Theatre Review: There Ain't Nothing Like These Dire Dames

Dames, Pleasance Theatre ★☆☆☆☆

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Theatre Review: There Ain't Nothing Like These Dire Dames Dames, Pleasance Theatre 1
Courtesy of Scott Rylander

What do millennial girls get up to in club bogs at 2am on a Friday night? Charlotte Merriam's debut play, Dames, assembles five inebriated young women to attempt to answer this question. What could have been illuminating and poignant social commentary, however, almost immediately descends into an hour-long self-indulgent mess entirely lacking in both narrative arc or thoughtful characterisation.

Merriam herself plays one of the six dames, Erin, approximating an uneven West Midlands accent while sparring with her cockney friend Bianca. They're joined by two posh girls, Emily and Kate; a Welsh lass, Cardiff (almost a carbon copy of Gavin and Stacey's Nessa), and a sixth disaffected youth, Ginny. The problem is not only that these women elicit no emotional response from the audience — but that all interaction between them leads nowhere.

All this would perhaps be tolerable if the dialogue was at least entertaining, but each trite joke whimpers out with all the power of a wet fart. Despite the repeated references to sanitary towels, these dames most certainly do not have wings.

Dames, Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, North Road, N7 9EF, £13-£15, until 29 April

Last Updated 19 April 2018