Venue: Greenside @ Infirmary Street
The Lost Girls is a startling piece of theatre that begins in a deceptively comic way and then takes the audience somewhere much darker and much more real. A collection of monologues and two hander episodes about motherhood, expectations and futures filled with uncertainty, it’s difficult to watch at times but compelling all the same.
The minimalistic staging and simple costumes place the audience’s attention firmly on the talented cast. Amelia Hamilton proves herself to be a versatile actor when she opens the play as a ditzy young woman who’s comically terrified at the prospect of an unplanned pregnancy. However, Hamilton also subtly evokes a huge amount of pity moments later when it’s revealed her character has fertility problems.
The standout performances of the show comes from Annlouise Butt and Louisa Britton as a woman trapped in an abusive relationship and an expectant mother who fears she is having a miscarriage respectively. Butt shrewdly conveys the mixture of vulnerability and bitterness hiding behind her character’s perfect façade as she longs for an identity of her own. Both scenes are incredibly moving, with Britton offering a mature and deeply affecting performance that leaves the entire audience in stunned silence. The dialogue between mother and child is cleverly staged with one of the actors speaking the lines of the foetus from inside the womb. This set up is particularly effective during Britton’s scene. The fact that that the unborn baby is played by an adult actor serves as a poignant reminder of the enormity of the loss facing Britton’s character and the person that the foetus could have potentially grown up to be. It’s moments such as this that make The Lost Girls burn with a potent intensity that stays with the audience long after the show has finished.
Unfortunately, the structure of The Lost Girls can make the show feel a little unfinished at times as if you’re watching a collection of auditions or drama lessons rather than an actual piece of theatre. Nonetheless, it’s a strong Fringe debut from Sod’s Law Theatre and I’m looking forward to see what they do next.