Review: Scenes With Girls, Royal Court - intelligent, fresh and funny, I want more theatre like this please
I want to see more plays like Scenes With Girls. While women talking about sex and talking about liking sex, isn't as unusual as it once was, what I particularly enjoyed about Miriam Battye's play is how it moves the discussion into the context of feminism.
Tosh (Tanya Reynolds) and Lou (Rebekah Murrell) are best friends. While boyfriends and other friends have come and gone their friendship has endured.
They are feminists, eschewing conventional stereotypes of what women should and shouldn't do.
For Lou, this means subverting what she sees as society's prescribed narrative of women needing to be in a relationship.
Badge of honour
She is determined to create a new narrative, enjoying sex but nothing more. She sees the increasing number of sexual partners she's had as a badge of honour.
Tosh meanwhile hasn't had sex for a long time.
When their old friend Fran (Letty Thomas) turns up engaged to her 'boring' boyfriend it seems to confirm everything they believe about the 'female narrative'.
But in dissecting Fran's relationship and everything they perceived to be wrong about it, it challenges their principles and exposes cracks in their friendship.
Performed as a series of short scenes, it is an intelligent and funny play exploring what it means to be a feminist when it comes to sex and relationships.
It is also a play about young women challenging the world and finding that it challenges them back.
But at its heart, its a beautifully observed play about female friendships.
My only very slight niggle is with the staging. It is a square pit with a step around the edge and a bathroom at one end. The audience on four sides.
The action tends to gravitate towards the steps rather than making the most of the central space. But it is only a minor niggle.
I thought Scenes with Girls was a refreshingly intelligent and funny play about contemporary female relationships and I loved it.
I'm giving it my first ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ of the year.
It's 80 minutes straight-through and is at the Royal Court Theatre until 22 February.
You might also like to read:
Review: The Sunset Limited, Boulevard Theatre - great performances, problems with the play (until 29 Feb)
Review: You Stupid Darkness!, Southwark Playhouse - funny, haunting and strangely uplifting (until 22 Feb)