Glasgow Girls – production photography by Andrew Wilson at the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock

Glasgow Girls

Liverpool Playhouse

Peter Grant

Rousing, roaring, reflective – Glasgow Girls works on many levels.

Cora Bissett and David Greig’s creative collaboration is based on the true story of seven feisty, strong-willed teenagers.

This group of girls who wear their heavy hearts on the sleeves of their school uniforms.

Their lives change forever when their classroom friend and her asylum-seeking family are forcibly taken from their home in the tough inner city to be deported.

This motivates the young women to become a protest group and fight for the life and rights of their friend and, ultimately, for the rights of all children of asylum-seekers.

The real Glasgow Girls’ story goes back to 2005  and became one of the most powerful asylum campaigns in recent history.

Along the way the individual and collective stance of the girls with a ‘don’t mess with us’ attitude challenges the government.

The Media see the potential of the story while a whole community unite behind its residents.

On paper it is a political drama, but it’s also  happily entertaining in getting its message across. Like a Willy Russell musical, it knows how to appeal to the audience.

Glasgow Girls is sharp and stylistic in the process. The first half’s initial fast-paced fusion of Glaswegian accents and loud music did hinder the flow at times, making it hard to hear the important dialogue.

But this soon settled down. Using a variety of diverse up-lifting, up-tempo and slower songs, vigorous dance moves and earthy humour.

Some classroom scenes are both moving and funny.

It was a massive hit at Edinburgh Fringe 2016, where it hit more than a nerve, out-selling other shows in the festival. That is quite an achievement

All the girls display outstanding energy levels throughout the 90 minutes (plus interval).

Their dedication in telling this modern day morality tale is evident in every scene.

They are aided by the elder performers notably the Robbie Burns loving Mr Girvan played by Callum Cutherbertson and Terry Neason in multi-roles as inspiring Mrs Neason and part-time narrator.

Six musicians provide live music which helps the production move swiftly along. nd songs such as  ‘At It’ and the title track strike a chord.

The lighting and slound effects deserve special praise for creating dark and light moods accordingly.

And while the Everyman awaits the debut of its Rep company’s debut Fiddler on The Roof, here we have a Fiddler on a two-tier urban set . . .  Laura Jane Wilkie adds real moments of poignancy.

For all the real life ‘Glasgow Girls’ – their story and their campaign is passionately re-told in every single performance of this admirable work which is now on a short UK tour.

Let’s hope one day there will be closure.


Stirring Storytelling.

(4 / 5)

Until Saturday

Box Office; 051 709 4776

Presented by Pachamama

Produced by Pomegranate Projects

Originally co-produced by National Theatre of Scotland, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Citizens Theatre and Richard Jordan Productions

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