COMING SOON: BAD GIRLS ACTION FIGURES AND BAD GIRLS: THE
A musical version of the long-running British series Bad
Girls, which is currently airing in the U.S. on Logo, debuted in July
2006 at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds and is now moving
to London’s Garrick Theatre in September.
Yes, it’s true: Lesbians are coming to London’s tony West End.
Written by the creators of the television series, the musical version of Bad
Girls is based around some of the core characters from the first season
of the TV show:
The musical revolves around the efforts of idealistic new Wing Governor Helen Stewart (played by Laura Rogers) to make improvements on G Wing, but old guard officers, including Jim Fenner and his sidekick Sylvia Hollamby, stand in her way. A death on the ward leads to an angry protest which also forces Stewart and her love interest inmate Nikki Wade (Caroline Head) onto their opposite sides of the bars. Other featured inmate characters include Shell Dockley and her runner Denny Blood, the Two Julies, and the top dog and missus to the king of gangland, Yvonne Atkins.
Here are a few photos from the production (the first is of Nikki and Helen):
production staff — including the writers, director and composer —
is composed of almost all women and includes several lesbians. This is also,
as far as anyone can determine, the first major musical ever to feature (not
just include) a lesbian romance.
The press event included a staged kiss between the actors playing Helen and
Nikki, which left us a little conflicted: Is it exploitive to have straight actors staging a lesbian kiss at a press conference , or is it progressive to show such support for a musical with lesbian leads?
Either way, we’ll definitely be reviewing the production on AfterEllen.com
when it opens in September. In the meantime, get more photos and info at badgirlsthemusical.com.
In case there are any playwrights reading this column, I’d like to take this opportunity to suggest other potential lesbian bad girl
stories ripe for the stage:
Monster: The Musical; Papi’s Circles of Love, with choreography
by Vanilla Ice; Wild Things: The Musical starring Neve Campbell and
Denise Richards; and Five by Five: The Epic Love Story of Buffy and Faith.