Bad Girls – The Musical, Athenaeum Masqueraders, Warminster

revu-badgirlsTHIS production by Warminster’s Masqueraders was back by popular demand after a successful sell-out production on the Athenaeum stage earlier this year. That demand was certainly evident as this vibrant show, which really delivers what the title promises, once again played to full houses.

It is set in a women’s prison, and the stark set and echoing noises off created a grim backdrop for the cast to demonstrate a dramatic picture of life inside G wing at HMP Larkhall.

Full credit must go to Shauna Phillips-Newman, who stepped into the role as one of the inmates at short notice, after a cast member had to withdraw due to an injury. She joined a cast which included new Masquerader Steve Adderley who made a convincing stage debut as Principal Officer Jim Fenner.

The musical’s raunchy songs told with wit and humour a human story of emotional isolation and raw physical brutality. A seven-piece band, under the direction of James Finbow, provided the backing with trumpeter Adam Holman deserving a special mention for his fluent moves between musician and actor as he played both on and off stage.

Strong voices confidently delivered a range of poignant songs, in which the vivacious routine by a vividly bewigged chorus was a highlight. Sadly the volume of the instruments sometimes rose to such levels that the lyrics were drowned out but the high standard of choreography was impressively consistent.

Riots, rape and raucous protests from the prisoners all played their part in providing another example of the Athenaeum’s drama groups’ continuing enthusiasm and professionalism. A last plaudit must go to Karen Green for her competent direction.

Perhaps it was the extra practice of a repeat show which helped to make this a first rate performance displaying many local talents.


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