Review: The Revlon Girl: Warmth, wit and tears in a wonderful production by The Heath Players
Entertainment / Fri 27th Oct 2023 at 10:08am
Review: The Revlon Girl
By The Heath Players
THE HEATH Players have never been afraid to take on challenging material. Even from their earliest days when they performed A Day in the Death of Joe Egg to Bombers Moon.
There is always light and shade.
The Revlon Girl is set eight months following the death of 116 children at the Aberfan disaster of 1966.
This is the real life story of a number of women who meet at the local hotel to talk,, cry and even, perhaps laugh.
They invite a Revlon Girl to give them a talk on beauty tips. They feel so guilty about it that it is shrouded in secrecy. They even worry about her flaws car parked in front of the hotel.
Once again this is terrific ensemble acting by an all female cast.
The five actors hold your attention for the whole 80 minutes.
We have to say that the stand out performance was by debutant Melanie Gunetilleke as the abrasive and forthright Rona. Her’s was a powerhouse performance. An angry woman but also a woman that cut through the bull. She really was the glue that made this stick as a fantastic production.
She was joined by four other performances that emoted bereavement and loss in so many different ways.
In many ways, Jo Gladstone’s character Sian did much of the heavy lifting in this performance. In many ways she was the woman trying to keep this group together. Her monologue towards the end was terribly moving and did have audience members at Hatfield Village Hall in tears.
This reviewer was amazed at how each actress carved out their characters. Becky Vincent as Jean and Jenna Young as Marilyn really inhabited their roles. Both were clinging onto hope and faith in order to try and see some form of future.
The more they spoke, the more you were touched by the tragedy.
Finally, Chrissie Waites played a vital role as the Revlon Girl. Again, on stage for nearly the whole performance, she was an important foil for the four other women.
A very good actress who displayed great empathy for the other women. Sometimes it it what the actor is doing when they are not speaking that is as vital to the role.
This was very well directed by veteran Steve Foster, who kept it as an unfussy set and it looked like he just unleashed the potential in his actresses.
The fact that the team went down to south Wales as part of their research shows the level of dedication from The Heath Players.
We should also say that this is a very warm and humorous production. There were many laugh ut loud moments especially coming from Rona’s caustic and very sweary wit.
Well done to the whole team. This reviewer has been winding his way up to Hatfield Heath for over ten years. He is also a guest reviewer at the Edinburgh Festival. Whilst there in August at the largest arts festival in the world, he said to fellow reviewers that in many ways, that encapsulates local drama are The Heath Players. From front of house, to sound, lighting and wardrobe, it is all about the team.
I agree totally with the review above including the background which brought back many memories of 1966 for me. But this was one of the best of many years membership with The Heath Players .David Neil.
What a fantastic way to relay some of the after effects of Aberfan. Each of the actresses were different and brilliantly played. Funny, emotional and educational.