London revival of the hit British musical Maggie May, with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart and book by renowned dramatist Alun Owen.With music and lyrics by Lionel Bart and book by renowned dramatist Alun Owen, Maggie May has not been seen on the professional stage in London since its 1964 premiere at the Adelphi Theatre.
In this hard-hitting celebration of working class life in Liverpool’s docks in the 1960s, Maggie May will be played by Kara Lily Hayworth (Cilla the Musical, National Tour; Annie, National Tour; The Mystery of Edwin Drood), with James Darch (Wicked, Apollo Victoria; Mamma Mia!, Novello Theatre; Cats, National Tour) as Patrick Casey, and Natalie Williams (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury Lane; Oliver!, Leicester Curve; Scrooge, London Palladium) playing Maureen O’Neill.
The cast also includes Mark Pearce (The Wedding Singer, Leicester Curve; Porridge, The Lowry), Leon Kay (High Society, The Old Vic; Billy Elliot, National Tour), Michael Nelson (Mamma Mia!, National and International Tour; The Rink, Southwark Playhouse; Our House, National Tour), Barnaby Taylor (The Tempest, The Faith Machine, Guildhall School of Music and Drama), Aaron Kavanagh (Some Lovers, The Other Palace; This is The Greatest Show, National Tour; The Rocky Horror Show, European Tour), Chloe Carrington (Jersey Boys, International Tour; The Wizard of Oz, Blackpool Opera House), Euan Bennet (Sunshine On Leith, West Yorkshire Playhouse and National Tour; Jack and The Beanstalk, Paisley Arts Centre); Cathy McManamon (Me and My Girl, London Palladium; Jack The Ripper, Jermyn Street), Joshua Barton (The Commitments, National Tour and Ireland Tour; What The Ladybird Heard, International Tour) and David Keller (Hamlet, Theatr Clwyd; The Elephant Man, Theatre Royal Plymouth).
This production marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Lionel Bart, described by Andrew Lloyd Webber as ‘the father of the modern British Musical’. Winner of the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Score of the Year and the Critics' Poll Award for Best New British Musical, Maggie May includes one the most musically diverse scores of the 1960s, ranging from bitter sweet ballads, Mersey Beat rock ‘n’ roll and classic chorus numbers.
Full of vigour, northern wit and brassy tunes, this is the story of ‘street walker’ Maggie May Duﬀy and her childhood sweetheart, Patrick Casey. Their love story is set against the economic decline of Liverpool’s docks at the height of the City’s cultural revival through the Mersey Beat sound.
Director, Matthew Iliffe, said, In the year which marks the twentieth anniversary of legendary British songwriter Lionel Bart's death, it seemed appropriate to honour his legacy with a revival of Maggie May, Bart's hit musical which ran at the West End's Adelphi Theatre in 1964. Bart was a working-class maverick from the East End who, despite not being able to read or write music, penned the soundtrack to 1960s Britain, with hits such as Living Doll for Cliff Richard, Bond Theme From Russia With Love for Matt Monroe and of course the score for Oliver! As a librettist and lyricist he also captured the contemporary zeitgeist like no other with shows like Fings' Ain't Wot They Used T'Be and indeed Maggie May. In doing so, he is arguably the only British writer of musicals to ever successfully put working-class experiences centre stage. This anniversary gives us the chance to appraise his extraordinarily wide-ranging body of work and to celebrate a true British Icon.
This is the first professional London production since its premiere 55 years ago at the Adelphi Theatre, starring Rachel Roberts, Kenneth Haigh and Barry Humphries, where it was described by critics as Explosively vigorous (The Times), A punchy, pungent, spectacle of a show...big, bold and energetic (The Observer), and The most vigorous musical since West Side Story (The Daily Express).
Commenting on this London revival, the Lionel Bart Estate said, We are delighted to see Maggie May return to London after 55 years. This show was very important to Lionel and we only wish he were here to see it.
Additionally, Alun Owen’s son, Gareth, commented, Alun was very proud to be a native Liverpudlian and many of his plays were based on settings in Liverpool. Maggie May is a well-known Liverpool story and Alun gave his own unique insight into the events that are described in the production. I am delighted Maggie May is making a comeback.
Maggie May is performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited on behalf of Josef Weinberger Limited.
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