The writers, Polly Teale and Linda Brogan, have chosen to portray just a small portion of their lives: their teenage years where they are moved to a special school. Through the girls’ parody of their parents’ lilting Jamaican speech, we learn something of their parents’ inability to be accepted in their chosen land. Most interestingly too, the writers show the girls in the context of that period, culminating in the Brixton riots and the wedding of Charles and Diana. Although they seem to be totally isolated, in fact events in the outside world shape their lives.
The play has only five actors. Natasha Gordon and Demi Oyediran, who play the two sisters, deliver commanding performances. They have to oscillate between mute stubbornness, childishness, laughter, lust and anger; their parts are very physical too as they fight each other in and around and on and off the bunk beds which are almost the only props on the stage.
Their mother, Anita Reynolds, protects them in public, but privately she obviously despairs. Kathy (Katie Lightfoot), their teacher at the special school, makes some progress for a while but then seems to go backwards. She doesn’t really realise that she has got through to them and leaves to continue her own life and the twins retreat back to their own world. Kennedy, played by Alex Robertson, the anarchic teenager, seems to accept them for what they are and doesn’t judge them but in the end he uses them and also leaves and the twins start on the spree of sex and crime which eventually lands them in Broadmoor Prison.
The play ends there; there is no attempt to show their time in prison nor the strange death of Jennifer which released June to lead a more normal life. It does show the beginnings of their writing, an occupation which sustained them throughout their time in Broadmoor and which has given the world so much insight into the minds of these gifted, troubled girls.
This play is only a slice of their lives but it shows perhaps the most significant time, and the events around them that shaped the England in which they lived.