Theatre review: The Boadicea of Britannia Street

Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: The Boadicea of Britannia Street at New Town Theatre (Venue 7), reviewed by David Pollock

This light-hearted tale of four very different female characters brought together by their desire to express themselves has been described elsewhere as Calendar Girls meets Dead Poets Society, and that strapline is really all you need to know.

Starring Lucinda Curtis, lead in 2011’s Fringe hit Dust, as former journalist on the local rag Fran – who wrote reviews and obituaries, which are often “pretty similar”, and has started a creative writing group in her retirement – it’s an endearingly fun and often powerfully observed celebration of womanhood.

However, its apparent desire to hit the same feelgood beats as populist chick-flick entertainment makes it good rather than great.
The cast are all strong individually and possess a compelling chemistry together: Curtis as the strong-willed, widowed Fran; Lizzie Lewis as feisty PE teacher Penny, whose occupation is apparently borne of her “fear of alcoholism”; Alice Bernard as mousy and hesitantly lesbian librarian Janet; and Polly Highton as Annie, mother of grown-up kids whose abusive husband binds the four in action, and whose nerves cause her to mispronounce words to comic effect (she’s “never written a turd” in her life).

Their plan to create a play about Boadicea seems rather forcibly designed to drive home the point that this is a piece about what it is to be a British woman, but it serves its target audience faithfully and comes well-recommended for those who want to see their own lives recommended with warmth and humour.
David Pollock

MORE INFO: The Boadicea of Britannia Street is at New Town Theatre

Originally published in The Scotsman

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