THE Top Girls programme notes quote 18th-century women's rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft: ''I don't want women to have power over men; I want them to have power over themselves.'' This three-act play by English playwright Caryl Churchill is about women who have that power (and its cost), those who don't and those who want it. It's a quirky, odd even, mix of history - or should that be herstory? - and the present (in the same room at the same time) through a multi-media mix of theatre, music, dance and occasionally mime. The first act, in which satin pyjama-clad modern girl Marlene celebrates her promotion to managing director with a strange selection of long-dead women from history, is off-putting. The ''party'' degenerates into a recounting of the injustices these women have suffered at the hands of men over the centuries. There are some poignant moments and tragic tales, but despite the strong performances that characterise this show it becomes a rather pointless mish-mash. It is the opening scene of Act II, in which we are introduced to Marlene's job at her employment agency by way of a monologue - an interview with an invisible job seeker while Marlene dons her executive suit - that sets the real tone of the proceedings. She has won her top spot at some personal cost - family ties, relationships (men like to be seen with a high powered woman, but they want her in an apron at home, she says). The attitudes of her subordinates, male and female, and the aspirations of the women seeking work at her agency, all presented in an amusing, off-beat style, are an interesting, if rather heavy-handed commentary on the mix of attitudes to ''top girls'' that linger in these supposedly egalitarian times. Emma-Lucia Griffiths is outstanding as Marlene and it is she, even when unseen, who links all that follows. But the other six women, each of whom has at least two roles, are all thoroughly convincing and professional. Tanya Cawthorne as Marlene's rather simple 15-year-old niece, Angie - or is she her daughter? - is worthy of particular mention for her fine work. ''She's not going to make it,'' Marlene says of Angie. The same may perhaps be said of Marlene's sister, Joyce (Diana Cox), who, dumped by her husband lives in the country, raising Angie and visiting her senile mother. But in Joyce's eyes it is Marlene, the sister and daughter who couldn't wait to leave, who hasn't visited for six years, who's never married, who has missed out, too. Top Girls, first performed at London's Royal Court Theatre in 1982, is an amusing and satirical look at a serious issue. It's an entertaining evening and almost two hours pass quickly. But ultimately it doesn't quite come off, despite the novel approach.From the slighted man, passed over for promotion, to the job applicant who's saving to get married, to the woman who has made sacrifices for her career success, at heart it's rather cliched. But this Hong Kong performance is saved by the quality of its cast, which lifts Ms Churchill's play rather higher than it deserves.