The recently formed La-di-da Theatre Company seeks to address issues that are relevant to the Ballymun community. In Lipstick Service, the graduates of Performance Lab and Roundabout Youth Theatre explore the experience of three women in prison, and the drama is collaboratively devised drawing on interviews with real inmates.
The plot focuses on the rape of the most recent prisoner, Faith (Kiara Noonan), by one of the officers. At first, the other girls stand by her, but here the status quo is more important than the truth, and the prisoners are forced to turn on each other.
The play suffers from too much exposition, as scene after scene primarily deals with the abuse, its exposure and eventual denial. On a very simple stage, the rape scenes are also very stark and delivered without the back-lighting reserved for other instances of violence.
Despite working with some challenging material, the three female actors deliver strong performances. You might find yourself wishing for more subtlety or modulation in places, but this group only trades in ‘the harsh, cold truth.’