Angry punk music. Huge hair. Platform boots. Surely it’s another concert to review. Nope, this time it’s a play, but if the cast ever decides to go down the music route, I’m buying a ticket. Dead Girls Rising is a blood-pumping punk-cabaret from Silent Uproar, showcasing the fear that stalks women throughout their lives. Against a steady rhythm and period of dedicated moshing, the production takes the audience through some difficult themes with humour and tact, but unfortunately misses the beat at the very end. 

In the dead of night, two young women, Hannah (Angelina Chudi) and Kaite (Helen Rueben), tired of being afraid, accidentally summon the Furies – Greek Goddesses of Vengeance/edgy girl band. Egged on by the Furies’ anger, and thrashing guitars, the girls unpack stories of overlooked harassment and undermined abuse that are all too familiar to every woman listening. As the stories unfold, the Furies provide the chance for Tarantino-style retribution that ultimately raises questions of morality, justice, and where to draw the line. 

Dead Girls Rising is a brilliantly written show. The music, written by Anya Pearson of Dream Nails, is arguably the greatest aspect of the whole performance, being used for exposition and levity – something desperately needed as the cast tackles the show’s darker themes. The bitter humour, from well-timed fourth wall breaks to unapologetic satire, quickly gains the audience’s favour. Moreover, the writing does an excellent job of balancing the humour without mishandling the incredibly sensitive subject matter. Maureen Lennon’s writing is enhanced by stellar performances from the entire cast. The Furies provide drama and excitement, looking and sounding every bit like a band that needs to exist, bashing out powerful tones with engaging lyrics. Meanwhile, Chudi and Rueben do an excellent job portraying a range of emotions and experiences that accompany the difficulties that come from merely existing as a woman. 

Sadly, the production stumbles right at the very end. In a show with such powerful messages, and riotously angry performances , you’d expect an ending that will match the energy. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen. Drowning under the weight of the heavy questions it poses, the finale feels rushed and lacklustre, leaving questions unanswered. In a play that delivers so many punches, it’s upsetting to see it miss the knock out. 

When it comes to depicting topics as serious as sexual abuse and harassment, it either goes really well or really badly. Dead Girls Rising is the former. With verve and unquenched rage, it provides energetic and unapologetic truth and humour while asking the audience to think about the treatment of women today. Though there are teething issues in the end, this is ultimately a well-thought-out play. It balances the right amount of humour and sincerity that’s sure to speak to the anger in any woman watching, and perhaps ignite some fear in the men. Ultimately, by the end, every member of the audience will be left struggling against the hard-to-escape tune of “Kill All Men”.