The Evening Standard review for Yard Gal has just come out. I've reproduced in full here...
Yard Gal is astonishing
By Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard 03.11.08
It is a rare and delightful treat to encounter a production as splendid as this, especially in a lesser known fringe venue. A credit-crunch-friendly £8 buys entry to 21-year-old director Stef O’Driscoll’s revival of RebeccaPrichard’s terrifying look at two teenage girls posturing around the streets of Hackney. From the opening seconds, O’Driscoll’s confidence-packed production has us gripped, as Boo (Stefanie Di Rubbo) and Marie (Monsay Whitney) saunter on and eyeball individual audience members with menacing intent. Thus begins a hurtling 90-minute account of drug taking and dealing, casual prostitution and girl gang etiquette. Di Rubbo and Whitney are charismatic young actors with great futures. They capture with unflagging vocal and physical energy the high spirits and black humour of these lifelong friends, as well as recounting the exploits of fellow “yard gals”, including one who loved fighting so long as it didn’t mess with her hair. All the bounce in the world, however, cannot mask the frighteningly nihilistic lives that Boo and Marie lead. A bigger yard — or transfer to a larger theatre — would be just reward for these astonishing gals.
Mark is the Academic Director of the Drama Programmes at St Mary's University in Twickenham. He has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work.
As a lecturer Mark taught at Goldsmiths College, Coventry University and was Head of Performing Arts at Canterbury College prior to joining St Mary’s in 2006.
His Professional directing credits include Henry V (One of US?) and Valhalla for RSC Education; The Wind in the Willows, Jack Cade, The Red, Red Robin for Sevenoaks Playhouse; Tender Souls, The Quality of Mercy and Playhouse Creatures for the Ambassadors Theatre group.
Mark is a director of subVERSE Theatre company for whom has directed fringe premieres of Chief, Dinnertime and OxfamC**t at Theatre 503.
Site specific work includes Purka and Shadow on Icelandic volcanoes and Novocento with students from the University of Genoa.