The Revlon Girl by Neil Anthony Docking
Teddington Theatre Club
Hampton Hill Theatre - 26 February 2020
Review by Melissa Syversen
On 21st October 21st 1966, at 9.15 in the morning, 150 000 tonnes of mining slurry came down from the mountain and crashed into Pantglas Junior School and the surrounding buildings. 144 people lost their lives. The Aberfan disaster is still well known in Britain. Recently the incident was depicted on an episode of the Netflix series The Crown renewing awareness of the tragedy amongst a younger and larger international audience. The disaster remains a stark reminder of the importance of health and safety regulations and the dangers of putting profit above human beings. Aberfan wasn’t the first tragedy caused by corporate ineptitude, greed and systemic negligence and unfortunately has not been the last. It is important to continue to tell these stories through media such as The Crown and The Revlon Girl, and to hold those responsible to account so that we can minimize the chance of future disasters.
The effects that that terrible day had in the Aberfan and the surrounding areas cannot be understated. It effectively robbed a close-knitted community of an entire generation. Of the 144 killed that day, 116 were children aged three to fourteen years. How does anyone manage to go on after trauma of that magnitude? In the months following the tragedy, a group of bereaved mothers organised to meet once a week, to talk, grieve and support each other in a private environment, away from prying eyes, the media and dare I say it, tourists. The Revlon Girl imagines one of these meetings eight months after the event. Inspired by a true story, the title refers to a Revlon representative whom the women secretly invite to one of their meetings to give them some beauty tips. Through this narrative lens, Welsh playwright Neil Anthony Docking has found a beautiful opportunity to not only tell the story of the Aberfan disaster, and the immediate aftermath but also the long term effects of trauma and grief.
For full review: http://markaspen.com/2020/02/24/revlon-girl/
Bonded in Grief