The Revlon Girl

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14+ (ML)

Language: Eng
Director: Steven Feinstein
Written By: Neil Anthony Docking
Featured Artists: Michelle Douglas, Julie-Anne McDowell
Company: Search For Productions

Nominated for an OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT Award at the 2018 Olivier Awards

Set eight months after the death of 116 children during the Aberfan Disaster of 1966, The Revlon Girl tells the real life story of a group of bereaved mothers who met every week above a local hotel to talk, cry, and even laugh without feeling guilty. At one of their meetings, afraid that people would think them frivolous, they secretly arranged for a representative from Revlon to come and give them a talk on beauty tips. The action takes place on a rainy Tuesday night in a room above the Aberfan Hotel.

The play performed to a sell-out run in London’s Park Theatre in 2017, after a very successful run at the Edinburgh Festival. Now on stage in South Africa for the first time, with an all South African cast, the play is highly relevant to the South African landscape, where “forgotten communities” are rife, and we deal daily with the grief, anger, sorrow and pain of child loss and tragedy. Neil Anthony Docking‘s skilful writing means that the audience is not buried in this sorrow and grief, but rather they are carried through the emotions with that quintessential British humour and ability to laugh in the midst of enormous sorrow. Offering hope and catharsis in the face of unbearable and unspeakable loss.

Reviews for the UK Production of The Revlon Girl

  • “A funny, feisty, heart-wrenching story of how lipstick can look like hope” ****The Wee Review
  • “A remarkably warm, sorrowful, and at times even funny drama about survivors, small town bickering and make-up” **** The Independent
  • “I shall never forget the play …. stupendous performances from the five actors, whose highly individual characters refract universal suffering and resilience” – The Observer
  • “A tale of rage, of compassion, of sorrow and of laughter ….” ***** The Upcoming
  • “Grief, anger, and community all blend together flawlessly” ****The List
  • “The Revlon Girl must surely rank as one of the best pieces of new writing in London at the moment” – There Ought to be Clowns
  • “Shocking, heartbreaking, The Revlon Girl offers no cosmetic solution to unbearable pain, but does suggest the power of powder and eye liner in helping heal wounds” *****Stage Review

Standard Bank Ovation Awards 2018




  1. timnbiyela 27 June 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Having watched the play at the Maboneng pop-up theatre I have the following to share about this must watch!!!!

    Absolutely moving. The level of emotion that all the actresses take you through. I have no children of my own, however I was taken through the emotion that one feels after losing a child. A fantastic performance by talented actresses. A definite must watch. Might I add that this play received a standing ovation from the entire audiance at the Maboneng pop-up theatre.

  2. Davidr 30 June 2018 at 1:57 pm

    The best play I have seen for many years. The performances are outstanding and the characters are representations of humanity with whom the audience can easily connect. The play effectively blends humor and sadness. I recommend this play to all theatre goers who appreciate productions that present complex and profound aspects of the human experience in an accessible manner.

  3. djoffe 1 July 2018 at 9:21 am

    What a moving and heartrending play this is! The brilliant and skilled acting captivated the audience and we laughed and cried our way through to the standing ovation at the end. Definitely not to be missed.

  4. neil 1 July 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Astonishing show, seldom that i have witnessed an audience and a cast become one. It was a privilege to attend / 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  5. francis_rogan 3 July 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Best show of the festival so far! What an incredible performance. Laughed and cried. A must see!

  6. theklinex 5 July 2018 at 5:48 pm

    An incredibly moving and emotionally charged show. I laughed my heart out then cried like a baby and just when I thought I was about to dehydrate, the end had me screaming with laughter all over again. All five performers were strikingly nuanced and delivered poignant performance. The highlight of my fest.

  7. james-6661 5 July 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Show was cancelled due to power cut .

  8. christian.coetzee.25 5 July 2018 at 5:59 pm

    An incredibly moving story from a cast and crew of seasoned veterans. A strong presence, impeccable pacing and fleshed out characters made this an unforgettable production for a tragedy that shouldn’t be forgotten.

  9. cpswart 7 July 2018 at 7:19 pm

    I could feel the pain and anguish. The actresses captured elements of grief and personalities brilliantly. My show of the festival.

  10. L.Myers-1474 8 July 2018 at 1:19 pm

    The Revlon Girl is a play that is going to stay with me for a long time. The actresses were entirely believable as were the interactions that took place between them. I hadn’t heard about the Aberfan disaster before the show and I think that the it has been dealt with with a lot of sensitivity and compassion, and also with humour. Not to be missed.

  11. nicolerutherford1997 8 July 2018 at 6:45 pm

    The most incredible performance I have ever seen. It was such a moving piece, had me in both happy and sad tears.

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