The Elephant Girls

This is the forgotten story of a controversial gang that robbed the streets of London for over a hundred years. The Elephant Girls were a gang made up entirely of women. Through the perspective of an ex-gang member, we listen to the story of the climatic era of the gang’s reign.

As a legacy almost lost in history, this resurrection is an important one.

In an 1937 London pub, we are met by Maggie Hale (Margo MacDonald). Maggie is a fictional character amalgamated from different gang members, who tells us the true story of what these forty women got up to during the gang’s supremacy. We hear of the gang rules and tactics for their infamous robberies that led to their infamous title. The experience is glorified until we hear of the consequences and ultimate downfall of the girls’ legacy.

As soon as the lights come up, Margo MacDonald captivates, knowing how to keep an audience in the palm of her hand. Her dedication to her character is astonishing, as she convincingly embodies a particular character and accent from an era that no longer exists. She walks the stage with such dominance that it’s not difficult to believe the character has spent most of her life in a gang. In a one-person show, it can come across as awkward or unrealistic when the actor is talking to an imaginary person, but MacDonald's conviction never falters. An hour is a long time to keep an entire audience engaged, and a task a great number of solo acts fail to accomplish. MacDonald defies this statistic with ease; her obvious passion for the subject and storytelling abilities suck you into a world that’s long gone but from this point on, not forgotten.

As a legacy almost lost in history, this resurrection is an important one. Not only does MacDonald help to defy female stereotypes but she also explores what it was like to be a lesbian in a more conservative era. These girls broke all the rules and you almost like them for it. These were not prim and proper ladies of the nineteenth century; they were rebels, and they ruled with a grin on their face and stolen coins in their pockets: a strong reminder that you don’t need to be a man to be a wanted criminal. However, like all criminals, the title can come with a heavy price. 

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★★★★
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

'The most notorious girl gang Britain's ever seen' (Gangs of London). Organized, devious, and daring; they stole from the rich and gave to themselves. The riveting story of the all-woman gang which terrorized London for over 100 years. Once you meet Maggie Hale – the gang's suit-wearing, bloody knuckled, girl-chasing 'enforcer' – you won't be able to look away. 'Gritty, powerful, and excellently crafted' ***** Best Actress (CapitalCriticsCircle.com). 'Outstanding. This is Fringe at its best' (Ottawa Citizen). Outstanding Production and Critics' Pick for Best Show (Ottawa Fringe 2015). Outstanding New Work (Rideau Awards).