A Thousand Murdered Girls

Directed by Darren Guy
The Unity Theatre
23rd June 2012

Reviewed by Jennifer Keegan

A Thousand Murdered girls is based on real life diaries taken from the book 'The Trikeri Journals' by Victoria Theodorou, which was translated by Eleni Fourtouni. It also uses the last testaments of women in 'A Thousand Murdered Girls' by Rita Boumi Pappas, which was translated for this play by Ivan Giannakopoulou. The story has been researched, compiled, edited and directed by Darren Guy. With music by Manos Xatzidakis, Eleni Kararindrou and Sotria Bellou which was put together for this play by Martin Snape.

The play opens with Greek music, family photos in black and white projected onto a large screen, all showing Greek women of all ages smiling back at the camera. Through the screen we are taken on a brief ride through history to explain the historical context of the play. At this point the play has a documentary feel to it, almost something you could have watched on TV at home. Then as the screen is dimmed, we are introduced to the performers and their characters as they show the female resistance to the Nazis in Greece.

The performers did incredibly well by reciting their long monologues, helping us trace their stories through history. However what struck most wasn’t the Greek songs or the braided hair, but the words. As simple as it is to tell a story, the feeling in the audience that night was one of an intake of breath as each performer became a prisoner, as each woman stood with the next as they stood up for what was right against the backdrop of gunshots and violence. The feeling of being defiant and strong was beautifully captured in each woman. The play wasn’t full of action or laughs, but it was full of truth, sacrifice and hope and in its quiet moments when the women held hands and awaited their fate we saw a beautifully produced play.

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