Willy's Bitches

An all female cast takes some of the classic soliloquies and scenes from Shakespeare's work and deliver them in an almost cabaret, review format, with the addition of new contemporary songs.

This was acted with integrity and was a gutsy and dark macabre cabaret.

From Hamlet’s Ophelia to Lady Macbeth and past Hermia and Helena – we see moments of tenderness, bitterness, darkness and even humour brought to life on stage. The characters do a small amount of interaction with each other, more of a nod of acknowledgement towards each other than anything, which helps to tie the whole thing in. All the ladies are very much ever-present as they move from the audience to the stage and back again something which was really effectively disarming. A live band on stage helped the music make a massive impact and became something else for the characters to interact with - which they did beautifully.

Jenny Hayley-Douglas was captivating as Julia and throughout. She has a fantastic energy that makes her so charismatic on stage. Writer of the show Shannon Thurston was also a pleasure to watch as Helena and has a great understanding of the little details of creating an authentic comedy character. The highlight for me was the harrowing sequence of Lauren Mayer's entrance on to stage as Lavinia - not only was it acted superbly by Mayer but when these ladies sing together in harmony it is truly something to behold. I do however think that the show lacks just a couple more of those moments. This cast can really sing and I just felt there wasn't really much for them to get their teeth stuck into vocally.

That being said I am beyond impressed that it’s an RCS student who has put together this new piece of writing and Thurston clearly has a fantastic career ahead of her, whether offstage or on. This was acted with integrity and was a gutsy and dark macabre cabaret. 

Reviews by Hannah Lucy Baker

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Performances

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The Blurb

Why doesn't Shakespeare just say what he means? Celebrate the best of the Bard’s bitches in this bold new piece of music theatre. With original songs and contemporary verse see fierce females plot murder, fight over men and cut off the occasional head... #bitchesgettingshitdone ! Willy’s Bitches takes Shakespeare to the extremes in this reimagining of straight up female bad-arsery.

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