REVIEW: Girls and Dolls brings you on a nostalgic, emotional journey

editorial image

Rapturous applause echoed through the Millennium Forum last night as the curtain fell on the first night of Girls and Dolls.

The debut play from Lisa McGee, writer and producer of Derry Girls, has been billed as hilarious and heartbreaking, and it certainly ticked all of those boxes.

Set in Derry in 1980, the play focuses on the summer that childhood friends Clare and Emma met at the swings.

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (Derry Girls) and Jennifer Barry (Young Offenders) take on the roles of Clare and Emma, as well as multiple other larger than life characters throughout this two woman show.

Although the play is set in the troubles, there are only some glimpses of it, as it is shown through the memories of the two young girls who were somewhat oblivious to a lot of the conflict which was happening around them.

Each event is played out through the girls respective memories, which are sometimes conflicting, and can show how some moments play a bigger part in one persons life than others.

Girls and Dolls has many layers and addresses a number of different issues, but it does so with Lisa McGee’s humour, her writing bringing the funny side out of even the darkest subject matter.

You’re guaranteed to laugh, and possibly cry, and in last night’s performance you could have heard a pin drop between the roaring laughter of the audience.

Although set in the 1980s, many of the references throughout the play are timeless, with playground games and the types of characters you’re still likely to find around Derry.

Girls and Dolls is presented by Millennium Forum Productions and Sodabread Theatre Company. The play is written by Lisa McGee, directed by Gerard McCabe and produced by David McLaughlin.

Limited tickets are still available for the remaining performances of the play, tonight Tuesday, September 18, Wednesday, September 19 and Thursday, September 20 from the Millennium Forum Box Office.