Dead Girls Rising

Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Neil Cooper

Four stars

Murder becomes Katie and Hannah, the two young women at the centre of Maureen Lennon’s riot grrrl soundtracked feminist fable.

It’s there in the true crime podcasts they tune in to as teenagers, when girls their own age disappear in the woods. It’s there much later too, when their own real life experience becomes infinitely stranger than fiction.

In the thick of their justifiable rage, the duo accidentally conjure up The Furies, the Greek goddesses of vengeance, who here come equipped with electric guitars, a fistful of songs and attitude to match.

As we rewind on Katie and Hannah’s getting of wisdom, the litany of everyday misogyny they must square up to goes some way to explaining how they got here. With the Furies’ celestial girl gang at their side, Katie and Hannah must carve out a destiny of their own, learning to channel their anger into something less homicidal.

Tapping into the anger of real life women in the face of a shocking litany of crimes against them, Lennon and composer and lyricist Anya Pearson have conjured into life an all too necessary call to arms for their youthful audience. 

Helen Reuben as Katie and Angelina Chudi as Hannah tap into the frustrations of both, while the Furies - Izzy Neish as Tisiphone, Zoe West as Magaera and Rebecca Levy as Alecto - have their back from start to finish. There’s also an unnamed drummer bloke who gets his comeuppance as the tables are turned.

Presented by the Hull based Silent Uproar company in association with Hull Truck Theatre, Ruby Clark and Alex Mitchell’s production is a troublingly current affair.  

Echoes of rock follies past nevertheless rise up throughout the show’s appealingly scrappy and refreshingly spiky delivery.

The likes of 1970s agit-rock cabaret troupe the Sadista Sisters and post punk agitators The Au Pairs are both in the mix, with Lennon’s piece bristling with similar outrage.

The fact that the women in Lennon’s play are still having to shout out loud about the same things speaks volumes about how far things haven’t come, in a tale sadly as old as time, but here given renewed kickass intent to fight back.