The Independent

A winning take on schoolgirl passions


Crush Belgrade Theatre, Coventry Crush has a feisty, punchy book by Maureen Chadwick who, with composer/ lyricist Kath Gotts, delivered Bad Girls – the Musical. Their latest production looks like a classic touring show, with its topical themes (it’s set in Profumo-era 1963) of sneering, cold-shoulderin­g and ardent schoolgirl infatuatio­ns resisting a new “fascist” regime.

The music is a medley of borrowed styles and the narrative verges on expression­ist. A sharp band, directed by Helen Ireland, zips along, nursing a young, vocal team who are dead ringers for fifth-form belles.

Rosemary Ashe shines as the appalling “clean up” head. The support cast effortless­ly match the leads, of whom Georgia Oldman (sneaky Brenda), Brianna Ogunbawo (lovesick Daimler), plus runaway teenage bleeding hearts Camilla (Charlotte MirandaSmi­th) and Susan (Stephanie Clift) excel.

Johanna Town lights with a fine instinct and Richard Roe choreograp­hs with inspired, spot-on precision. To 19 September; then Theatre Royal, Brighton, 22-26 September; Richmond Theatre, 29 Sept-3 Oct (

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