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Credit: Contributed
Credit: Contributed

The Revlon Girl, Park Theatre – Review

Pros: Flawless performances by the entire cast.

Cons: None. This is a beautiful piece of theatre.

Pros: Flawless performances by the entire cast. Cons: None. This is a beautiful piece of theatre. Do you know that feeling, when, having seen a play and shared an intense emotional experience, other members of the audience suddenly feel like family; when people smile shyly at one another and hold open the theatre door just a bit longer than necessary? It’s a rare and special feeling, and only the best of performances elicit it. It was certainly the feeling I experienced last night, when I left the Park Theatre up in Finsbury Park, having shared a moving evening with…

Summary

Rating

Excellent

An uplifting and moving play about grief, hope, kindness – and lipstick.

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Do you know that feeling, when, having seen a play and shared an intense emotional experience, other members of the audience suddenly feel like family; when people smile shyly at one another and hold open the theatre door just a bit longer than necessary? It’s a rare and special feeling, and only the best of performances elicit it.

It was certainly the feeling I experienced last night, when I left the Park Theatre up in Finsbury Park, having shared a moving evening with strangers which saw me choking down tears and laughing outright moments later.  

It was mid-morning in October 1966 when, in the small Welsh village of Aberfan, the catastrophe struck. A colliery spoil collapsed and sent an avalanche of rock and shale sliding down the mountain, burying the local school and killing 116 children and 28 adults.

Neil Anthony Docking’s The Revlon Girl tells the true story of a group of the bereaved mothers who, ashamed to seem frivolous, secretly invite a Revlon sales rep to their weekly gatherings to give them beauty tips. It’s a story of grief and sorrow, helplessness and anger, but also hope, kindness and compassion. All five characters are excellently portrayed, a true study of human diversity, and over the course of the play we get to know them intimately, and discover the different ways in which they cope with their grief. The most moving character is that of Sian (Charlotte Gray), who hides her loneliness under a mask of strength, and who desires a different mask – that of make-up, and beauty – to help her overcome her sorrow.  

If this all sounds rather depressing, it is, but Maxine Evan’s production brings in plenty of lighter moments. The cast is outstanding, and they work as well individually as they do as a perfectly coordinated group. It’s a beautiful, poignant and powerful play. Don’t miss it.

Author: Neil Anthony Docking
Director: Maxine Evans
Box Office: 020 7870 6876
Booking Link: https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/the-revlon-girl/about
Booking Until: 14 October 2017

About Elke Wiebalck

Elke Wiebalck
Aspiring arts manager. Having moved to London in search of a better and more exciting life, Elke left a small Swiss village behind her and found herself in this big and ruthless city, where she decided to join the throngs of people clustering to find their dream job in the arts. She considers herself a bit of an actor, but wasn’t good enough to convince anyone else. She loves her bike, and sitting in the sun watching the world go by. Elke firmly believes that we all would be fundamentally better if more people went to the theatre, more often.