Reviewed by Kelly Dewey
This was an absolutely brilliant play; I enjoyed every second. I didn’t watch the TV series Band of Gold in the 90s but felt you really didn’t need any prior background of it. It was acted brilliantly by true professionals. It got very gritty and uncomfortable to watch (in a good way!) within minutes from the start, from this moment on I was hooked. The main actors managed to create the atmosphere that was need which is often hard to achieve especially in a large theatre like the Mayflower. There were many moments the audience were taken right in and felt the same emotion the characters were feeling.
Laurie Brett (Anita) started the show by airing her beautifully strong vocals. Gaynor Faye, who played Rose, played the bolshie boss of ‘The Lane’. Mr Moore, who was played by Joe Mallalieu, played the slimy, nasty loan shark well. He made my skin crawl. Sacha Parkinson played Gina a strait-laced classy lady who needed to support her child after her marriage broke up. She was only going into the prostitution game to pay off a loan but as we found out at the dramatic and eerie end of the first half her life ended when she got into a car of the killer. The dark stage and echoing audio gave the audience chills as the play closed the first half. I couldn’t wait for more.
The second half was the official and unofficial investigations on who murdered Gina. Even though the girls of ‘The Lane’ tried to hide it the police soon found out Gina was a girl of the night. Anita thought it was her long-term client / boyfriend George and carried on asking questions even though in the end it lead to the demise of their relationship or business associate as George put it.
The trauma of the murder and the girl’s individual problems drew them together by the end of the 2nd half and saw them bonding and making plans to better themselves in life and get out of the game.
I think by the end of the play my favourite character was Carol, her timing, drama, accent and comedy really shone through. Her past relationship became apparent with Inspector Newall and the real Carol began to emerge, whether she liked it or not, through the harsh exterior of a girl trying to make ends meet in this dangerous business.
Overall a great dramatic and emotional show which I’d recommend to anyone whether they are a fan of the TV series or not. A must see in my opinion.
As always, the Mayflower staff didn’t disappoint and were polite and helpful throughout. We were seated in the stalls on the right-hand side of the theatre. I was pleased to notice toilets at the front which I never knew existed, trying to get in and out of them however was a different matter. They were very skinny and not much room at all to open the door once inside. I had to lean right back over the toilet and step my leg over the toilet at the same time as opening the door. The toilets at the top of the theatre are cosy but these were ridiculous.
Tickets cost from £20.50 to £39.50 (booking fees may apply).
Kay Mellor’s Band of Gold is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton from 4-8 February 2020, for more information or to book tickets visit www.mayflower.org.uk or call the box office on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811