★★★★☆ | Girls & Boys, Royal Court Theatre

Any play that starts out with the line ‘I met my husband in the queue to board an Easyjet flight and I have to say that I took an instant dislike to the man’ you know you’re going to be hooked. And that’s how Girls & Boys pulls you in a tight grip and never let’s go.

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It’s not just the sharp dialogue that grabs your attention, it’s also the way it’s delivered, by the super famous actor Carey Mulligan. And she’s solo for the entire show – a one-woman show about her character’s relationship with the man she met at the airport, their life together, which produced two children, and then, as nothing in life is totally perfect, the relationship with her husband breaks down, but that’s not the end of it. An unspeakable tragedy happens, and by this time Mulligan and Girls & Boys has sucked us in, and doesn’t let go. It’s heartwrenching and heartbreaking.
Mulligan IS terrific. She flits back and forth from delivering the monologue directly to the audience but then jumps into a scene in the show, in her white living room – devoid of colour, and life. There she plays with her two children, but they are actually not there, they are invisible but a reminder that her past life was full of love and life, but is now full of emptiness. Mulligan reminisces about a life that was to good to be true, and it was.
Mulligan, star of the recent critically acclaimed film Mudbound, is a formidable presence on the stage. You forget she’s a famous actress because you get wrapped up in the story, of her telling of it, as she wraps and grasps the audience in the story. A tight sharp script by Dennis Kelly and crisp direction by Lyndsey Turner make this 90 minute show a must see, unfortunately, it’s sold out for its entire run.