Bad Girls The Musical
Set in a women’s prison, Bad Girls is a powerful, uplifting and raucously entertaining British musical, based on the award-winning and hugely popular television drama.
Show Essentials
+ Ensemble


Cast Size: Large (21 or more performers)
Cast Type: Mainly Women
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Nikki Wade

Sentence: Life – for killing a policeman who was attempting to rape her girlfriend.

An intelligent and moody middle-class maverick, driven by her contempt for the criminal justice system and compassion for the weak and vulnerable.

Gender: female
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range top: D#5
Vocal range bottom: E3
Shell Dockley

Sentence: Life - for the kidnap, torture and murder of the ‘slapper who stole her man’.

The reigning Top Dog, sluttish, cunning and a consummate liar, who relishes in her own wickedness and will do anything to get what she wants.

Gender: female
Age: 25 to 30
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Denny Blodd

Sentence: 7 years for arson.

Shell’s trusty side-kick, an emotionally deprived hard nut, brought up in care homes, who’s basically a lost child in need of a mum.

Gender: female
Age: 18 to 25
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Yvonne Atkins

Sentence: 4 years for conspiracy to commit murder.

A mobster’s missus, brassy, sassy and supremely resourceful - no one messes with Yvonne. 

Gender: female
Age: 40 to 50
Vocal range top: B5
Vocal range bottom: E3
“The Two Julies” - Julie Saunders and Julie Johnston

Sentence: 2 years for soliciting and theft.

A sisterly double-act, warm, maternal and ribald, they’ve been round the block - a lot. But they’ll always be there for each other and that’s their lifeline for survival.

Gender: female
Age: 35 to 45
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Crystal Gordon

Sentence: 12 months for shoplifting.

A bible-bashing Christian, self-righteous, judgemental and blind to her own self-contradictions.

Gender: female
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Rachel Hicks

Sentence: 30 months for possession with intent to supply.

Vulnerable first-time offender, parted from her young baby, and terrified by the bullying likes of Shell and Denny. Rachel’s got ‘victim’ written all over her.

Gender: female
Age: 25 to 35
Noreen Biggs

Sentence: 3 months for shop-lifting.

Recidivist old-timer who feels more at home in prison than out. She loves a “bit of bother” and is always ready to stoke a fight from the sidelines. 

Gender: female
Age: 60 to 75
Jim Fenner

Principal Officer, who likes to run things in prison his own way - and take his pick of any young inmate he fancies. His unholy alliance with Shell Dockley is merely part of his master plan - to undermine Helen Stewart and get her job.

Gender: male
Age: 40 to 55
Vocal range top: F#4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Sylvia "Bodybag" Hollamby

Senior Prison Officer and loyal sidekick to Jim Fenner. A lazy and bigoted jobsworth, she despises the inmates and always feels hard done by. 

Gender: female
Age: 50 to 60
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: A3
Helen Stewart

Newly appointed Wing Governor. A graduate ‘fast-tracker’, idealistic, warm and generous, she’s genuinely concerned for the welfare of the inmates in her care, but naive about the old boys’ network she’s up against.

Gender: female
Age: 25 to 30
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Justin Mattison

Prison Officer. A fresh young puppy dog who really wants to do good and thinks the world of Helen Stewart. Shy and easily teased by the older women inmates.  

Gender: male
Age: 25 to 30
Vocal range top: C#4
Vocal range bottom: C3
The Number One - Simon Stubberfield

Governing Governor. Ambitious and indolent, with his sights set on promotion to Area Management. He’ll do anything to keep his own reputation unsullied. 

Gender: male
Age: 50 to 65

Small speaking roles for Prisoners Kat, Spike & Natalie, and Prison Officer/Male Nurse. Additional women prisoners and prison officers as desired and/or required for cover. 

Gender: any
Full Song List
Bad Girls The Musical: Baddest and the Best
Bad Girls The Musical: I Shouldn't Be Here
Bad Girls The Musical: Guardian Angel
Bad Girls The Musical: Baddest and the Best
Bad Girls The Musical: I Shouldn't Be Here
Bad Girls The Musical: Guardian Angel
Bad Girls The Musical: Jailcraft
Bad Girls The Musical: One Moment
Bad Girls The Musical: A Life of Grime
Bad Girls The Musical: That's The Way It Is
Bad Girls The Musical: Freedom Road
Bad Girls The Musical: The Future Is Bright
Bad Girls The Musical: Sorry
Bad Girls The Musical: All Banged Up
Bad Girls The Musical: First Lady
Bad Girls The Musical: This Is My Life

Show History


From Within These Walls and Prisoner Cell Block H to Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, female prison dramas have always been a hugely popular television genre. But before there was O.I.T.N.B. there was Bad Girls

Bad Girls first hit the screens on 1 June 1999 on primetime ITV and went on to run for eight series and a total of 107 episodes. It was set in the fictional women's prison of HMP Larkhall, and followed the lives of prisoners and staff on G Wing. The show became a big hit and was a repeat winner at the National Television Awards and widely syndicated internationally.

The original TV drama series was created by Maureen Chadwick and Ann McManus and was made by Shed Productions, which ultimately went on to become part of the Warner Bros company.

The appeal of a closed world of strong female characters, raw emotions and big stories, coupled with a bawdy sense of humour, led to the idea of creating Bad Girls The Musical.  The show was then developed by Maureen Chadwick and Ann McManus in collaboration with composer and lyricist Kath Gotts, and director Maggie Norris.



Following a semi-staged workshop production at the New Players Theatre in London (now Charing Cross Theatre) in November 2004, Bad Girls premiered at West Yorkshire Playhouse in June 2006, with a cast that included Hannah Waddingham in the role of Nikki Wade and Hal Fowler as Jim Fenner. The girls were then 'sent down' to London for a West End run at the Garrick Theatre from August to November 2007.

The West End production featured several veterans of the TV show as well as familiar musical theatre names. Helen Fraser reprised her infamous role as Sylvia "Bodybag" Hollamby and Nicole Faraday, better known in her role as Snowball Merriman in series 4 and 5 of Bad Girls, was the "evil incarnate" Shell Dockley. Laura Rogers played the troubled Wing Governor Helen Stewart and Maria Charles made a welcome return as old-timer Noreen Biggs. West End leading man David Burt played the malicious Jim Fenner and Sally Dexter won rave reviews as the ultimate Top Dog, King-of Gangland’s missus, Yvonne Atkins.

Bad Girls The Musical was filmed live at the Garrick Theatre and is available to buy or rent through Amazon Instant Video and Vimeo On Demand.



West End - and now East End(ers)- star Jenna Russell played the role of Julie Saunders in the 2004 workshop production of Bad Girls The Musical at Charing Cross Theatre.

Critical Reaction

“For an entertaining night of salacious humour, strong songs and good old-fashioned melodrama, it's hard to beat”

Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph

“Kath Gotts supplies unflaggingly vivacious music and lyrics, ranging from a song for moppers-out (A Life of Grime) to a gospel moment for a godly shoplifter.”

Susannah Clapp, The Observer

“There is real artfulness in Kath Gotts’ music and lyrics and Maureen Chadwick and Ann McManus’ book. A big, popular, brassy show that pushes all the right buttons.”

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“Slick and assured, it offers an entertaining mix of tongue-in-cheek comedy and resonant pathos”

Dominic Cavendish, The Daily Telegraph

“A big, broad, bawdy musical that is a joy from beginning to end”

Steve Pratt, The Northern Echo

“Tough, brutal and funny. Brilliant songs range from a blues lament to a Garland/Astaire duet, to a full-blown Busby Berkeley routine”

Kevin Berry, The Stage

“An entertaining blend of high drama, toe-tapping show tunes and a bucketload of guffaws. Bad Girls – The Musical is a brilliant way to spend an evening”

Amanda Trickett, Metro

“In the vibrant tradition of shows like Blood Brothers, Spend Spend Spend and Billy Elliot. Ingeniously melding the harsh realities of its women’s prison setting with the irresistible bounce of a musical whose primary objective is to entertain.”

Mark Shenton, The Stage

“The authors Maureen Chadwick and Ann McManus have produced a tight, taut show full of human spirit”

Michael Coveney, 


Official Website

IMDB page for Bad Girls TV

IMDB page for Bad Girls The Musical (Live at the Garrick Theatre)

Bad Girls The Musical Facebook page for Amateur Productions

Bad Girls Wikipedia



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Book by

Music and Lyrics by

Originally directed by Maggie Norris

Orchestrations by Martin Koch

The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.

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