Bad Girls on at Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Bad Girls – the Musical is based on the ITV Drama of the same name. It follows the story of 8 female prison inmates and their journey for freedom, justice and fair treatment in the prison. It is a fun filled show with serious themes running through it.

This revival of the show is by produced by new to the scene company R.A.B productions and if this show is anything to go on, they are one to watch out for! The Production was Directed by Rebecca Eastham who also starred in the production as ‘Cop Killer’ Nicki Wade. I always find it risky for somebody to direct and perform such a large role but Eastham clearly had a great understanding of the role and the show as it seemed to run seamlessly as a piece with acting and staging alike.

This production of Bad Girls had a cast of 14 all playing very distinctive characters and nobody faded away! Nicole Faraday reprised the role of Shell Dockley that she originated in the west end production and she did not disappoint. She brought the same detailed performance to this revival and was brassy and sassy throughout.

The vocals in this cast were powerful, especially in the group numbers but Alex-May Roberts as Crystal Gordon shone in her vocal talent during the soulful ‘Freedom Road’. The stand out vocal performance however has to go to the incredibly talented Bella Bowen during her duet of ‘Every Night’. Bowen plays the Role of Helen Stewart the Wing Governor trying to help the inmates to a better life. Helen isn’t a major singing role with her scenes being the characters main focus. Bella Bowen’s convincing Scottish accent and tender acting made her a stand out in the show but nothing could prepare the audience for her powerhouse voice and left the whole room wishing she had more to sing!

Other stand out cast members were Jade Marvin as Denny Blood who brought constant energy and life to the piece. Benjamin Connor as the sweet and sincere Justin and Anna Middlemass as Julie Johnston who’s comedic timing and gestures were spot on. The show had a band of three on stage throughout the show and they played with ease. The choreography by Rachel Chapman was clever and perfectly suited to the piece.

This was a really fun night at the theatre with some very strong performers in it! If you liked the TV show as I did you won’t be disappointed with this production! Running at the Gatehouse until the 3rd of March and then onto other venues! If you can stop by to see the show at one of its venues do try!

Review by Sarah-Leanne Howe

Bad Girls is running until 3rd March upstairs at the Gatehouse. Find out what else is on there and how to book tickets via their website.

If you like this review you might also like my review for Rock of Ages, The Band and Six.

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