Review: Uncomfortable viewing - The Nether, Royal Court
Review: Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster in A Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic

Review: Lisa Dillon is the RSC's riotous Roaring Girl, Stratford Upon Avon

Lisa Dillon as Moll Cutpurse in the RSC's Roaring Girl

Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton's The Roaring Girl is one of a trio of plays running at the Swan Theatre which have great parts for women and I was with @Polyg when she tweeted that she wanted to be Lisa Dillon who plays protagonist Moll Cutpurse.

Director Jo Davies' production is fast, loud and brash with music accompaniment coming from electric guitars, drums and a double base. The plot involves an almost dizzying number of characters and storylines. All centred around affairs of the heart, entrapment and duplicity with both sexes behaving badly.

However, through it all there is Moll. A tobacco-smoking, male-attire wearing woman who can look after herself. She lives by her wit, acumen and occasionally nifty fight moves in order to maintain her independence in a man's world. She has a reputation as a pick-pocket and her choice of dress and lifestyle leads many to the conclusion that she is loose woman. The irony is that despite her methods she isn't what she seems and is often the better person.

Lisa Dillon plays her brilliantly. She is sassy, spirited and full of verve, a street heroine. Dekker and Middleton probably weren't aware of what they were creating but she is an early feminist and the plot refreshingly holds that line - I did fear for a U-turn, Taming of the Shrew style in the second half.

The pace and volume of the performances does take a little while to penetrate and I'm not entirely sure I understood what was going on all of the time but ultimately it is a hell of a ride, almost worth it entirely for the final dance which I would love to see up on the RSC's YouTube channel sometime.

Roaring Girl runs in rep at the Swan Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon until September 30th.


Lisa Dillon was in a Design For Living at the Old Vic with Andrew Scott who not only has appeared on stage and screen with Mr W (Cock, The Hour) most recently was spotted enjoying a night at the theatre with him (Mr Burns, Almeida). If Poly ever applied her scoring system to my 6DS game I'm sure the latter connection would earn extra points.