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Theatre | Essex Girl at Seven Artspace

Maria Ferguson in Essex Girl

MARIA FERGUSON’S Essex Girl is at Seven Arts from Tonight. ZOE PARKER previews.

“Essex Girl: a young working-class woman from the Essex area, typically considered as being unintelligent, materialistic, devoid of taste and sexually promiscuous.” 

Collins English Dictionary

So what is it like to actually be an Essex girl? And should such a derogatory term dictate who a person is? Consequently, is it fair that a pigeonhole like this should follow a woman for life? Because surely all that remains is a fake cliched stereotype?

But life isn’t all fake tan and stilettos. At age sixteen, Kirsty is growing up in 00s Brentwood. She likes WKD, Elton John, Pie and Mash and Charlie Red body spray. She likes WKD, Elton John, Pie and Mash and Charlie Red body spray. And, guess what, she is on a quest to win Sexy Ricky’s heart whilst still passing her GCSEs. She also has a secret to tell you. And it’s one she can’t tell anyone else.

You will follow Kirsty’s story through the house parties and Irish pubs of Essex. You will go from West Ham matches to choir practice, and from pre-drinks to registration. And, you know what, this girl will tell you what it’s really like to be an Essex Girl.

We asked Maria about the show, and here is what she had to say:

So I wanted to write a genuine account of a young woman growing up in noughties Essex. And I hope that this play captures a snapshot of life for an average teenage girl navigating their place in the world: you know, making mistakes, taking risks and drinking far too much fruit flavoured, alcoholic liquid. I also hope that it reaches people who wouldn’t usually feel comfortable in a theatre. Growing up I loved going to see shows, but always felt a bit out of place. I know people who had never stepped in a theatre because of this very reason, and have only done so to see what I do. I hope it surprises people, sparks debate and represents the place I will always call home.

So Essex Girl is happening at Seven Artspace this Thursday 26th September at 8pm. And you can book tickets right now here .

You can also buy Maria Ferguson’s book of the same name @OberonBooks

Developed with support from Arts Council England, Battersea Arts Centre and Soho Young Company. And also shortlisted for the Tony Craze Award 2018.

Show of the Week, VAULT 2019

★★★★ ‘ a valuable addition to the current feminist dialogue’

Spy in the Stalls

Directed by Lucy Bairstow
Photo credit Suzi Corker