Maggie May

Music and Lyrics by Lionel Bart
Book by Alun Owen.

27 March – 20 April 2019

Oh the Liver Bird is a statue
On a building high by the pier.
Lord of Merseyside, staring at you,

To his beady eye, all is clear…

The first professional London production in over 50 years

★★★★★ Five Stars, Reviewsgate
★★★★★ Five Stars, London Pub Theatres Magazine
★★★★ Four Stars, The National Student
★★★★ Four Stars, Sardines
★★★★ Four Stars, The Spy in the Stalls
★★★★ Four Stars, The Upcoming
★★★★ Four Stars, Fairy Powered Productions
★★★★ Four Stars, Emily Schofield Wixsite
★★★★ Four Stars, Musical Manda
★★★★ Four Stars, Mind the Blog

Off West End Award Nomination FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL Kara Lily Hayworth
Off West End Award Nomination SET DESIGN Verity Johnson

The first professional London production since its 1964 premiere of the hit British musical Maggie May.

A hard-hitting celebration of working class life in Liverpool’s docks in the 1960s, Maggie May is the story of the doomed love affair between ‘street walker’ Maggie May Duffy and sailor Patrick Casey, the son of a union-martyr, initially reluctant but finally proud to assume his father’s mantle. Around them is a gallery of strongly-drawn characters: Willie Morgan, the corrupt demagogic union leader, Juddah, the ‘fixer’ and traitor, and Old Dooley, obsessed with past union struggles, all caught up in a allegoric musical drama with a devastating tragic climax.

Winner of the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Score of the Year, the show includes one the most musically diverse scores of the 1960s, ranging from bitter sweet ballads, Mersey Beat rock’n’roll, and classic chorus numbers from Lionel Bart, the man that Andrew Lloyd Webber described as “the father of the modern British musical”.

Revived by the National Youth Theatre in an acclaimed West End production in 1992, this is the first professional London production since its premiere 55 years ago at the Adelphi Theatre, London, starring Rachel Roberts, Kenneth Haigh and Barry Humphries. This production also commemorates the twentieth anniversary of the death of Lionel Bart.

“Liverpool is a Lady and the lady’s name is Margaret Mary Duffy, known to her lovers from Lime Street to Buenos Aires, as Maggie May.” Alun Owen

About The Composer And Lyricist Lionel Bart

Composer and Lyricist Lionel Bart (1930-1999) is best known for the internationally acclaimed and Tony award winning Oliver! (West End 1960 and Broadway 1963). His other musicals include Lock Up Your Daughters (1959), Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be (1959), Blitz! (1962), Twang!! (1965), La Strada (1969) and Lionel! (1977). His notable songs include the theme song to the James Bond film From Russia with Love, and the hit songs Living Doll by Cliff Richard, Far Away by Shirley Bassey, and several songs recorded by Tommy Steele (A Handful of Songs, Butterfingers and Little White Bull). Bart is also credited as being the first manager of The Rolling Stones and, at one stage, was also Judy Garland's manager. He received a special Ivor Novello Award for Life Achievement in 1986.

About The Librettist Alun Owen

Librettist Alun Owen (1925-1994) was born in Liverpool. He is best remembered for writing the screenplay of The Beatles' debut feature film A Hard Day's Night (1964), which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. His many other works for stage, film, radio and television include Progress to the Park (Theatre Royal Stratford East and West End 1960), The Rough and Ready Lot (1959), No Trams to Lime Street (1959), The Criminal (1960), Lucky (1974) and Come Home, Charlie, and Face Them (1990).

About The Director Matthew Iliffe

Director Matthew Iliffe previous productions include the European premiere ofThe Burnt Part Boys which was nominated for the OffWestEnd Award for Best Director and Best Musical Production (Park Theatre), Side By Side By Sondheim (The Piano Bar, Bristol Hippodrome), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Landor Theatre), Precious Little Talent (The Albany), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Alma Tavern Theatre, Bristol) and The Way Things Weren't (The Room Above, Bristol). Assistant Direction includes Brass (National Youth Music Theatre at the Hackney Empire) and Romeo and Juliet (Eastville Park, Bristol). Matthew graduated from the University of Bristol with a first class honours degree in Theatre and Performance Studies, and trained on the StoneCrabs Young Directors Programme, in association with The Albany.

About The Producer Effie Stevenson

Producer Effie Stevenson is Producer and Company Director of SDWC Productions Ltd, a theatre production company based in London's West End. Previous productions include revivals of Thoroughly Modern Millie (Landor Theatre) and I'm Getting My Act Together And Taking It On The Road (Jermyn Street Theatre), and the European premieres of The Burnt Part Boys (Park Theatre) and Adding Machine: A Musical (Finborough Theatre). She is a recipient of a Stage One bursary for new producers and has recently been working with Clean Break Theatre Company. Her work has been nominated for a total of nineteen OffWestEnd Awards, and won the BroadwayWorld.com award for Best New London Fringe Production.

The Press on Matthew Iliffe's Previous Productions

The Burnt Part Boys

“It’s the imaginative way that the audience is taken on this journey by director Matthew Iliffe that makes this show truly special.” Musical Theatre Review

“A forward-thinking and meticulous director.” A Younger Theatre

“This unusual musical is gripping and its staging imaginative…Expertly sung and staged.” The Stage

“Powerfully told and imaginatively staged.” Stage Review

“One of the finest examples of Off West End musical theatre... The show under Matthew Iliffe's direction, is also staged perfectly.” Jonathan Baz

“Staged with heart and craft... one of the best new shows in town.” Mark Shenton

Thoroughly Modern Millie

“Director Matthew Iliffe [gives] it some diamond dazzle.” The Times

“Matthew Iliffe directs with pizzazz.” Bargain Theatreland

“Perfect direction from young Matthew Iliffe.” BroadwayWorld

The Press on the 1964 Production of Maggie May At The Adelphi Theatre

“A milestone in British musicals” News of the World

"Explosively vigorous" The Times

"Bart's best score to date" Daily Mirror

"Maggie May is a triumph" Evening News

"The audience rose and thundered" The Guardian

"A richness rare in musicals" Sunday Times

“A pop musical edging towards ballad opera” Sunday Times

“This is a punchy, pungent, spectacle of a show...big, bold and energetic" The Observer

"(Lionel Bart’s) songs have never been better” The Daily Telegraph

“Brassy, vigorous and tuneful ... Liverpool has come to town with noise, vigour, earthy dialogue and raucous music” The Stage

"The most vigorous musical since West Side Story” Daily Express

“Liverpool, tough, noisy and slightly sinister comes alive” The Sun

“A tip-top show” Manchester Evening News

“One roaring, vital, great hit” Yorkshire Post

“A theatrical spectacular, an assembly of the talents” The Spectator

“For vitality and excitement, Lionel Bart’s musical is the best show in town” Vogue

The Press on Maggie May at the Finborough Theatre

★★★★★ Five Stars, Reviewsgate
★★★★★ Five Stars, London Pub Theatres Magazine
★★★★ Four Stars, The National Student
★★★★ Four Stars, Sardines
★★★★ Four Stars, The Spy in the Stalls
★★★★ Four Stars, The Upcoming
★★★★ Four Stars, Fairy Powered Productions
★★★★ Four Stars, Emily Schofield Wixsite
★★★★ Four Stars, Musical Manda
★★★★ Four Stars, Mind the Blog

Off West End Award Nomination FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL Kara Lily Hayworth
Off West End Award Nomination SET DESIGN Verity Johnson

“This is a model revival which rescues it from oblivion and does so in impeccable style. This Maggie May is a Maggie Must.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

The Finborough certainly gets my gold star for reviving it at last.” Gareth James, Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“The stars have duly happily aligned to bring this gritty, generous slice of working-class musical life back to London.” Mark Shenton, London Theatre

“A timely revival of a forgotten classic, showcasing some terrific musical theatre talent…beautifully designed and makes great use of the intimate performance space.” Debbie, Mind The Blog

“If you're in London, and want to see a fantasically acted show with an infectious musical score then Maggie May really is a must-see. You'll be singing the songs for weeks.” Ruby Naldrett, The National Student

Maggie May premiered at the Adelphi Theatre in 1964.  This revival has found its ideal home at the Finborough theatre, one of London’s premiere stages for airing political themes with current day resonances.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“The working-class British musical sounds like a contradiction in terms. It did once exist, however, and this show, with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart and a book by Alun Owen, was a popular example of the genre. Revived professionally for the first time since 1964, it inevitably seems a period piece but it survives through the vim and vigour of Matthew Iliffe’s production.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“There are some theatres that it is just plain shameful to admit to not having ever visited…I would class the Finborough Theatre in that category. Being a regular theatre-goer in London, going to the Finborough is pretty much essential.” London Theatre Marathon

“It is undoubtedly a working-class musical of its time but all hail to the Finborough, who once again dust down a neglected musical gem in their Celebrating British Music Theatre series, and allow it to sparkle for a new generation.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“A stunning production with a standout score, energetic choreography and brilliant performances, Maggie May is certainly well worth a watch.” From Page To Stage

Maggie May is a raw drama about life in the Liverpool Docks in the 1960s last seen with a professional cast in the West End in 1964.” Jeremy Chapman, Musical Theatre Review                                                     

“Now, the ever exciting Finborough Theatre in West Brompton reminds us of the show’s merits with a thrilling production that fills its small space impressively, boasting outstanding performances and breath-taking choreography.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“There are often reasons why a show isn’t staged for over half a century. However, if this is a charge that can be levelled at Maggie May, then this company makes a watertight counterclaim and gives us every reason to catch this revival at the Finborough.” Jonathan Evans, The Spy In The Stalls

“Lionel Bart and Alun Owen’s musical Maggie May first opened in London 55 years ago, when it made its debut at the Adelphi Theatre in September 1964 – despite its success it hasn’t been seen since. It’s high time that it was revived, and so SDWC Productions have done just that, bringing the show to the Finborough Theatre for a limited run.” Debbie, Mind The Blog

“Having not been shown on a professional stage since 1964 it is definitely worth a visit to the Finborough Theatre to experience this piece of theatre history – don’t wait another 55 years to see it!” Musical Manda

“The story is as hard-hitting today as it must have been in the early 1960s.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Great to see it staged professionally after all these years. Unmissable for historians and lovers of musical theatre.” Gareth James, Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“Workers struggling under austere conditions and clashing with corrupt leaders sounds all too familiar, making its reappearance rather timely.” Debbie, Mind The Blog

A brilliantly funny but heartbreakingly sad musical.” Ruby Naldrett, The National Student

Now at the Finborough Theatre, the national home of neglected theatrical gems! And this one’s a corker: a Brecht/Weill flavoured show with a big heart.” Mark Shenton

“What is extraordinary – given the quality of the first professional London revival of the show since its first West End run in 1964 – is that it isn’t performed regularly and that it’s so relatively unknown.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“This is a revival to stir the blood of any lover of musicals.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“One of the most musically diverse scores of the 1960s, from bitter sweet ballads, Mersey Beat rock’n’roll, and classic chorus numbers from Lionel Bart.” Samantha Cartwright, Sardines

“A gritty tale of life and love in Liverpool’s docks in the 1960s.” Samantha Cartwright, Sardines

“It’s a celebration of Liverpool, the docks and tough dockyard people, written just as the city was about to storm the world with the Mersey sound (and go into bitter industrial decline). It premiered at the Adelphi in 1964, with Barry Humphries among others in the original cast.” Antonia Hebbert, Fairy Powered Productions

“Of course the title song is the one that will be remembered: “Maggie, Maggie May / They have taken her away... And she’ll never walk down Lime Street anymore.” Nice to see her down Finborough Road, however, with a feather in her cap for the Finborough Theatre.” Michael Darvell, Classical Source

“Managing to capture the emotions and atmosphere of the Liverpool docks during the economic decline of Liverpool’s docks at the height of the City’s cultural revival, Maggie May is certainly an entertaining night out.” Musical Manda

“Written by Alun Owen, The Academy Award nominated writer behind The Beatles' A Hard Days Night (1964) with music by musical legend Lionel Bart (the genius behind Oliver!) Maggie May is so much more than a love story.” Ruby Naldrett, The National Student

“Rich and resonant thanks to a multitude of links between its attempt to be a social realist song and dance show – and a truly popular one at that – and the theatre, cinema and television culture of the moment at which it was originally produced.” John Wyver, Illuminations

“Wonderful songs, and plenty to mull over after the show, the ethics of arms deals, female empowerment and the like.  Highly recommended.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“There is great energy and passion to be found throughout.” Emma Clarendon, Love London Love Culture

“Some of the songs…have a tremendous energy and are well worth rediscovering.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

Lionel Bart’s love letter to Liverpool is an interesting choice of revival. Originally performed at the Adelphi in 1964 at the height of Beatlemania and the Merseybeat Bart claims he came up with the concept before anyone had even heard of the Beatles. Whilst his music and lyrics focus on Liverpool’s Irish-Celtic roots Alun Owen’s (who wrote the A Hard Day’s Night screenplay) book embraces Owen’s hometown, its working-class immigrant roots and the people who made Liverpool.” Howard Loxton, View From The Cheap Seat

“Bart was well-known for bringing working class stories to the stage, in a time that they were rarely heard. Perhaps the dark and somewhat taboo subject matter of prositution is one of the reasons it hasn't been on stage for over five decades. It seems criminal that a show that won Novello awards and whose songs were covered by Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey, would just fade into the background. It debuted back in 1964 at The Aldelphi, so it was great to see it come home to London - albeit a long time later.” Ruby Naldrett, The National Student

Maggie May is compelling to watch, dark at times and the script combines well with Bart’s diverse score which encompasses a range of styles, including classic chorus songs, ballads and a little rock n roll thrown in for good measure.” From Page To Stage

“The show, with a book by Alun Owen and scored by Lionel Bart…is full of rousing melodies and darker notes: there is, at times, a Brecht/Weill atmosphere to it.” Mark Shenton, London Theatre

“The exquisite book by Alun Owen, sets the story in historical fact in relation to events at Liverpool docks which gives the show the kind of power rarely felt in musical theatre.  This, plus its sympathetic handling of working-class life and hardships gives the show a gritty edge.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

Alun Owen’s book brings to life the Liverpool of the time and the struggles that the working class people faced during a period of economic decline.” From Page To Stage

“The score, played by Henry Brennan on a lone piano, is rich and diverse.” Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard

“It’s easy to see why Bart won an Ivor Novello Award for his efforts.” From Page To Stage

“Bart’s diverse score includes sweet and rueful ballads, a trade union anthem with samba rhythms, and importantly was one of the first to incorporate rock and roll – so it deserves hearing.” Johnny Fox, Critical Mass

“This is a show that understands the defiant and humorous people of the setting, and every character is drawn vividly and portrayed eloquently by an enthralling and talented ensemble cast.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“What really brought this show to life was the superb skill and energy of the creatives involved, most especially the director, choreographer, and actors.” Peter Hoekstra-Bass and Sophia Halpin, Theatre Box

“The cast of thirteen, accompanied by musical director Harry Brennan unflaggingly tickling the ivories, dance thrillingly (choreography: Sam Spencer-Lane) and sing well through Matthew Iliffe‘s inventive production.” John Wyver, Illuminations

“The songs…are varied and allow each cast member to shine as individuals and as a company.” Howard Loxton, View From The Cheap Seat

“The dancing is a delight.” Antonia Hebbert, Fairy Powered Productions

“A strong energetic cast, delightful chorography and pleasing sound.” Nick Wayne, Pocketsize Theatre

“The strength of the cast is in making every character believable and individually interesting.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“The ensemble dance numbers…vibrate with energy.” Rosemary Waugh, Time Out

“A rousing staging with some dynamic choreography and a first rate cast rescue this show not seen in London since 1964 from musical oblivion.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Whether in their roles as friends or foes, lovers or rivals, the chemistry was always vivid and convincing between all the characters, and the obvious comfort the cast had with each other was keenly felt by the audience.” Peter Hoekstra-Bass and Sophia Halpin, Theatre Box

“The songs are all well sung and the cast are impeccable performers.” Niamh Flynn, Upper Circle Theatre

“There’s no weak link among the 13-strong cast and it’s a real ensemble performance with the group numbers all entertaining to watch and the harmonies pitch perfect.” From Page To Stage

“It’s fun, exciting and the cast throw themselves in to each routine with real energy and attack.” Nick Wayne, Pocketsize Theatre

“Superb performances across the board.” Samantha Cartwright, Sardines

“A hugely talented cast has been assembled for this show.” Debbie, Mind The Blog

Maggie May is a fun night out. The music is uplifting and the performances are stellar.” Emily Schofield

“The performances are all extremely engaging.” Emma Clarendon, Love London Love Culture

“The acting…is consistently fine throughout.” Jonathan Evans, The Spy In The Stalls

“The cast…is uniformly excellent.” Peter Hoekstra-Bass and Sophia Halpin, Theatre Box

“Naming individuals seems unfair, as every single member of this fine company contributes to the overall success of the production.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“The cast is strong.” Samantha Cartwright, Sardines

“You’ll enjoy this production that is brimming with talent.” Niamh Flynn, Upper Circle Theatre

“There is almost no member of the cast who does not deserve singling out, and some of the strongest scenes in the production were when the small, pub-theatre stage was filled to bursting with singing, dancing Liverpudlians.” Peter Hoekstra-Bass and Sophia Halpin, Theatre Box

“A lively cast.” Steve Rich, Theatre Monkey

“The performances of the entire company were excellent. Everyone brought their own spark to their characters.” Emily Schofield

“All the ensemble were convincing characters: a couple of other standouts were David Keller as Dooley…and Michael Nelson as the fiery Judder Johnson (and terrific dancer – how do knees do that?)” Antonia Hebbert, Fairy Powered Productions

“Cathy McManamon, Chloe Carrington, Euan Bennet, Barnaby Taylor, Leon Kay, Michael Nelson and Joshua Barton all do their bit in a fine team effort.” Jeremy Chapman, Musical Theatre Review

“An enthusiastic ensemble led by Kara Lily Hayworth as Maggie and James Darch as Casey.” Gareth James, Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“The company are led with fierce conviction by Kara Lily Hayworth in the title role and James Darch as her lover.” Mark Shenton, London Theatre

“Hayworth and Darch are fantastic.” Ghazaleh Golpira, The Upcoming   

“Special mention should go to Patrick Casey (James Darch) and Maggie May (Kara Lily Hayworth), who carried the show fabulously and kept the pace steady and urgent.” Emily Schofield

“James Darch charms as Patrick Casey…Kara Lily Hayworth is both heartbreaking and full of spirit…The pair have an easy rapport, and their voices combine beautifully in song.” Debbie, Mind The Blog

“Their soaring love duet “It’s Yourself” is as good as you’ll see anywhere and Darch’s “I’m Me,” tormented by inner conflicts, is exceptional.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Kara Lily Hayworth as Maggie and James Darch as Casey are about as good as you are ever going to get. She has a strong, edgy personality as well as a good voice.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Kara Lily Hayworth and James Darch, as the leads, have undeniable chemistry – as well as talent in their own right.” Niamh Flynn, Upper Circle Theatre

“Kara Lily Hayworth is delightful as Maggie, delivering a self-assured performance, while maintaining a lovely natural chemistry with James Darch as Patrick Casey.” Emma Clarendon, Love London Love Culture

Kara Lily Hayworth delivers some cracking vocals.” Rosemary Waugh, Time Out

“Kara Lily Hayworth, with a lovely yearning quality.” Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard

“Kara Lily Hayworth…steals the show; every time she walks onstage you are drawn to her immediately.” Samantha Cartwright, Sardines

“The excellent Kara Lily Hayworth.” Howard Loxton, View From The Cheap Seat

“Maggie is a tough bird and Kara Lily Hayworth enshrines this toughness exceedingly well.” Michael Darvell, Classical Source

“Fresh from her triumph as Cilla, Kara Lily Hayworth takes on another Liverpool icon with gusto.” Steve Rich, Theatre Monkey

“The real star is Hayworth…with her stunning vocals.” Howard Loxton, View From The Cheap Seat

“Kara Lily Hayworth in the title role has a beautiful voice, a delight to hear.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“Hayworth brings a vulnerability to the character, and her stunning voice threatens to steal the show.” From Page To Stage

“Kara Lily Hayworth gives her a confident personality that shines bright in the gloom.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“Kara Lily Hayworth commands the stage with her presence.” Jonathan Evans, The Spy In The Stalls

“Kara Lily Hayworth is simply perfect in all aspects.” Samantha Cartwright, Sardines

“Kara Lily Hayworth is an adorable Maggie, both steely-tough and vulnerable.” Antonia Hebbert, Fairy Powered Productions

“Hayworth is great as Maggie May…her accent is pitch perfect.” Ruby Naldrett, The National Student

Kara Lily Hayworth…beautifully captures the hard edge…while showing her vulnerability.” Nick Wayne, Pocketsize Theatre

“The night belongs to Kara Lily Hayworth.” From Page To Stage

“Well sung by the sweet-voiced Kara Lily Hayworth.” Jeremy Chapman, Musical Theatre Review

“Kara Lily Hayworth’s soulful voice…contrasts the deep vocals provided by the men brilliantly.” Musical Manda

“With James Darch, there’s an incredibly strong bond, and Darch inexhaustibly gives us a multiple layers from detached committed activist to vulnerable youngster.” Steve Rich, Theatre Monkey

“James Darch makes a strong romantic lead.” Julia Rank, The Stage

“Darch is effective in conveying the character’s inner torment.” Emma Clarendon, Love London Love Culture

“Patrick, James Darch, is an ideal foil.” Michael Darvell, Classical Source

“The whole cast is great, but the true star of the show is James Darch, whose portrayal of Patrick Casey is nothing short of brilliant.” Ruby Naldrett, The National Student

“James Darch was charming and endlessly watchable.” Peter Hoekstra-Bass and Sophia Halpin, Theatre Box

“Leading man James Darch puts in a strong performance…and he provides one of the show’s musical highlights with his powerful solo number.” From Page To Stage

“James Darch as Pat Casey is every inch the hero.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“James Darch is suitably noble as Maggie’s sweetheart Patrick Casey.” Antonia Hebbert, Fairy Powered Productions

“James Darch is strong as Casey.” Jeremy Chapman, Musical Theatre Review

“James Darch as Patrick Casey has all the charm of a young Richard Gere.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“Aaron Kavanagh impresses in multiple roles.” Julia Rank, The Stage

“Aaron Kavanagh has style.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Aaron Kavanagh is great value as the balladeer…and is very funny as the increasingly frustrated milkman.” Debbie, Mind The Blog

“Aaron Kavanagh opens the show brilliantly.” From Page To Stage

“Aaron Kavanagh…not only sings well but gives an eye-catching acting display.” Jeremy Chapman, Musical Theatre Review

“Strong support from Michael Nelson…and Natalie Williams.” Emma Clarendon, Love London Love Culture

“Natalie Williams offers strong support.” From Page To Stage

“Fantastic comic timing from Natalie Williams.” Debbie, Mind The Blog

“Natalie Williams…is the perfect balance of sorrow and humour.” Samantha Cartwright, Sardines

“Natalie Williams is nicely brassy as her co-worker Maureen.” Antonia Hebbert, Fairy Powered Productions

“Natalie Williams…plays the streetwise working girl to the hilt.” Michael Darvell, Classical Source

“Strong work from Natalie Williams…and Mark Pearce.” Mark Shenton, London Theatre

“There is are some great supporting performances from Mark Pearce…and Natalie Williams.” Howard Loxton, View From The Cheap Seat

“Lively support from Mark Pearce as a corrupt union boss and David Keller as a gnarled veteran.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Mark Pearce’s self-assured swagger.” Jonathan Evans, The Spy In The Stalls

“Mark Pearce is excellent as the corrupt Welshman Willie Morgan, all fake charm and cynicism.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Mark Pearce is a commandingly villainous Willie Morgan.” Antonia Hebbert, Fairy Powered Productions

“Mark Pearce’s oily Willie Morgan is pitched just right.” Jeremy Chapman, Musical Theatre Review

“Mark Pearce is convincing as the corrupt, sleazy union boss Willie Morgan; David Keller too as the disgruntled Old Dooley.” From Page To Stage

“The peripheral characters are strongly drawn with David Keller…stealing the scenes.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“David Keller’s Old Dooley has tremendous presence.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“David Keller…was always entertaining.” Peter Hoekstra-Bass and Sophia Halpin, Theatre Box

“David Keller, inhabits the part of the grizzled old dock worker who has seen it all before in a fine characterisation.” Jeremy Chapman, Musical Theatre Review

“David Keller gives Old Dooley a gritty reality.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“Michael Nelson…performs with such an edge of rawness and realness, I believed he was born and bred on Liverpool's docks.” Samantha Cartwright, Sardines

“Another very strong performance from Michael Nelson as Judder Johnson.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“The show-stealing charisma of Michael Nelson’s Judas figure.” Jonathan Evans, The Spy In The Stalls

“Michael Nelson as Judder Johnson provides a well-rounded antagonist.” Howard Loxton, View From The Cheap Seat

“Michael Nelson’s Judder is the charming Judas of the piece, smouldering with discontent and jealousy.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Cathy McManamon is impressive.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Euan Bennet…takes those stomping dance steps and kicks devised by choreographer Sam Spencer Lane and makes it all look easy.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

Matthew Iliffe’s revival of Alun Owen’s Maggie May, an undeniable tribute to labourers and Liverpudlian working-class life in the latter half of the 20th century, is every bit the definition of what an ensemble cast is all about.” Ghazaleh Golpira, The Upcoming

“The thrill of Iliffe's production is that it brings this teaming world to vivid life on a tiny pocket studio stage.” Mark Shenton, London Theatre

“Director Matthew Iliffe runs a tight ship on a minimalist stage and this well-drilled cast has no weaknesses.” Jeremy Chapman, Musical Theatre Review

“Director Matthew Iliffe and his -strong cast have put it on the tiny Finborough stage in fine style.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Kudos, then, to the dauntless ambition of Matthew Iliffe’s chamber production, which grapples with the material in considerable style.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“Matthew Iliffe delivers a sharp version of the musical, highlighting particularly well the struggles of those working at the docks.” Emma Clarendon, Love London Love Culture

“Matthew Iliffe’s production for the Finborough Theatre certainly packs the show with enormous energy.” Michael Darvell, Classical Source

“Matthew Iliffe directs a sharp production.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

Matthew Iliffe’s production is valiant and inventive.” Johnny Fox, Critical Mass

“Director Matthew Iliffe makes great use of the intimate surroundings of the Finborough Theatre.” From Page To Stage

“A brilliantly gritty and rough storyline directed in a very real way by Matthew Iliffe.” Samantha Cartwright, Sardines

“Director Matthew Iliffe ensures every aspect of the show is a rediscovered joy.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

Having only being familiar with Lionel Bart’s most famous musical Oliver! it is refreshing to see the Finborough Theatre rediscovering this little known musical set in Liverpool and director Matthew Iliffe giving it a lively production.” Emma Clarendon, Love London Love Culture

The creative team have done an excellent job.” Niamh Flynn, Upper Circle Theatre

“A production that celebrates the variety of Lionel Bart’s music and lyrics to the full, ranging from rock and roll to heartfelt ballads, performed with great skill and enthusiasm by Henry Brennan on the piano.” Emma Clarendon, Love London Love Culture

“It is to the credit of musical director Henry Brennan on the piano that he captures every musical style effortlessly.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Henry Brennan works tirelessly on the piano as MD to accompany the talented cast and proves that just a single piano can work just as well as a full band to create emotion, dynamics and atmosphere. The group sections, in particular, work really well especially the harmonies created by the men.” Musical Manda

“The musical director Henry Brennan gives a bravura performance of the score on an upright piano.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“Talented Musical Director Henry Brennan deserves special mention for his energetic work on piano.” From Page To Stage

“Brennan magnifies the talented cast.” Niamh Flynn, Upper Circle Theatre

“Musical director/solo pianist Henry Brennan plays with unflagging energy throughout.” Julia Rank, The Stage

“It’s the musicality behind Henry Brennan’s musical direction and piano work, and Sam Spencer-Lane’s choreography that need the biggest praise.” Niamh Flynn, Upper Circle Theatre

“The choreographer Sam Spencer-Lane manages minor miracles, squeezing into the tiny space slick routines that combine lyricism with swinging Sixties dancefloor moves, the stomping, percussive rhythms of manual labour and the bustle of pubs and streets.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“Invigorating foot-stamping male choruses, excellently choreographed by Sam Spencer-Lane.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“The large cast execute Sam Spencer-Lane's choreography with nimble grace.” Mark Shenton, London Theatre

“The group dance numbers were full of infectious joy which really is a credit to the actors and the chorographer (Sam Spencer Lane).” Ruby Naldrett, The National Student

“The ensemble work is particularly good in Sam Spencer Lane’s brilliant choreography for the energetic routines.” Michael Darvell, Classical Source

“Choreographer Sam Spencer-Lane has worked magic with this production, as her dance numbers, executed ever-so-tightly by the cast, seemed to grow the small venue to that of a West End theatre.” Peter Hoekstra-Bass and Sophia Halpin, Theatre Box

“The unseen star of the show is undoubtedly the choreographer, Sam Spencer-Lane.” Jeremy Chapman, Musical Theatre Review

“Choreographer Sam Spencer-Lane providing impressively full-blooded dance routines in the Finborough’s intimate space.” David Cottis, Wales Arts Review

“Some marvellously sassy small-space choreography from Sam Spencer-Lane.” Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard

“Meticulously choreographed by Sam Spencer-Lane.” Ghazaleh Golpira, The Upcoming

“Sam Spencer-Lane's choreography stands out and impresses.” Samantha Cartwright, Sardines

“The choreography by Sam Spenser- Lane is also excellent.” Nick Wayne, Pocketsize Theatre

“Fine choreography from Sam Spencer-Lane.” Gareth James, Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“Sam Spencer Lane’s choreography makes good use of the theatre’s space, and certainly wouldn’t look out of place in any West End show.” From Page To Stage

“Wonderfully creative…choreography.” Emma Clarendon, Love London Love Culture

“Well done to choreographer Sam Spencer Lane for such exciting dynamic moves, executed skilfully by the cast.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“Sam Spencer-Lane is a choreographer to look out for.” Howard Loxton, View From The Cheap Seat

“Spencer-Lane’s choreography…is impressively slick and innovative.” Niamh Flynn, Upper Circle Theatre

“When a dance routine recreates the famous evolution of man diagram you know the show’s choreographer is stunningly creative and so it is here with Sam Spencer-Lane, who ensures every number is energetic.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“The whole feel of the production is atmospheric.” Samantha Cartwright, Sardines

“Fitting this musical into the Finborough’s more modest space is beautifully achieved.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“Verity Johnson’s design…conjures up the city’s salt-rimed docks and smoky saloon bars with atmospheric economy.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“Verity Johnson’s set and costume design must be commended.” Niamh Flynn, Upper Circle Theatre

“Verity Johnson’s suitably monochrome set recreates the gritty realism of a bygone age.” Jonathan Evans, The Spy In The Stalls

“Verity Johnson has done a great job with set design.” Debbie, Mind The Blog

“A first rate set – a clever new way of using the Finborough space from designer Verity Johnson.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“The sights and sounds of Liverpool docks are recreated splendidly by Verity Johnson’s monochrome set.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“The costume and set design (Verity Johnson) were also brilliant.” Emily Schofield

“The set, designed by Verity Johnson, is simple but effective.” From Page To Stage

“The industrial set looks great…Verity Johnson’s costumes are incredible.” Howard Loxton, View From The Cheap Seat

“Designer Verity Johnson works wonders conjuring up a dockside setting…it had an authenticity of both location and period, and decent accents.” Gareth James, Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“The company looks and sounds good on Verity Johnson's set.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“Masterful use of the space, combined with Jonathan Simpson’s bold but effective lighting, made it easy to forget I was in a cosy attic upstairs of a pub.” Peter Hoekstra-Bass and Sophia Halpin, Theatre Box

“The sound design by Philip Matejtschuk and lighting design by Jonathan Simpson are impeccable.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“Jonathan Simpson’s hazed lighting creates a strong atmosphere.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

27 March – 20 April 2019

Tickets and Times

Monday 7:30pm
Tuesday 7:30pm
Wednesday 7:30pm
Thursday 7:30pm
Friday 7:30pm
Saturday 3:00pm
7:30pm
Sunday 3:00pm

2hrs and 30mins with an interval of 15 mins