Jessica Forrest and Olivia Nicholson
9th June 2018
Trolley Girls follows the amusing everyday lives of Jess and Liv, two long-term besties from Burnley, Lancashire, who work at their local Asda (not Morrisons, heaven forbid!). When they’re not repeating monotonous tasks in the day, they get wasted at unlively night clubs and try to make sparks fly with their disinterested boyfriends. However, the twenty-somethings seem pretty content as they have each other – until Jess gets offered a job transfer from her hometown comforts, to city life in cultural Manchester…
The undeniable chemistry between writers/actresses Jessica Forrest and Olivia Nicholson (who our brassy characters are named after) is evident in their on-stage friendship. The duo often perform choreography in sync and don’t shy away from openly talking about bodily functions, which always received a chuckle from the audience.
Trolley Girls is rich with character building and fly-on-the-wall observations, so after the 50 minute run-time I felt very familiar with Jess and Liv’s world. The show is carried by a small cast of two, but Forrest and Nicholson also take on the roles of the main characters’ unsuitable partners, clashing parents and wacky colleagues. Both actresses could switch between each distinct personality with ease, portraying them using exaggerated facial expressions and body language. And thanks to quick costume changes, each scene almost always flowed seamlessly into the next.
One of the most comedic uses of storytelling was through boozy karaoke ballads. Whenever things start to go wrong in the girls’ love lives, they hilariously adapt the lyrics to their situations (best shown in a rendition of Total Eclipse of the Heart) and destroy the songs with drunken vocals. I counted four karaoke scenes – some a bit hit or miss, and perhaps a little overdone by the time an audience member joined the girls on stage to sing ABBA’s Dancing Queen.
Trolley Girls is a rather niche blend of girl power, cheeky antics and supermarket puns (“I don’t want to be the bag to his life!”). The show teaches us the value of close friendship, while providing Fringe entertainment worthy of several giggles.