typical Girls with your heart racing, your ears ringing, and the biggest of smiles on your face.
The show will also be streaming online on 6 October.
- Words by
- Armarni Lane Turton
- Featured in
- Theatre picks