Top Girls often have to take hits and make sacrifices to get to the top of their profession. One only has to look at Julia Gillard and her path to the top and her recent demise, which happened around the same time as the New Theatre’s current revival of Caryl Churchill’s classic 1982 play.
Alice Livingstone’s production serves Churchill’s groundbreaking play. Gina Rose Drew’s set and costume design works wonderfully well. The three main characters are tremendous. Julia Billington plays the lead character, ambitious Marlene who has won the top job at her recruitment agency aptly named ‘Top Girls , Claudia Barrie plays her anxious teenage daughter Angie, and Sarah Aubrey played her much down to earth sister Joyce who has raised Angie as if her own child. Angie knows nothing of this arrangement but begins to suspect. The leads are given good support by the ensemble that includes Cheryl Ward, Bishanyia Vincent, Ainslie McGlynn and Maeve Macgregor.
Livingstone’s clear transitions are a feature, switching from the play’s famous opening Act, set in an upmarket restaurant, where Marlene encounters and talks to eccentric, powerful women from the past about the challenges of being fesity, independent women in their particular generation, to Act 2 where the scenes are played out within Joyce’s home and Marlene’s workplace.
Recommended, Alice Livingstone’s revival of Caryl Churchill’s TOP GIRLS opened at the New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown on Thursday July 11 and runs until Saturday August 3, 2013.