The Roaring Girls are a Hull-based theatre company, comprising the best northern lasses you could hope to meet, actresses Jess Morley and Rachael Abbey, and also Lizi Perry, and for recent show – Broken Little Robots – composer and musical director James Frewer.
Working as an usher at Hull Truck theatre means I get to see a mind-boggling array of shows, but some of my favourites have been performed – often as one-offs – in the intimate studio space. On Friday I saw in there a small show with a huge heart; Broken Little Robots.
The Roaring Girls debuted the show at Assemblefest in 2015, where my husband and I caught it. I knew it was something special then; goosebumps never lie. Nor does the heart. Developed for Hull Truck from the 20 minute ‘skit’ into an hour-long show, Broken Little Robots deals with depression. Living with it. Laughing at it. Challenging it. Most of all, talking about it.
Through song, honest and blunt monologue, and little scenes, the girls bravely lay bare their own experiences, and the result is emotional, powerful, and ultimately uplifting. My own mother attempted suicide when I was nine, so serious it resulted in a year-long hospital stay where my siblings and I went into care/to live with our grandmother. My mum – and other members of my family – have struggled on and off with mental health issues. So it needs to be talked about. Shared. Cried over. Laughed at. And the Roaring Girls are shining a hearty light on the darkness of such issues.
I hope the show gets another run. If it does, go and see it. You owe it to yourselves, to those you love, to the world.