Such a Nice Girl

Eilidh has a problem. Eilidh is a lapsed Catholic. Eilidh is in a church trying to pray. Eilidh is coming unstuck. From the statue of the Virgin Mary appears the projected, imaginary version of her nemesis, Laura. We know something has happened between them, an implication of violence. A confrontation between the two characters follows.

The ideas of suburban bigotry and hypocrisy are interesting, especially the idea of what it means, really, to be ‘nice.’

Such a Nice Girl is set and performed in a church. Seats are arranged on either side of the performance space – a long anteroom with an altar. It makes viewing intimate and almost voyeuristic, but does mean that staging becomes static after a while.

The play considers the assumptions and judgments people make. Eilidh doesn’t really know Laura very well, although she’s her supervising nurse at the hospital where they both work. But if she learns more about Laura – if her backstory and the reasons for her behaviour emerge – will that change the way she feels about her? Is the same true in reverse? As the imaginary Laura antagonises her, Eilidh tries to justify her actions - the actions that have now led her to the church in an attempt to atone for her sins. Laura asks the hard questions. It’s a battle of wits and Eilidh is losing, even though she’s the one who, by imagining this conversation, should really be in control of it.

Actors Hazel DuBordiue Raina and Lauren Heatherill are both strong actors – Heatherill is particularly manipulative as Lauren but the status too soon shifts in her favour, meaning the argument circles around without escalating or furthering the narrative. I felt that, despite small realisations, Eilidh had not changed by the end. The script is sometimes a bit didactic, with long monologue sections and a repetitiveness of language, particularly Laura’s insults.

The simple lighting and music works well and the ideas of suburban bigotry and hypocrisy are interesting, especially the idea of what it means, really, to be ‘nice.’ 

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Eilidh has always been a nice girl. She's caring, she's polite … and she's in jail over an email full of vicious threats and sectarian hate speech. A play about grief and prejudice.