Numbers

When I think of an all girls boarding school, I think of discipline, tradition, etiquette, and above all a place where success must exceed expectation. Well, Kieron Barry’s Numbers certainly explores this, with only one position as Head Girl of the school four friends must battle it out as to who will win the prestigious title. A title that confirms ultimate power for the future but more importantly power over the school.

The play is certainly worth a recommendation on its writing and its strong sense of characterisation.

The play is performed in one of C Nova’s more intimate spaces, a room that holds a limited amount of people. However, for the context of the play it works perfectly, the essence of a boarding bedroom was subtly captured by the array of classic novels sprawled across the floor and the simple placement of a computer chair which found itself being span across the floor. That said, I thought the space was used to great advantage and I found that the show rarely dipped or lacked movement. It is an extraordinary play, fusing elements of originality and wit whilst slowly progressing into moments of darkness. Don't be fooled by the opening cackles of laughter amongst Katherine, Isabel and Jennifer, the facade soon crumbles into a thriving cesspool of bitter hatred as the title of Head Girl is at stake.

A commendable performance came from Laura Hall who plays the victim before victor schoolgirl Hetty, and whilst offering moments of sensitivity her naturalism is engaging to watch. Lottie-Fowler, Ali Molossi-Murphy and Isabel Towell collectively worked well together and successfully maintained the pace throughout, and never once did I feel the play was veering off or lacking in energy. That said, there were occasions where I didn't believe the actors were listening to one another and as a result some lines were lost, which was a shame due to the strength of writing. Moments of idiosyncrasy added to this frustration and was noticeable and often became distracting as the play unfolded.

The play is certainly worth a recommendation on its writing and its strong sense of characterisation, and I thought the Morton Players were successful in their interpretation. With a little bit of tweaking and correction I have no doubt that this play will do well at this years Fringe. 

Reviews by Lucy Skinner

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A humorous and fast-paced piece about the psychological warfare of teenage girls. Set in an all girls’ boarding school and depicting a vicious battle of wills between four Sixth Form girls in the hour before a new Head Girl is announced. The result is a deadly serious but seriously funny exploration of a group of schoolgirls who battle for supremacy, to gain the ultimate prize... to become number one, and be placed on the pedestal and be ranked among the Gods. All these girls want is to become Head Girl. Coming second is not an option.

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