Top Girls Play Runs Early November In Wgtn
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Megan Peacock
1 – 4
STUDIO 77 - 77 Fairlie Tce, Kelburn
Bookings: 04 381 9253
The female of the species is often her own worst enemy
Caryl Churchill’s all-female play Top Girls is a feminist commentary on the ‘career woman’ of the 1980s. Churchill implicitly condemns the increasing incidence of Thatcherist values in British society, especially their effect on the growth of feminism.
The play highlights the sacrifices women make to ‘get-to-the-top’ and in his production investigates the confusion of the ‘liberated’ woman, which results in our protagonist Marlene finding herself alone. So this is our heroine’s, world - a lonely cut-throat office jungle with no room for any feminine emotions that might get in the way of climbing to the top.
The play is famous for its dreamlike opening sequence in which Marlene contemplates the choices she has made and celebrates a promotion with famous women from history. These fantasy characters include Pope Joan, who, disguised as a man, is thought to have been pope between 854-856; the explorer Isabella Bird; Dull Gret, the harrower of Hell; Lady Nijo, the Japanese mistress of an emperor and later a Buddhist nun; and Patient Griselda, the uncomplaining wife from The Clerk's Tale in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
The play then goes on to reveal the child Marlene sacrificed and the working class roots she left behind.
Marlene battles figuratively with herself and literally with her sister as she endeavors to convince herself, and the audience, that she has made the right choices and that she is happy with the consequences.
Starring: Tina Cook, Sally Richards, Harriette Cowan, Julie Noever, Serena Cotton, Alicia Sutton & Robyn Paterson. This production also has an all female crew.
Top Girls is Megan Peacock’s major and final production towards her Masters of Theatre Arts in Directing, jointly taught by Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and Victoria University of Wellington.