Jobs for the girls in the next play at the Talisman Theatre in Kenilworth

Angie (Alice Scott) and Jeanine (Fay Staton) discussing a scene with director, Geraldine Cousin.
Angie (Alice Scott) and Jeanine (Fay Staton) discussing a scene with director, Geraldine Cousin.

Kenilworth’s Talisman Theatre will continue its 2015 season with Caryl Churchill’s deeply-felt and theatrically-daring play Top Girls.

The play is about ambition, success, its costs and what happens to those who are left behind.

It premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 1982 and audience reception of recent revivals, including one at the Chichester Festival, have confirmed its timelessness.

Director Gerry Cousin said: “I am a passionate admirer of Caryl Churchill’s work. She combines theatrical ingenuity with an acute awareness of moments of social and political change. In 1982 Margaret Thatcher had been Prime Minister for three years. Churchill’s exploration of the consequences of her election to this ‘top job’ are as relevant today as they were when they play was first performed.”

Described as “The best British play ever from a woman dramatist” by The Guardian, Top Girls’ opening act, in particular, is one of the most memorable in all theatre.

The setting is a dinner party in a London restaurant thrown by Marlene, the newly promoted managing director of the Top Girls employment agency.

Her guests are famous women from history and myth, including Pope Joan, the Victorian traveller Isabella Bird, the 13th-century Japanese courtesan turned Buddhist nun Lady Nijo, Dull Gret from Brueghel’s painting depicting a woman in armour running through hell and routing devils and Patient Griselda whose story is told in The Canterbury Tales.

Quickly and slyly the play turns from a celebration of women’s achievements to a study of what must be sacrificed for a woman to be a success in a man’s world.

Performances run from Monday March 9 to Saturday March 14. Call 856548 or visit