A striking play with four great parts for women, Rona Munro creates a believable world of domestic friendship and betrayal in a far from ordinary setting.
The play announced that Rona Munro was one of the best Scottish playwrights of her generation.
7:84 Scottish People's Theatre at Cumbernauld Theatre, 1991. Directed by Lynne Parker.
Deirdre – Andrea Irvine
Marie – Paula Hamilton
Nora – Joyce McBrinn
Cassie – Julia Dearden.
'Well, the jeans don’t fit me any more so they’re yours and welcome and I never was desperate fond of that top so you can have it, but those earrings were a present from my husband, so I’ll be having them back.'
'It is irons and ironing boards and piles of clothes waiting to be smoothed, socks and pegs and damp sheets waiting for a break in the Belfast drizzle for the line ... It’s pots and pans and steam and the kettle always hot for tea.' – Scene One.
The lives of three women in war-torn Belfast, Marie – 'cheerful, efficient, young' – her friend Cassie – 'sceptical, sharp-tongued' – and Cassie’s mother Nora – 'down-to-earth' are disturbed one evening by the appearance of a young girl, Deirdre, and her revelations. By the end of the night, moving from kitchen to The Club and back, various truths have been revealed.
'There’s been men that’ve told me I’m pretty and men that’ve told me I’m clever and men that ‘ve sworn I’m some kind of angel come down to pull them out of a sea of whisky and give them the kiss of life. Lying hounds every one of them.'
'It was the product of a lot of whiskey, a lot of laughs and a score of stories ... I don’t think the battles women fight, or the daily struggles they have in much of Belfast, are particularly different from those in any other area with bad housing or high unemployment – except that guns make a difference to everything. But this isn’t a story about guns. It’s the story of four bold women.'
– Rona Munro.
No men appear on stage, yet their impact is everywhere in this brutal, poetic study of women’s lives.
Touching and witty, and never shying from the harsh realities of life, 'Bold Girls' came early in Munro's career and showed how sure was her dramatic touch and ear for dialogue.
'Rona Munro’s ear for the authentic cut and thrust of Belfast’s unsung heroines is sharp, abrasive and at times downright painful ... it is also celebratory and funny.'
– 'Daily Mail'.
'... absorbing, often funny ... exhilarating.'
– 'Sunday Telegraph'.
'... the story of love, friendship and betrayal could be set anywhere.'
– 'Mail on Sunday'.
'Bold girls' was the result of a commission from 7:84 Theatre Company Scotland to write a play about women in Northern Ireland.
Touring Scotland in 1991, it also appeared at London's Hampstead Theatre in a different production, with a cast including Imelda Staunton and Catherine Cusack.
Rona Munro won the 'Evening Standard' Most Promising Playwright Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Award in 1991.
© National Library of Scotland 2010