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Preview: Our Ladies at Newcastle Live Theatre

Lee Hall’s latest play, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is a sell-out and critical success at the Edinburgh Fringe

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour
Newcastle Live Theatre
Thursday 1st to Saturday 24th October 2015

l to r. Kirsty MacLaren (Manda, Karen Fishwick (Kay),
Melissa Allan (Orla), Frances Mayli McCann (Kylah),
Caroline Deyga (Chell, Dawn Sievewright (Fionnula)
Photo: Peter Dibdin
Live Theatre’s first ever co-production with National Theatre of Scotland, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour written by Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters writer Lee Hall has been a sell-out success at its world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The play was sold out in advance of its two week run at the Traverse Theatre and has garnered critical acclaim from reviewers and audiences alike. It has gained seven five star reviews, a Herald Angel Award and an Acting Excellence Award from The Stage to date. Our Ladies… has its English premiere at Live Theatre, Newcastle from Thursday 1 to Saturday 24 October, the play’s only dates in England.

Photo: Manuel Harlan
Based on The Sopranos by cult Scottish novelist Alan Warner, and adapted for the stage by award-winning writer Lee Hall, Our Ladies is about six girls on the cusp of change. It follows the choir’s trip to Edinburgh as it goes badly wrong when love, lust, pregnancy and death all spiral out of control in a single day.

Photo: Manuel Harlan
The soundtrack of classical music and 70s pop rock, sung by the six cast members and performed by an all-female band features music by Handel, Bach and ELO. Our Ladies… is an outrageous piece of new music theatre with Tony-winning Martin Lowe (Once) as Music Supervisor.

Photo: Manuel Harlan
The Artistic Director of Newcastle’s Live Theatre, Max Roberts, said: ‘’As audiences will know Live Theatre has enjoyed a long and fruitful creative relationship with Lee Hall so we are delighted to collaborate with the National Theatre of Scotland in this co-production of his latest work the adaptation of The Sopranos by Alan Warner entitled Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour. I was completely knocked out by the production directed by Vicky Featherstone at The Traverse Theatre and it proved to be one of the highlights of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It is hilarious, shocking and tearfully emotional in turn and its exciting, young all female cast deliver Martin Lowe’s brilliant musical arrangements superbly. It is quite simply a dazzling piece of theatre. I’m sure our audiences will be delighted to witness its English premiere here in Newcastle before it begins its inevitable life as a national and international smash hit to follow Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters.’’

Photo: Manuel Harlan
Writer Lee Hall said: “I am delighted to be working for the first time with the National Theatre of Scotland. This is a project I've wanted to bring to the stage since I first read the book 17 years ago. Alan Warner's view of the world chimed so much with my own experience of growing up in Newcastle so it seemed a perfect project to work on as a co-production with Live Theatre where I have a very long association. I think the Scots and Geordies share a common understanding of the world. A robust sense of humour, an appetite for a good time and a lack of pretension about what Art should be. The Sopranos is filthy, manic, hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure - all the things I think theatre should be. Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is a show full of music from the most exquisite classical choral pieces to foot stomping disco classics and much else in between. This is a very special show and very much a labour of love for Vicky Featherstone and I who have been working on this for several years now.”

Photo: Manuel Harlan
Vicky Featherstone returns to the National Theatre of Scotland for the first time since her appointment as Artistic Director at the Royal Court Theatre, to collaborate  with Lee Hall, (Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters), to create a funny, sad and raucously rude production about singing, sex and sambuca.

Photo: Manuel Harlan
Warner, whose 1995 debut novel Morvern Callar became a literary phenomenon, continues his themes of being young, lost and out of control in this musical play about losing your virginity and finding yourself.  Alan Warner wrote The Sopranos in 1998, followed by its sequel The Stars in the Bright Skywhich was long listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. He has written eight novels and is best known for Movern Callar which was made into a film starring Samantha Morton in 2002. His most recent novel is Their Lips Talk of Mischief, published by Faber in 2014.

Photo: Peter Dibdin

A cast of young Scottish musical theatre actresses take on the roles of Fionnula, Kylah, Kay, Manda, Chell and Orla. The cast features  Dawn Sievewright (Legally Blond)  and Karen Fishwick  (The Overcoat for Gecko Theatre and Caucasian Chalk Circle for The Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh) , who return to work with the National Theatre of Scotland, having both previously appeared in the award-winning musical, The Glasgow Girls. They are joined by Caroline Deyga who most recently appeared in Lucy Porter’s Fair Intellectual Club, Frances Mayli McCann (National Theatre’s Here Lies Love and Priscilla Queen of the Desert in the West End), Kirsty MacLaren (Piltochry Festival Theatre season)and Melissa Allan who is making her professional debut in the production.  The cast will be joined on stage by a trio of young female musicians, Amy Shackcloth, Becky Brass and Emily Linden.



The cast will be joined on stage by a trio of young female musicians, Amy Shackcloth, Becky Brass and Emily Linden.

Adapted by Lee Hall from The Sopranos by Alan Warner
Directed by Vicky Featherstone
Music Supervisor Martin Lowe

Designed by Chloe Lamford
Lighting Design by Lizzie Powell

Choreography by Imogen Knight

On The Web:
Join the conversation:#OurLadies

After a sell-out run at the Traverse as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and a tour of Scotland Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour opens at Live Theatre on Thursday 1 October and runs until Saturday 24 October

For more information on Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour and to buy tickets costing between £26 to £10, over 60s concessions £16 and other concessions between £18 to £6 call Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232 or see

Tour Dates: 
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, (18 to 30 August);
Tron Theatre, Glasgow (8 to 12 September);
Lemon Tree, Aberdeen (15 & 16 September);
One Touch Theatre, Eden Court, Inverness  (18 & 19 September); 
Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy, Fife (22 & 23 September);
The Brunton, Musselburgh (25 & 26 September);
Live Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne (1 to 24 October).

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