Ever since its debut performance in Cumbernauld in 1991, the popularity of Bold Girls has snowballed, becoming a central piece of Scottish theatre. With just over a week until we open our reimagined production, join us in looking through snapshots of the play’s history in Cumbernauld and further afield.
In 1991 Cumbernauld Theatre Trust was reaching its third decade living in a row of eighteenth-century cottages. The venue had become the regular home for the works of well-known figures from the world of theatre and music who were renowned for developing distinctly political works. These artists included the legendary 7:84 company who, under the direction of Lynne Parker, first staged Rona Munro’s Bold Girls at the Cottage Theatre. It starred Andrea Irvine, Paula Hamilton, Joyce McBrinn and Julia Dearden.
Rona Munro’s ear for the authentic cut and thrust of Belfast’s unsung heroines is sharp, abrasive and at times downright painful … it is also celebratory and funny.Daily Mail, 1991
Touring Scotland that same year, it also appeared at London’s Hampstead Theatre with a cast including Imelda Staunton and Catherine Cusack. Rona Munro won the Evening Standard’s Most Promising Playwright Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Award in 1991, and the play eventually became part of the Scottish school curriculum. In later years Bold Girls was staged throughout Scotland, London, Melbourne and USA (Sacramento and Los Angeles). It returned to its original home in Cumbernauld in a 1999 production at Cumbernauld Theatre directed by then-Artistic Director Simon Sharkey. The play was more recently performed in 2018 at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, led by Richard Baron.
Set in West Belfast during the Troubles in 1991. Marie, Cassie, and Nora are determined to get on with their lives despite the bombs, the soldiers, and their husbands being either locked away or killed. That is, until a mysterious young woman turns up on Marie’s doorstep, disrupting their girls’ night out and bringing devastating revelations that threaten to leave their friendships changed forever. Sharply funny, moving, yet never shying from the harsh realities of life during the Troubles, Bold Girls is a celebration of women’s strength under siege.
It was the product of a lot of whiskey, a lot of laughs and a score of stories … I don’t think the battles women fight, or the daily struggles they have in much of Belfast, are particularly different from those in any other area with bad housing or high unemployment – except that guns make a difference to everything. But this isn’t a story about guns. It’s the story of four bold women.Rona Munro
Photographs (in order):
Cumbernauld Theatre Trust is seeking multiple Trustees including a new Chair of the Board. This is an exciting opportunity to shape the future of one of Scotland’s leading producing theatres with a vibrant portfolio of professional in-house and visiting theatre, music, dance, comedy, cinema and community engagement. We are a performing arts charity with an appetite for change and growth and are looking for Trustees who are passionate about theatre and believe in its transformative and empowering potential.
30 Jan 2023
This week we welcome MHz and collaborator Hannah Finn in residency at Lanternhouse to work on their latest project [dream] ENGINE. This new work, produced by Feral Arts, harnesses the ethereal quality of dreams through immersive AV, somatic sound fields and the art of contortion.
17 Jan 2023
Led by Amanda Glover and Fraser Morrison, Operation: LEGACY is a community project, in which young writers, devisors and performers are invited to create a piece of performance work which will be showcased in our Main Auditorium. We will collaborate with a local composer/musician and a movement director to explore the wealth of storytelling possibilities which this topic brings to the table.
22 Dec 2022