by Paula Citron
The strong Soulpepper production of Caryl Churchill’s 1982 seminal play Top Girls, directed by Alisa Palmer, stars some of the best actresses in Canada. Their collective spin is not so much about feminism as it is about humanity. Palmer and her cast are saying that both corrosive and blighted feminism destroy humanity.
Top Girls is a London employment agency and Marlene, played by Megan Follows, is its new managing director. The bulk of the play concerns her thorny relationship with her stay at home, small town sister and her troubled niece. Marlene has made good and represents Thatcher’s England and its new Conservatism. It is every woman for herself.
The scene that opens the play, where Marlene has dinner with five women from history shows all sides of the feminist ladder concerning jobs of work. They are all humanists in their way, and what we learn of Marlene betrays them. It is heady stuff.
Top Girls continues until Aug. 18.
From the Young Centre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.