Top Girls

Written by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Gary Wall
Performed in The Tallaght Theatre at The Cuckoo's Nest, 26-28 January 2006

This classic of contemporary theatre, written by Caryl Churchill was performed by a cast of eleven actors who played around seventeen different roles.

Top Girls poster


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Background Note

Marlene hosts a dinner party in a London restaurant to celebrate her promotion to managing director of 'Top Girls' employment agency. Her guests are five women from the past: Isabella Bird (1831- 1904) - the adventurous traveller; Lady Nijo (b1258) - the mediaeval courtesan who became a Buddhist nun and travelled on foot through Japan; Dull Gret, who as Dulle Griet in a Bruegel painting, led a crowd of women on a charge through hell; Pope Joan - the transvestite early female pope and last but not least Patient Griselda, an obedient wife out of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. As the evening continues we are involved with the stories of all five women and the impending crisis in Marlene's own life. A classic of contemporary theatre, Churchill's play is seen as a landmark for a new generation of playwrights. It was premiered by the Royal Court in 1982.


"Top Girls has a combination of directness and complexity which keeps you both emotionally and intellectually alert. You can smell life, and at the same time feel locked in an argument with an agile and passionate mind." (John Peter, Sunday Times)

Isabella Bird & Kate
Lady Nijo & Louise
Dull Gret & Mrs Byrne
Pope Joan & Sinead
Patient Griselda & Lynne
Caroline Harold
Ciara O'Byrne
Susan Stafford
Mags O'Driscoll
Karina Steffens
Orla Cooney
Geraldine Walsh
Hilary Madigan
Ruth Blayney
Ruth, Hilary, Geraldine
Stage Management
Lighting Design
Patrick Hand
Noel Hogan
Jean Monahan
Oran O'Rua
Gary Wall
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Geraldine Walsh and Caroline HandAngie (Geraldine Walsh) and Marlene (Caroline Hand)
Ciara O'ByrneLady Isabella played by Ciara O'Byrne
Jacqui LeeLady Nijo (Jacqui Lee)
Margaret O'DriscollDull Gret (Margaret O'Driscoll)
Karina SteffensPope Joan (Karina Steffens)
Orla CooneyGriselda (Orla Cooney)
Fight SceneThe Fight Scene


For more information on 'Top Girls' by Caryl Churchill visit the following sites:
Contemporary Writers
Women Writers

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