July 1, 2008

Swansea Girls

Swansea Girls

Swansea Grand Theatre

Thursday, June 26

A WELCOME return to the Grand's main stage for this engaging musical revolving around the lives and loves of four very different women.

Writer/composer Lyn Mackay - reprising her role as Maggie, a troubled fortysomething with a colourful past and an uncertain future - has cannily tweaked the content, removing the very few segments that did not quite come off last time around and adding a terrific new number entitled Botox Boogie, in which she pokes fun at "size zero" culture and wags the flag for women who want to celebrate their curves.

Menna Trussler contributes a beautifully judged performance as Dolores, the elder stateswoman of the group, striking exactly the right balance between moments of broad comedy and pathos, while Nia Trussler breathes life into the role of Tess, trapped in an abusive marriage and seemingly chained to the ironing board.

Sophie Brown's portrayal of showbiz-mad teenager Keely is spot- on and reflects all the enthusiam and single-mindedess of youth, providing a clever counterpoint to the experiences of the older characters.

Director Kathryn Rice, choreographer Lloyd Carthew and musical director Gareth Thorrington are to be congratulated for their own contributions to what is clearly a very happy show.

Swansea Girls reached the end of its run at the Grand on Saturday, but this is by no means the end of the story.

Lyn Mackay has penned a follow-up, entitled Swansea Women.

Watch this space.

Graham Williams

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