Top Girls

Top Girls

3.3 (13) · Contemporary

Now hiring: top girls wanted for prestige positions. Must be self-motivated go-getters with an appetite for success. No timewasters.

“What does it mean to be a successful woman? First performed at the Royal Court in 1982, Caryl Churchill’s play is “a work of genius that will never date” according the Independent. The play follows Marlene, the first woman to head the Top Girls employment agency, and her quest for success in Thatcherite Britain. The National Theatre’s timely revival has had some great reviews (and some luke-warm ones) and it’s undeniably relevant in the #MeToo era.”
Lyn Gardner avatar
20 March 2019  ·  Follow on Stagedoor
“Marlene, the newly appointed managing director of ‘Top Girls’ employment agency, is celebrating her promotion by holding a dinner. Her guests are from history, all representing different facets of women’s experience: Pope Joan, patient Griselda, Isabella Bird, Lady Nijo. So begins Caryl Churchill’s brilliant 1982 play, considering whether you can be a mother and have a successful career, whether getting to the top involves killing some aspect of yourself, and what sisterhood really means. Lyndsey Turner directs a fab cast headed by Katherine Kingsley as the go-getting Marlene who is determined to have it all.”


Marlene is the first woman to head the Top Girls employment agency. But she has no plans to stop there. With Maggie in at Number 10 and a spirit of optimism consuming the country, Marlene knows that the future belongs to women like her.

Critic reviews

A reminder of how little social discussion has changed since the 80s

The Upcoming

Top Girls remains an important, forever relevant and still surprising play, even in a production that doesn't always hit its marks

London Theatre

Churchill's point remains as razor-sharp in today's divided society as it was in the Britain of the 1980s


Caryl Churchill’s feminist masterpiece is given the widescreen production it’s always cried out for

Time Out

Churchill’s playfulness still comes across, and so does her anger. Top Girls is an argument for compassion and a sharp look at social inequality, demanding a place at the table for women of all backgrounds.

Evening Standard

Lyndsey Turner directs a lavish but underpowered revival of Caryl Churchill's masterpiece

The Stage

Much as I love Churchill’s play, a big theatre and an epic cast do it few favours

The Guardian

A feminist museum piece trounced by the drama across the Thames

The Telegraph

A work of genius then that will never date

The Independent

Hannah Greenstreet’s tripartite response to Top Girls explores its place in the theatre canon


Churchill’s well-loved work is finally given the luxury of a large cast of women, but as a result Top Girls feels too large

A Younger Theatre

Katherine Kingsley excels in fantasy dinner party drama

Financial Times

Date & time

Show ended
Tue 26 Mar - Sat 22 Jun, 2.15pm & 7.30pm


South Bank SE1 9PX London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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