REVIEW: Dead Girls Rising at Sheffield Playhouse is 'exciting, life-affirming'

Dead Girls Rising at Sheffield PlayhouseDead Girls Rising at Sheffield Playhouse
Dead Girls Rising at Sheffield Playhouse
RAW and rebellious, Dead Girls Rising uses angry, loud, punk music as the soundtrack to women’s everyday experiences of often violent sexism.

In a post-Sarah Everard world violated by the likes of Andrew Tate, the show emphasises why women still fear watching what they say or wear, where they go, or how much they drink.

But what is justice, can revenge be justified and is violence the solution?

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Schoolgirls Hannah, played by Angelina Chudi and Katie (Helen Reuben) are obsessed by true crime and a dead girl who went to their school.

As they walk through spooky woods they accidentally summon The Furies – the classical goddesses of justice.

And they happen to be a great punk band, engulfing the stage space.

Through biting, bitter, satirical lyrics their songs declare ironically "nothing has happened to me" – or cruelly "rather her than me" as the girls' quest is littered by ghosts and zombies.

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The Furies, Tisiphone (Izzy Neish), Magaera (Zoe West) and Alecto (Rebecca Levy), are fabulous performers, playing and acting with both empathy and menace.

Hannah and Katie huddle under the duvet consuming horror movies as they ponder on their lives, the spectre of the murdered girl never far from their thoughts.

As young women they look for love in a hostile male-dominated landscape.

Katie sings that she’s only looking for a "normal" bloke, not even a "bespoke" one.

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By the time they are older adults, Hannah is a mother, while Katie is still looking for ways to overcome her deeply affecting fear.

Dead Girls Rising pulls no punches, in an exciting, life-affirming and entertaining way.

Great cast, great music from Anya Pearson, and great writing from Maureen Lennon.

"Kill all men" is an anthem that many women would identify with.

But, ultimately, solidarity across genders to change society is the powerful message by the end.

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