ArtsNov 20, 2019

Gritty drama “Gut Girls” plays to rave reviews

The MHS fall play explored the lives of women in 20th-century London who worked in the gutting sheds and slaughterhouses

The MHS Theater Ensemble’s production of Gut Girls, a gritty drama about the lives of working women in late-Victorian England, received rave reviews following its recent performances. Several attendees remarked on the moving performances of the students, the bold and creative direction by MHS Director of Theater and Dance Jennifer Jordan, and the overall quality of the show.

Set in London at the turn of the 20th century, Gut Girls presents a snapshot of the lives of women who worked in the gutting sheds and slaughterhouses outside the city. The play contrasts the harsh reality of working-class lives with the attempts of a well-meaning socialite who wants to educate the young women and raise them to a “better” life as servants in reputable homes.

The MHS ensemble performed brilliantly! The production featured Erica Morales-Armstrong ’20 as Maggie, Emily Carmel ’20 as Polly, Jiho Shin ’21 as Ellen, Keely O’Gorman ’22 as Kate, and Olivia McKeon ’23 as Annie. They were the “gut girls.” Hannah Holt ’21 played Lady Helena, who was intent on reforming the girls.

The production also starred Olivia Doerr ’21 and Halie Swallie ’22 as Priscilla and Arthur, an upper-crust couple friendly with Lady Helena. Additionally, Halie performed as Harry, who is the gutting shed foreman, and as Mad Jacko, a music hall performer. The cast also featured Milie Madourie ’21 as Edwin, who is a friend of Lady Helena’s, and as Len, a local Deptford pub owner; Nya Mielke ’21 as Kate’s love interest, Jim, who also works in the gutting shed; Olivia Kick-Nalepa ’22 as Emily, Lady Helena’s maid; Betty Xiao ’20 as Eady, Maggie’s Mom; Linda Le ’21 as Edna, Polly’s Mom; and Lucy Garrison ’23 as Nora, Lady Helena’s downstairs maid.

The show’s ensemble featured Kenja Harley ’23, Andrea Fox ’23, Hannah Carmel ’23, and Daisy Feng ’22. The production’s technical crew included Stage Managers Soleil Laurin ’20 and Annie Lombardi ’20, with costume assistance by Linh Tran ’21, Lucy Garrison ’23, and Annie Lombardi ’20. Milie Madourie ’21 provided sound design, while Emily Lombardi ’22 served as Sound Operator. Natasha Hagan ’21 was the Lightboard Operator. Hannah Carmel ’23 and Andrea Fox ’23 designed the show’s lobby, Jiho Shin ’21 designed the program, and Cailyn Tetteh ’22 provided box office management.

In all, more than 75 members of the MHS community contributed to this most-successful production. Brava, everyone!