Bold Girls is a haunting drama about the Troubles (3 stars)

Bold Girls is a haunting drama about the Troubles

credit: Tim Morozzo

Superb performances in the revival of Rona Munro's play

It's the early 90s, in Rona Munro's small Belfast town, where points are made with bullets. It's populated by over-cautious women whose errant men are either dead or serving time, as is the case with her four characters: Nora (Deirdre Davis), the sharp-tongued matriarch her gobby daughter Cassie (Scarlett Mack) and long-suffering, sensible friend Marie (Lucianne McEvoy) whose husband Michael was killed during the Troubles. Into their lives comes a mysterious young interloper, Deirdre, played by Sinead Sharkey, whose ghostly entrance is reminiscent of murdered teen sex worker Laura Palmer from the cult 90s TV show Twin Peaks.

Munro's caustic script is often true to life, occasionally lyrical and tender. Catholic guilt is second only to poverty, with hand-to-mouth existences lifted by primetime telly, and nights out down shabby pubs, where dance music anthems co-exist alongside quizes to win household goods. When Cassie and Marie find that it's not only favourite songs and dresses that they have shared, the cracks in their friendship begin to show.

It's a powerful and often beautiful performance, but there are a few jarring scenes, such as the obligatory moody monologues, which seem more like stylised tics, but the four women give superb performances, helmed by director Richard Baron. As Orbital's 'Belfast' (what else?) ebbs away, there is a sense of some blood stains which are indelible .

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 10 Feb

Bold Girls

Belfast in the early 1990s. Against a backdrop of gunfire and police raids, four women whose lives have been turned upside down by the Troubles, carry on with everyday life.