There could barely be a more relevant piece of drama for our time and for our area than Amanda Whittington’s Amateur Girl, at Create Theatre.
Starring former Eastenders actress Lucy Speed as Julie, a cheerful and committed auxiliary nurse who struggles to make ends meet on her minimum wage salary, the one-woman play touches on several of the key issues in society today.
The NHS, the living wage and attitudes to women and female sexuality are all discussed, but not in a strongly political or preachy way that could alienate audiences.
Instead we see the problems of modern day Britain through Julie’s thoughts and feelings, which are expressed through her monologue.
Julie, who is from Mansfield and now lives in Nottingham, is a straight-talking kind of woman who makes you laugh and makes you think.
She likes going out drinking with her friends and enjoys male ‘company’.
So for her it is a natural progression when her ‘friend’ Gary suggests a way of making some much-needed extra money - by entering the world of amateur pornography.
Lucy Speed plays Julie in a sensitive and believable way. You never judge her and you sympathise with her plight.
Julie never sees herself as a victim, but a victim she undoubtedly is. There are hints that she was a victim of her stepdad, she is a victim of society’s failure to properly value essential roles such as nurses, and she is a victim of the exploitative sex industry.
She thinks she is in control, but her naivety leaves her open to manipulation.
However the optimistic ending leaves the audience thinking that she will be all right in the end, because she is one of life’s survivors.
Amateur Girl is an accessible and realistic play that should be seen by everyone.
Amateur Girl is also being performed tonight at Create Theatre at West Notts College.
See http://www.createtheatre.co.uk/whats-on.aspx for details and to book tickets.