BritishTheatre

Published on

April 27, 2022

FIRST LOOK: Maggie May rehearsals at Leeds Playhouse

By

douglasmayo

Exclusive new images show the love, hope and laughter of the Maggie May rehearsal room at Leeds Playhouse

Maggie May

Tony Timberlake (Gordon) and Eithne Browne (Maggie). Photo: Zoe Martin First look images of the Maggie May rehearsal room show the cast coming together as a family, with all the love, laughter, tears and kitchen singalongs that entails. Brookside star Eithne Browne and musical theatre favourite Tony Timberlake star as married couple Maggie and Gordon in this new play with music that shines a light on a close-knit Leeds family's experience of living with dementia.

Leeds Playhouse

Eithne Brown (Maggie) and Mark Holgate (Michael). Photo: Zoe Martin Written by award-winning writer Frances Poet and directed by Jemima Levick, Maggie May runs in the Courtyard theatre at Leeds Playhouse from 7-21 May before transferring to Queen's Theatre Hornchurch from 24-28 May and Curve from 7-11 June.

The play was originally commissioned in 2017 as part of Leeds Playhouse’s award-winning Every Third Minute Festival, an innovative seven-week festival of theatre, dementia and hope curated by people living with dementia and their supporters.

Maggie May play

Maxine Finch (Jo). Photo: Zoe Martin "It felt like quite a daunting task to find a form that could work for and be truthful to an audience of people living with dementia, their carers as well as a wider audience with no direct connection to dementia," said playwright Frances Poet. "I’m not usually mystical about my writing in any way but, in this instance, I can honestly say that the character of Maggie helped me through. She seemed to arrive fully formed, speaking her first monologue. She showed me the way. "Some of the Playhouse’s amazing ambassadors came to an early reading of the play at the Every Third Minute festival. It was an absolutely glorious morning. When Maggie tells her son that she might forget him but will remember him in her heart, a man in front of me nudged his wife and gave her a little nod. It had obviously resonated with him. It was a wonderful moment."

Maggie May play

The cast of Maggie May and Director Jemima Levick. Photo: Zoe Martin The play centres around Maggie, played by Eithne Browne, one of Liverpool’s most well-loved and popular actors – she's even the voice of the Mersey Ferries. With starring roles in the original Blood Brothers in the West End, Shirley Valentine, and numerous Liverpool Royal Court Theatre productions and TV appearances on Waterloo Road, Cold Feet and as Brookside regular Chrissy Rogers, she has enjoyed a dazzling career spanning more than three decades. Tony Timberlake, who stars as Maggie's husband Gordon, has enjoyed a long and illustrious theatre career, including Chicago (Garrick Theatre); Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre); Spamalot (Palace Theatre); Singin' in the Rain (National Theatre); Les Miserables (Palace Theatre); and Into the Woods (Donmar Warehouse).

Leeds Playhouse

Tony Timberlake (Gordon) and Eithne Browne (Maggie). Photo: Zoe Martin The five-strong Maggie May cast also includes York actor Mark Holgate(Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre; Julius Caesar, The Crucible, Sheffield; Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Tina & Bobby) as Maggie and Gordon’s son Michael; Leeds actor Shireen Farkhoy (The Ipcress File, ITV1; Silent Witness, BBC1) as Mark’s girlfriend Claire; and Maxine Finch (LIT, Nottingham Playhouse; Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, DCI Banks) as Maggie’s best friend, Jo.

Maggie May tour

Tony Timberlake (Gordon) and Eithne Browne (Maggie). Photo: Zoe Martin

The creative team includes Set & Costume Designer Francis O'Connor, Theatre and Dementia Advisor Dr Nicky Taylor, Associate Designer Alex Doidge-Green, Movement Director Joseph Mercier, Lighting Designer Chris Davey, Composer & Sound Designer Claire McKenzie, Casting Director Kay Magson and Dialect Coach Eleanor Manners.

All performances of Maggie May at Leeds Playhouse, Queen's Theatre Hornchurch and Curve will be dementia-friendly, with additional staff, detailed pre-show information and a quiet space. Each venue will also host a free interactive installation – the Picture Booth – designed by Leeds Playhouse Resident Designer Warda Abbasi to amplify the experiences of people living with dementia.

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The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..

ABOUT BRITISHTHEATRE

BritishTheatre.com
Opening Night Media Ltd
3rd Floor, 80 St. Martin’s Lane
Covent Garden
London WC2N 4AA

The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..