A rehearsed reading of SHIRLEYMANDER by Gregory Evans is taking place at the brand new Playground Theatre this Thursday 30th November, ahead of a full run planned for May 2018.
The play was previously adapted for radio to critical acclaim ‘a vividly impressionistic play… brutally comic, unexpectedly sad.' Daily Telegraph, 'An atmosphere of poisonous paranoia ... Excellent fun.' The Times, broadcast on Radio 4, with esteemed actress Tracy-Ann Oberman playing the lead. This is the first time the play will be performed on stage as it was originally conceived, and Tracy will be reprising her lead role. The reading will also feature Patrick Ryecart and Michael Simkins.
SHIRLEYMANDER tells the story of Dame Shirley Porter, leader of Westminster Council from 1983 to 1991. Bullying, autocratic, possessing boundless energy and vast wealth yet riddled with insecurities, Porter turned the Conservative flagship borough into a mire of paranoia, fear and skullduggery, as she pursued secret, illegal policies that destroyed communities, reputations, lives hopes… and finally herself.
The play’s venue, the brand new Playground Theatre, has special significance in regards to SHIRLEYMANDER’s subject matter, as it is a stone’s throw from Grenfell Tower, drawing parallels on how past and present governments have played a role in social housing crises. It is these similarities that have led the Playground Theatre’s co-artistic director Anthony Biggs to select the play as its first production.
You can find The Observer’s article on the upcoming production here.
You can follow Gregory on Twitter here.