The Revlon Girl at Park Theatre
This emotional debut from Neil Anthony Docking tells the story of a small group of mothers who lost their children in the Aberfan disaster, and their attempts to briefly detach from reality with a beauty lesson from a Revlon representative.
It’s a beautifully written ensemble piece; no character has a bigger role than the others, and each has their own coping mechanisms, which are gradually revealed in between general local gossip and complaints of a ceiling drip, which provides a monotony that feels hugely symbolic. Extremely powerful, the script goes from laugh-out-loud funny, to intense monologues that have grown men in the audience weeping, all within minutes, yet the flow is never lost. Bethan Thomas’s portrayal of the outspoken Rona is a particular highlight, and the character delivers both the best one-liners as well as the play’s most hard-hitting truths. Why has the disaster committee decided to build a swimming pool when there aren’t any children left alive to use it?
Perhaps most touching is the relationship between the upbeat Sian (Charlotte Gray) and Charlotte, the Revlon girl (Antonia Kinlay). From the start, Sian is the only one who seems to want Charlotte there, and their conversations are sweet and simple, but they provide a necessary calmness. Of course, this only heightens the heartbreak later in the play when Sian finally loses control of her emotions, and the other women and the audience alike are shocked by her swearing.
Maxine Evans does a flawless job with direction; the piece flows effortlessly and she manages to create the most poignant moments out of seemingly nothing, allowing each individual story to shine in its own way. The beauty of the silhouetted final minute provides a fitting end to this play about finding togetherness in such tragic events. The Revlon Girl is a tale of rage, of compassion, of sorrow and of laughter, and each emotion is executed flawlessly by five incredibly talented actresses who make the stories their own, but equally allow us to be part of them.
Photo: The Revlon Girl at Park Theatre
The Revlon Girl is at Park Theatre from 19th September until 14th October 2017. For further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for The Revlon Girl here: