Review of Band of Gold - Darlington Hippodrome
By Andrew Harrison - Arts critic
KAY Mellor has adapted her 90’s TV series Band of Gold for the stage, delivering a hard hitting and gritty drama rarely achieved in theatre. Set in the North it is full of everything you would expect from Kay Mellor, strong female characters, sensitive themes and wonderfully witty one-liners.
The action takes place through many mini scenes, which adds to the pace and TV style of the production. ‘The Lane’ is run by Rose, Gaynor Faye, who ensures everyone is a safe as possible. Anita, believes she is better than everyone else, but lets them use her flat, which is paid for by her married lover, George, Mark Sheals. George draws Anita into helping with a deal for a cleaning contract with Councillor Barraclough, Andrew Dunn, using her girls. Carol, Emma Osman, is obsessed with cleaning and picks up the most unlikely punter. Gina, Sacha Parkinson, having recently separated from her abusive husband, Steve, Kieron Richardson, tries to make a living selling Avon door to door, but due to her debts to Mr Moore, Joe Mallalieu, she soon starts working with the girls.
After the murder of one of the girls, it is Inspector Newall, Shayne Ward whose job it is to solve the case, of course there is a link from his previous job to one of the working girls. For me the show was almost stolen by the owner of the frozen chicken factory, Curly, Steve Garti. His characterisation was perfect throughout, I did wonder why he was scratching his hand during his first scene, I soon found out why!
With strong female characters, a brilliant plot and an amazing cast this is a must-see show.
Band of Gold runs until Saturday 1st February 2020 at Darlington Hippodrome.