See it if You want to see 2 smashing performances by UK actresses (& 1 American dud). This 80s play still has relevant meaning & humour-& stands time.
Don't see it if A distractingly boring & 1 note performance by a lead would ruin it for you (it did, me); but for her, would have been terrific Scottish fun
See it if You are not put off by a lot of sexual language and are willing to wait until the second act to feel a sense of where the play is going.
Don't see it if You don't like explicit sexual references and can't deal with listening to intense Scottish dialogue.
See it if You can appreciate interesting staging and have interest in intense mother-daughter conflict.
Don't see it if Dated one-note mother - daughter relationship"screaming and shouting" isn't appealing to you.
See it if You enjoy the nother daughter relationship in all its complications & low-key unfussy theatre with purpose
Don't see it if You prefer epic staging & bells & whistles
See it if A lonely mother, yearning to become a grandmother, her daughter and a long lost friend get together for a beach holiday.
Don't see it if You want a thinking piece. The actors played their roles at various ages which was the only thing that held the story together.
See it if The first act take-away is awkward sex-ed type commentary. Second act is more a cautionary tale format with mom/daughter drama throughout.
Don't see it if It's kind of all over the place and so many plot elements were never fully developed or explained.. Just take a pass on this one
"While you’ll feel cleansed by the healing conclusion, getting there requires immersion in a churning sea of teenage sexuality, parental expectations and maternal sacrifice…Reversals and reconciliations punctuate Ms. Macdonald’s nonlinear mélange of flinty wit and Scottish idioms, directed with dexterity by John Keating...Fallen Angels devotes itself to Irish and British plays written by and about women, and this production is a worthy exemplar of its mission."
"Acclaimed when first presented in 1984...the play is less impressive now, because the subject matter has lost its novelty value--but there are other problems as well. For one thing, sexuality is the only thing anyone talks, to the point of near monotony...John Keating's direction could have picked up the pace a little bit, but he gets fine work from Moloney...For all their screaming and shouting, Fiona and Morag aren't terribly interesting people and it takes too long to play out their drama."
"In 1984, it probably played forcefully as a necessary feminist history play...But that sort of innovation dates quickly...Under John Keating's adequate direction, the performers all do the best they can, and they're able to keep ‘When I Was a Girl’ sufficiently engaging on the surface...If you're still able to appreciate Macdonald's play as a tribute to what was, you remain distracted by its unwillingness to dive down to explore the depths.”
"While the play is now very much a period piece, expressing views little held by women, it very successfully delineates a caustic mother-daughter relationship and is extremely detailed about the problems between them...The play is a time capsule of attitudes and mores from two generations ago...Director John Keating has obtained sharp portrayals from his quartet of actors, though some of the choices seem problematic."
"Playwright Sharman Macdonald handles delicate coming-of-age issues and prepubescent misconceptions about sex with humor and tact while also baring the hurt, shame, guilt, and self-doubt and loathing that manifests from a sexually repressed upbringing, and under the direction of John Keating, the cast expresses a bold and loyal commitment to these themes...Any audience member--even those without the memories of a teenage girl--will be able to empathize."
"The frequent jumping around in time is a structural convention that drains the play of dramatic thrust. Also off-putting is the characters’ habit of making set speeches (occasionally pretty funny, I admit) rather than engaging in conversation...The most intrusive examples arrive toward the end when the 15-year-old Fiona repeatedly addresses God. Thanks to Macdonald’s lusty writing, some of this is worth hearing but it fails to move the drama needle very far."
"Despite solid acting under John Keating’s careful direction, the play is a bit of a plod, especially through Act I. One longs for some of the pent-up rage to erupt and allow the characters to move forward. Instead, they seem to be caught within a cycle of disappointment and censure as relentless as the waves washing over the shore."
"A wonderfully written play about mother-daughter relationships, with some wonderful performances…The problem is that Ms. Kreinik neither gains our sympathy or our caring. We never really know what guides her except by the words of the playwright, which seem to clash with her performance...I do recommend seeing this because there is more good than not and the play is well written though I would have preferred a better ending."