Review Round Up: Scenes with Girls, Royal Court Theatre

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Miriam Battye’s play at the Royal Court Theatre.  

Credit & copyright: Helen Murray

Londonist: ***** “The dialogue is sharp and witty and Battye cleverly takes you through a spectrum of wanting to shake them (the overthinking, the torturous overthinking), wanting to be their best friend and wanting to make them feel better.”

WhatsOnStage: **** “directed with nuance and sensitivity by Lucy Morrison, there are two things that mark Scenes with Girls out as special. The first is its language; this is a play with articulate, language-obsessed heroines, who are always looking up words on their computers to check they are using them correctly. Its own dialogue is engineered with the same precision, both naturalistic and highly refined, each word landing exactly where it should.”

The Guardian:** “The play’s convoluted cry to value friends falls flat when their mutually controlling relationship doesn’t seem worth fighting for.”

The Telegraph: **** “Lucy Morrison’s sleek production – played out on a cool blue swimming-pool style set, casually strewn with phones, laptops and water bottles and with a toilet and sink at one end – is quite superbly acted.”

Evening Standard: **** “There are moments when the play loses focus or becomes overly introspective – it works best as a set of smart scenes rather than a whole. (Or maybe I’m too hung up on the narrative.)  But it feels especially insightful in exploring how an increasingly feminist culture oppressively idealises female friendship, introducing a pressure for women to be unfailingly kind to each other at all times in order to compensate for all the ills of men.”

The Stage: *** “There’s a maddening wonkiness to Scenes With Girls. Then again, maybe that’s symptomatic of how it feels to be a young woman.”

Exeunt Magazine: “There’s a lot I like, and I want to unravel Tosh and Lou’s ambiguity further, but Scenes with girls finishes swift and vague. Their own language, like an ivy, starts eating up their sentences to each other. I can’t work out if Battye is realist about the way woman-woman bonds conflict with the ongoing problem of boys, or if this is heteropessimism at its most bleak.”

QX Magazine: *** “Though a valiant attempt at sounding the horn about the value of female friendship, Baytte’s work feels a little root-less. The foundation of the central partnership is uprooted, and little is done to reconcile that before they hug and make up. If they were racing towards a cliff-edge in a convertible, tailed by a swarm of cop cars, you’d wish one of them had the sense to pull the handbrake.”

The Upcoming:*** “It should be said that Scenes With Girls is very funny; scathingly so. It is also effortlessly from 2020, which sounds easy and obvious but is far from it. Reynolds and Murrell are great both as a tag team and in their unravelling, while Thomas is a joy as the perfectly basic Fran.”

Scenes with Girls continues to play at the Royal Court Theatre until the 22nd February.

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