British Premiere

The Country Girls

By Edna O'Brien

Minerva Theatre
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We’ll be clicking guys like mad… they say there’s over fifty ways of kissing.

The 1950s. Rural Ireland. Kate and Baba are best friends who long to escape their traditional families and convent school. When they finally rebel and make a break for it, their lives burst open.

As they forge new identities in Dublin, the childhood friends must discover if it is possible to grow up without growing apart.

Edna O’Brien’s novel The Country Girls was controversially banned in Ireland on publication in 1960. From her much loved book, she has created a new free-flowing play which is a frank, lyrical and wrenching exploration of young women, the loss of innocence and the tenacity of love and hope.

Director Lisa Blair makes her debut at Chichester; her recent productions include Contractions at Sheffield Crucible and Faust X2 at the Watermill, Newbury.


Prologue Members Early Bird
booking from 4 March



Exceptionally good

The Times

Grace Molony and Genevieve Hulme-Beaman command the stage as gawky, cerebral dreamer Kate and the pouting, hellbent hedonistic Baba

Daily Telegraph

Lisa Blair’s atmospheric production, with its childhood ballads and street songs, has the unexpected effect of inducing nostalgia for a vanished Ireland

The Guardian

Deeply-impressive, beautifully-played

Chichester Observer

No one should underestimate the sheer brilliance of this wonderful adaptation

Southern Daily Echo

Most impressive is the universal quality of the acting here – and the highest on the acting-honours list is newcomer Grace Molony in the leading role

Portsmouth News

Cast & Creatives


Cast List

Genevieve Hulme-Beaman


Grace Molony


Romayne Andrews


Rachel Atkins

Joanna / Sister Immaculata

Tom Canton


Chris Garner

Hugo Brennan

Colm Gormley


Melanie McHugh

Martha Brennan

Keshini Misha

Singing Woman / Violin Player

Bailey Patrick


Valery Schatz

Mr Gentleman

Jade Yourell

Sister Mary

Creative team

Cast List

Lisa Blair


Rebecca Howell

Movement Director

Richard Kent


Lizzie Powell

Lighting Designer

Isobel Waller-Bridge


Christopher Shutt

Sound Designer

Anne McNulty

Casting Director




Running Time
2 hours and 25 minutes including the interval