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Maggie May: The poignant play about dementia comes to Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 14:53 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:53 14 February 2020

L-R: Shireen Farkhoy, Maxine Finch, John McArdle, Eithne Browne and Mark Holgate at the Maggie May meet and greet. Picture: Tracey Welch

L-R: Shireen Farkhoy, Maxine Finch, John McArdle, Eithne Browne and Mark Holgate at the Maggie May meet and greet. Picture: Tracey Welch

TRACEYWELCH

Former neighbours from the Merseyside 80s soap, Brookside, Eithne Browne and John McArdle will star in a new play about the realities of living with dementia.

Director Jemima Levick and writer Frances Poet at the Maggie May Playhouse reheasal space. Picture: Tracey WelchDirector Jemima Levick and writer Frances Poet at the Maggie May Playhouse reheasal space. Picture: Tracey Welch

When a Leeds family receive a life-changing diagnosis, they come together in an extraordinary tale of hope and honesty. Directed by Jemima Levick, Maggie May perfectly balances the melancholy narrative with humour and music that ultimately makes it an uplifting story of love in all its guises.

Jemima said: "From the moment I first heard about the project, its roots and its ambitions, I could sense that it was important, in the way it was stretching the boundaries of what and who theatre is for.

"Then, when I read it and felt the love and hopefulness pouring off the page for these characters and this family, I was hooked." 

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"I'm incredibly lucky to be working with a fantastic cast and creative team, some I've worked with before and others whose work I've admired from afar. I can't wait to get started, bring them all together and share this beautiful play with audiences, particularly those people living with dementia and their families."

Eithne Browne is best known for her five-year stint in Brookside as Chrissy Rogers. She is joined on stage by her fellow Brookside alumnus, John McArdle, who played Billy Corkhill and moved his family into number 10 in 1985 and left five years and 83 tumultuous episodes later. In Maggie May, he plays Maggie's husband, Gordon.

The cast also includes Mark Holgate (Julius Caesar, Shakespeare's Rose Theatre, The Crucible, Sheffield; Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Tina & Bobby) as Maggie and Gordon's son Mark; Shireen Farkhoy (Urban and the Shed Crew, Red Ladder; Doctors, Vera, Waterloo Road) as Mark's girlfriend Claire; and Maxine Finch (LIT, Nottingham Playhouse; Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, DCI Banks) as Maggie's best friend, Jo.

All performances of this production are suitable for, and warmly welcome, those living with dementia and their families or carers.

The theatre has a range of dementia friendly performances and will also host a free interactive digital installation front of house named The Listening Booth, amplifying the voices of people living with dementia and celebrates the power of music.

Maggie May plays at Queen's Theatre Hornchurch from Friday March 13 - Saturday March 28. Find tickets here.

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