Review: Bad Girls at Mansfield Palace Theatre

Bad Girls presented by Inspirations and Directions Theatre Arts at Mansfield Palace Theatre on September 18 and 19, 2015.
Bad Girls presented by Inspirations and Directions Theatre Arts at Mansfield Palace Theatre on September 18 and 19, 2015.
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Riots, rebellion and real good fun, ‘Bad Girls’ is the latest spectacle from Inspirations Theatre Company and Directions Theatre Arts.

Based on the hit television series, ‘Bad Girls’ is a show for the older Inspirations, following the lives of female convicts as they struggle with the realities of life in prison.

Richard Buxton’s convincing portrayal of the infamous Jim Fenner does not disappoint, with his sleazy attitude and lecherous behaviour.

His side kick, Sylvia, ably played by Dawn Shearwood, creates an interesting pairing and their show stopping number ‘The Future Is Bright’ is straight from the Fifties.

No good show would be complete without a compelling love story – and this one has certainly got it!

Nikki Wade, played confidently by Ffion Thornton, is serving her time for murdering a policeman who assaulted her then girlfriend whilst Helen, the Wing Governor, played by Chloe Worstenholme, is striving to follow every last rule in the prison manual. That is, of course, until they fall head over heels in love and both play their characters with compassion and empathy.

Shell Dockley (Nicola Smith) is played with gusto as she rules the prisoners with her sidekick Denny (Matlide Stokes), both roles complementing each other perfectly. Nicola’s impressive seductive number, dressed in cowgirl fashion, will have the audience on the edge of their seats as she seduces the ever-willing Fenner.

Other intriguing characters include, ‘the two Julies’, played by Lisa Bailey and Paula Bargh and Yvonne (a gangster’s moll) played by Jess Spanier, who steal the show with their number ‘All Banged up’. Zoe Wilson plays the devout Christian and delivers a haunting performance of the gospel song ‘Freedom Road’ whilst the comedy element comes from Chrissy Smith who plays Noreen, the prison lag.

The show has some serious moments, with an underlying storyline, but provides plenty of laughs and a variety of pleasing musical numbers. Add to that projections and sound effects, this show makes for a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Produced and choreographed by the talented Dot Clarke and Julie Cox, Bad Girls continues at Mansfield’s Palace Theatre tonight (Friday, September 19).