Segal Centre to Close Season with TOP GIRLS, 4/27-5/18

The Segal Centre for Performing Arts is proud to close its 2013-2014 English Theatre season with Caryl Churchill's influential British play Top Girls, directed by Micheline Chevrier and featuring an all-female cast led by Laura Condlln and Leni Parker. Presented in the Segal Theatre from April 27th - May 18th, 2014.

Marlene has been promoted to the top of a London employment agency, and she's celebrating. On the guest list of her fantastic dinner party: the intrepid Victorian adventuress Isabella Bird, a Japanese Emperor's mistress, Pope Joan and a Flemish avenger born from a Brueghel painting. As the champagne flows, the laughter grows and the historical and fictional women toast to Marlene's success, it becomes clear that being on top comes with a price.

A daring and darkly humorous portrait of women and success set against the backdrop of Thatcher's England, Caryl Churchill's 20th Century classic continues to make waves over twenty years after its premiere. Combining a virtuosic, time-bending plot with exhilarating dialogue and inventive theatricality, Top Girls is a pivotal work of the contemporary theatre canon; hailed as "the best British play ever by a woman dramatist" by The Guardian's Michael Billington.

The Segal Centre has entrusted nationally prominent director Micheline Chevrier, Artistic Director of Montreal's Imago Theatre, to bring Churchill's internationally acclaimed work to its stage. Top Girls marks Chevrier's Segal Centre directorial debut.

Seven actors will transform into sixteen characters, ranging from the 13th century to the fabulous 1980s. Laura Condlln stars as the ruthless career woman Marlene, alongside Montreal favourite Leni Parker as, amongst others, courtesan Lady Nijo. Lauryn Allman, Lucinda Davis, Elana Dunkelman, France Rolland and Julie Tamiko Manning round off the top-notch cast.

A young and vibrant design team made up of Max-otto Fauteux (Set Design), Mylène Chabrol (Costume Design), Martin Sirois (Lighting Design) and Jesse Ash (Sound Design) have been assembled for this production. Audiences can expect a striking design that daringly exploits the Segal Theatre's unique architecture.

Born in 1938 in London, playwright Caryl Churchill immigrated with her family to Montreal after World War II, at the age of ten years old. She attended the Trafalgar School for Girls from 1948-1955, and returned to England to attend Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford University.

Widely considered to be one of Britain's greatest living playwrights, Caryl Churchill's witty, powerfully intelligent dialogue and her imaginative sense of dramatic structure saw her at the forefront of British playwriting in the 1980s and 1990s. Perhaps her best-known work, Top Girls was first staged at London's Royal Court Theatre in 1982. The play keenly predicted the rise of bourgeois 'post-feminism' in the Thatcherite 1980s, raising thought-provoking questions, notably in its legendary opening act where the stories of six women from history overlap and connect over a restaurant meal. Other notable Churchill works from this period include Serious Money, Mad Forest, The Striker, Cloud Nine and Softcops. Churchill's plays have been performed on international stages, on the BBC radio, and adapted for BBC television and frequently deal with feminist issues, abuses of power and sexual politics. She is the recipient of a number of awards including an Olivier Award, several Susan Smith Blackburn Prizes, and multiple Obie and Evening Standard Awards. Caryl Churchill lives in London; her latest play is Ding Dong the Wicked, which premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 2013.

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