This April, we were very lucky to take part in the ‘Plays Without Décor’ scheme at Wilton’s Music Hall. With Máirín at the helm as director, we spent a week workshopping our brand new play, The Life & Opinions of Mary Read, Gentlewoman Pirate, culminating in a special, one-off performance!!
Thank you to our fantastic cast, the staff at Wilton’s, and all who came to see us.
Cast at Wilton’s
Tamara Astor: Mary Read
Emma Barclay: Anne Bonny, Hercule, Commanding Officer
Liam Bessell: Calico Jack, Eggewart, Fancy French Lady
Nichole Bird: Scary Bart, Madeleine, James Bonny, Mary’s Mother
Andrew Brock: Adonis Malone, Mrs Fortescue, Bastian, Guard
Ralph Davis: Woodes Rogers, Mogg the Boatswain, Captain
Music by Sophie Crawford
Thank you to East 15 Acting School for allowing us a week’s space to workshop a new version of Lady Percy. Director Rafaella Marcus (The Globe, Sheffield Crucible, currently assistant director on the West End’s Emilia) led the week with some of East 15’s current MA Acting students. They brought such incredible energy and talent to the workshop, helping us to really re-think the play!
A never-before-seen extract from our latest play, The Life & Opinions of Mary Read, Gentlewoman Pirate, will be performed at the Old Red Lion Theatre in East London this Sunday 27th & Monday 28th January.
Tamara Astor will play Mary Read and Sam Jenkins-Shaw will appear as the Captain. Máirín O’Hagan will direct.
🇱🇷 Lady Percy is heading to the USA! 🇱🇷
We are thrilled to announce a production of our ASC finalist play Lady Percy at Mary Baldwin University in Virginia, directed by Terry Southerington, running from November 14th — 18th. Let us know if you are nearby and able to see it!
Tickets available here
This summer we teamed up with producer Sally Anne Badger and director Clare Macdonald to shoot our brand new short film, Bean, a comedy drama about what happens when Mummy and Mummy love each other very much. We had a great time filming in some beautiful areas of Warwickshire and Leicestershire, and were lucky to work with this incredibly talented and experienced cast:
⭐️ Lou Sanders as Soph (The Russell Howard Hour, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Karl Pilkington’s Sick Of It)
⭐️ Chrissy Ann-Randall as Wendy (9 Full Moons, Night Shift, 50 Ways to Kill Your Lover)
⭐️ Cian Barry as Max (Nina Forever, Doctor Foster, Shameless, Casualty, New Tricks)
⭐️ Louise English as Jude (Bugsy Malone, The House of the Long Shadows, Brush Strokes, The Benny Hill Show)
⭐️ Michael Remick as Patrick (Angels, Life Begins, Dirty Dancing & The Sound of Music in the West End)
We’ll be bringing you more news and updates as soon as we start moving into post-production!
We were so proud and pleased to hear that Lady Percy was a finalist for the American Shakespeare Centre’s groundbreaking competition, ‘Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries’!
It was lovely to be recognised in this fantastic global competition which is working to develop and produce 38 new plays over the next 20 years, inspired by and in conversation with Shakespeare’s work.
A massive well done to the winning plays which were Amy E Witting’s Anne Page Hates Fun (inspired by The Merry Wives of Windsor) and Mary Elizabeth Hamilton’s 16 Winters, or the Bear’s Tale (a companion to The Winter’s Tale). They both look absolutely brilliant — click here to find out more.
In association with Cardiff University, we will be performing Marge & Jules (plus a Q&A) at the beautiful and atmospheric St John the Baptist City Parish Church in Cardiff at 2pm on 22nd November.
Tickets are free, please click here to reserve a seat!
With thanks to Dr Amy Burge for inviting us along!
Queynte Laydies will be joining Dr Hetta Howes (City, UoL) and Dr Clare Whitehead (KCL) for the workshop 'Women's Voices: Medieval and Early Modern' at Queen Mary University, London.
We'll be taking part in a roundtable discussion and performing extracts from our plays, alongside playwright Dr Emma Whipday (author of Shakespeare's Sister).
"The medieval and early modern periods saw repeated attempts to theorise and regulate the female voice across a variety of different spheres, from the political and religious, to the judicial and domestic. However, recent research has revealed a number of ways in which women defied the established ideal of the silent woman in these periods.
This one-day workshop will create a dialogue across historical periods and creative and academic disciplines to consider the ways in which women's voices were heard, recorded and mediated."
Queynte Laydies are delighted to be teaming up with Three Parts Vied for their upcoming concert, 'Modified in the Guts of the Living', where we'll be performing poetry by Heaney, Auden and Catullus.
The concert assembles music and poetry written on the deaths of poets, composers, and brothers, and stages them in the Grand Entrance Hall of the Thames Tunnel in Rotherhithe.
Auden's 'In Memory of W.B. Yeats' and Heaney's 'Audenesque' are cut with new translations of Catullus' poems on the death of his brother by our own Máirín O'Hagan.
These poems mingle with Restoration music on the same theme: Henry Purcell commemorates his choirmaster Matthew Locke and his publisher John Playford, while John Blow marks libertine poet the Earl of Rochester. The two most substantial pieces by Henry Hall and John Blow commemorate Henry Purcell himself, with double recorders and duets for soprano and bass, and two countertenors.
Click here to listen to Episode 3 of the Story Etc. podcast, entitled 'Secret'.
We talked to Story Etc's Eleanor Rushton about researching and writing our play, Lady Percy, and uncovering the secret histories (and bodies) of the real women behind our characters. You'll find us at about 44 minutes in - we should warn that there's some graphic content regarding discussions of Medieval birthing practices.
Story Etc. is a podcast about making stuff up - follow them on Twitter.
Are we fast becoming 'The Mousetrap' of mystical Medieval two-handers?
Our play Marge & Jules is returning to London for one performance only at Birkbeck Arts Week 2017. Introduced by Birkbeck's Prof. Anthony Bale, we'll be performing on Friday 19th May at 5pm, with a Q&A to follow.
There's limited space (much like an anchorite's cell...) so click here to book a seat now - it's free!
Marge & Jules are back again this March for an audience of invited students and academics at Queen Mary University of London.
This performance won't be open to the public, but we're currently considering future public performances. If you'd be interested in seeing Marge & Jules in 2017, then please get in touch!
Check out this interview with Lady Percy director Rafaella Marcus, in which she describes her professional highlight of this year as "developing work with Queynte Laydies, who make very smart work about historical Medieval women."
The Upcoming chat to Raf about her latest production, The Wild Party (a brand new version using the original poem), playing at the Hope Theatre 10 - 28 January. It stars Lady Percy actors Joey Akubeze and Anna Clarke who, between them, apparently play around sixteen roles, as well as dancing and singing. You can book a ticket here.
Marge & Jules comes to London again this Autumn with a TOTALLY FREE performance at King's College, as part of their Arts and Humanities Festival. The setting will be the magnificent chapel on the Strand campus.
The performance will be followed by a panel discussion with Dr Sarah Salih, who has published widely on female mysticism in the late Middle Ages, and Dr Sarah Law, a scholar and poet who has written on both Margery and Julian.
Click here to reserve your seat!
Queynte Laydies are delighted to announce a rehearsed reading of brand new British History play Lady Percy.
There will be a public showing of the script on Wednesday 5th October at 2pm in the Shelton Room at the Seven Dials Club on Earlham Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9LA. Email queyntelaydies.com to reserve a seat.
Let’s tell them her story then, give it go,
’Tis more fruitful, it seems, than a tale of man’s woe.
Summer, 1402. Northumbria. Trouble is stirring and Lady Percy knows it. Outside the castle walls, border clans raid and fire the countryside mercilessly. Inside, her furious husband Hotspur rails against a cunning King who, helped to his throne by the Percys, now refuses to pay their men.
When Lady Percy’s brother is captured by a family of Welsh rebels, rumoured to be masters of old Celtic magic, a series of dangerous events are set in motion. With rebellion inevitable, Hotspur leaves his lady in charge of the castle. There’s a lot more to her story than his story records…
Inspired by Shakespeare's Henry IVs, Queynte Laydies reinvent the well-loved tradition of the British History play to honour modern values of gender equality and cultural diversity.
An enormous thank you to all our actors who took part in this month's Lady Percy workshop. It was magical to hear the lines given life and we were delighted to see such talented actors take on the roles of Elizabeth, Hotspur, et al!
Lead and directed by the brilliant Rafaella Marcus, we spent two days exploring characters and experimenting with different metres and verse style. Máirín's homemade quiche went down a treat too.
To Caunterbury they wende!
We two pilgrims journeyed to Canterbury to provide the after-dinner entertainment at this year's 'Early English Drama & Performance Network' conference.
Despite an interesting start to the weekend - where we may have driven all the way down a pedestrianised high street - we had a great time performing Marge & Jules at Café du Soleil for an audience of brilliant academics. We also got the chance to revisit everyone's favourite hermit, John of Beverley, for an extra-special performance of Historie van Jan van Beverley at the 'Medieval English Theatre' society conference on Saturday.
If you'd like to know more about what we got up to, check out our latest blog post!
This month, Marge & Jules packed up their wimples and hopped on a plane to Switzerland for a special performance at the University of Geneva for an audience of students and academics.
It was particularly exciting to perform for expert Medievalists, some of whom knew Margery and Julian's texts very well indeed. We took part in a post-show chat hosted by Professor Elisabeth Dutton, author of Julian of Norwich: The Influence of Late-Medieval Devotional Compilations, and received lots of brilliant feedback. Big thanks to Dr. Sarah Brazil for her superb coordination of the day.
Managed to fit in some sightseeing in beautiful, snowy Fribourg and - of course - enjoyed a traditional Swiss feast of cheese, potatoes, bread, and more cheese...
Queynte Laydies are very excited to announce the return of Marge & Jules, for two shows only, in Máirín's home county of Warwickshire.
With a revised script and fresh direction from Andrew Brock, we'll be performing at the Dream Factory, Playbox Theatre, Warwick, 4pm / 7pm on Saturday 5th December. Visit the Playbox website to book your ticket!
This month we took a trip to Shropshire and the beautiful Welsh border to visit the remains of Wigmore Castle - birthplace of Elizabeth Mortimer - and the site of the Battle of Shrewsbury - deathplace of Henry Hotspur.
The A49 runs pretty close to the Battlefield, but the fields are large and remarkably peaceful. Difficult to imagine the arrows flying and the horses charging and the bodies falling... still, it was rather stirring to stand on the site of a battle we've read so much about. Battlefield Church (currently undergoing renovations, so we couldn't go inside) is said to stand on the site of a mass grave holding the many hurriedly buried bodies of the dead.
Harder still it was to imagine the bustle of Medieval life amid the ruins of Wigmore Castle. It stands on the hillside, looking out over the Welsh border - not a gift shop in sight. We were the only visitors and the Autumn colours made the views of the border ethereally beautiful.
We stayed in an old Benedictine Monastery in the village of Leominster (pronounced LEM-ster, apparently) which we cannot recommend highly enough. The man on the front desk kindly provided us with a bedtime ghost story about headless monks walking the grounds of the spooky-looking church next door. I didn't sleep, but it was inspiring stuff.
We'd also like to say thank you to the marvellous Professor Virginia Davis, who allowed us to take up a few hours of her time in her office at Queen Mary University, London. Professor Davis talked us through her knowledge of women's roles in the Middle Ages and gave us lots of advice and reading tips to further our research into the enigmatic Elizabeth, Lady Percy!
Máirín directs and Sarah performs in a new political comedy at this year's Camden Fringe. Performing at 7:30pm Saturday 15th, Monday 17th & Tuesday 18th August at Canal Café Theatre in London's Little Venice are sketch comedy trio Leopardess. Written by Rosie Abraham, Sarah Anson, Rosie Frecker, Máirin O'Hagan and Matthew Radway.
I'm Sarah M. Anson and I want to change the world...
Introducing Leopardess, a brand new political green party with big ideas about the environment.
Party leader Sarah is tolerant about everything except intolerant people. Social media guru "Little" Rosie bears a love for pet cat John topped only by her desire for dreamy dentist fiance Akash. "Big" Rosie is the taller one.
Rosie, Rosie & Sarah bring you a brand new comedy act to showcase their grand political ambitions. With policies that include upcycling the Bejesus out of Britain and a promise from Kirsty Allsopp to re-upholster the railways, can these ecological nuts save Britain? Or will party in-fighting undermine all their hard work...?
Go to https://canalcafetheatre.com/ to book your ticket!
Queynte Laydies donned their acting pants once more to provide the after-dinner entertainment for this year's Harlaxton Medieval Symposium, in the form of everyone's favourite Medieval miracle play, John of Beverley.
Directed by Professor Elisabeth Dutton and organised by Professor Meg Twycross, we had a grand old time swanning about the beautiful Victorian manor house and performing for an audience of very clever academics.
Forget Majorca. Get yourselves up (or down) to the beautiful North East this summer holiday. Queynte Laydies have recently returned from a camping-cum-research trip staying in the historic village of Warkworth, Northumberland, once home to Elizabeth Mortimer, the subject of our latest project, Lady Percy.
Armed with a boiled egg picnic and a flask of tea, we viewed a grand total of nine castles - and one hermitage - over five days; including Warkworth, Prudhoe, Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh and Alnwick (birthplace of dashing rogue Harry Hotspur).
We were so inspired by our trip that we started a light-hearted blog to chronicle our travels. If you're a fellow castle enthusiast, or just a little bit keen 4 castles, we invite you to take a look...
Queynte Laydies have been flexing their acting chops ready for a performance of Medieval miracle play Historie van Jan van Beverley or John of Beverley. It tells the story of rogue hermit John who, after raping and murdering his sister, finds forgiveness from God by going about on "hand and foot like a beast" and growing an excessive amount of body hair. Máirín takes the starring role and does so with aplomb.
We will be jetting off to Switzerland to perform at the University of Lausanne as part of a two-day workshop entitled 'Emotion and Medieval Media'. The wonderful Professor Elisabeth Dutton (University of Fribourg) will direct.
The first autobiography in the English Language was written by mother of fourteen, Margery Kempe, who couldn't read. Dame Julian, the renowned anchoress of Norwich, penned writings on mysticism and mercy that have dazzled spiritualists for centuries. Both women went their own way. Both of them loved Jesus, from the depths of their soul, to the tingling of their bodies. Both of them cried, one hell of a lot.
Queynte Laydies are proud to bring their inaugural production to VAULT Festival 2015. Written and performed by Máirín O'Hagan & Sarah Anson, Marge & Jules resurrects the historic moment where - as writings record - Margery met Julian. As spiritual enlightenment meets the darker stories of life in the Middle Ages, these women confess all; talking faith, life, after-life, semantics, erotics and the mysteries of the Man they love. Produced by Boireannach and directed by Andrew Brock.