Band of Gold @ Milton Keynes Theatre 09.03.2020

Popular 90’s crime drama Band of Gold now on stage

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I went to last nights performance of Band of Gold as a complete outsider to the story that swept up millions of viewers in the mid 90s.

It was a crime drama series on ITV. Set in Bradford in the 90s, Band of Gold follows the lives of a group of sex workers. Then a murder happens and-

Who was it? Was it a stranger? Is there a serial killer on the loose? 😱

Another 😱 is how the cast is filled with a host of familiar faces.

Laurie Brett who plays Anita is well known for her portrayal of Jane Beale in Eastenders and Gaynor Faye (omg she is so good!) who plays Rose is instantly recognisable from her past roles in Coronation Street and Emmerdale. Kieron Richardson who plays Steve has starred in Hollyoaks and Inspector Newall is X Factor winner-turned soap star Shayne Ward. Oof!

And while you’re recalling names and faces, have some more to store.

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Emma Osman who plays Carol is out on her first tour is fab! As does Olwen May as Gina’s mum Joyce.

While Band of Gold is a crime drama, I don’t believe that’s what hooked all those millions of people back in the 90s or why people are going to want to see this revised play.

It’s the insight to the lives of sex worker women, in a frank and open manner.

This isn’t an all-exposed parade of prostitution but a close look at women who find themselves there and their reasons why. Mothers fighting to provide for their children, to feed habits or to make rent.

In opening the conversations that prostitution happens and why it happens and the risks involved.

Sex workers aren’t just your shady woman character in the background, or a woman that has nothing but whore slapped across her mush. It’s real women, with very real lives and you’re rooting for them, understanding why they’re doing it and wanting to keep all women safe in a world that wants to keep sex work illegal and unprotected.

And that’s what makes Band of Gold a good watch.

The male characters in this story, from the police inspector, to punters and partners feel a bit non-existent on stage. I reckon they could all be played by a faceless man and it wouldn’t change much. Maybe that’s because we don’t need to hear their story right now and the female characters are all able to have their say and keep telling the story from their side.

I am now going to seek out Band of Gold (da original tv show) to delve into the grit on the smaller screen, How bonkers is it that the mid-90s is now some 25 years ago!? 😳

And if you want to dial back the time and see Band of Gold on stage, you better be quick.

This is the penultimate week before the world stage premiere run comes to a close.

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Band of Gold is at Milton Keynes Theatre 9 – 14 March 2020

For full transparency, tickets to the show were kindly gifted to me from Milton Keynes Theatre.

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