Media Release: Casting announced for Our Ladies of the Perpetual Succour


National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre present


based on The Sopranos by Alan Warner, adapted by Lee Hall.


Touring to the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Fife, Inverness, Musselburgh and Live Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne.

From 18 August to 24 October 2015, with an opening performance on 19 August 2015

Directed by Vicky Featherstone; music supervisor, Martin Lowe; designed by Chloe Lamford; lighting design by Lizzie Powell and choregraphy by Imogen Knight.

Full cast:  Melissa Allan, Caroline Deyga, Karen Fishwick, Kirsty MacLaren, Frances Mayli McCann and Dawn Sievewright.

National Theatre of Scotland is thrilled to be presenting the world premiere of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015, at the Traverse Theatre, in a co-production with Live Theatre.

Based on The Sopranos by cult Scottish novelist Alan Warner, and adapted for the stage by award-winning writer Lee Hall, Our Ladies… also marks Vicky Featherstone’s return to the National Theatre of Scotland.

Vicky Featherstone was the inaugural artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland and is now the artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre, London.

The show will open at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on 19 August 2015 for its Edinburgh Festival Fringe run, before touring to Glasgow, Aberdeen, Fife,  Musselburgh and Newcastle.

Adapted from Alan Warner’s brilliant novel about six girls on the cusp of change. Love, lust, pregnancy and death all spiral out of control in a single day.

Warner’s blisteringly funny dialogue ends in fireworks (literally).

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.

With a soundtrack of classical music and 70s pop rock, featuring 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.

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, (Shakespeare in Love, Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters), to create a funny, sad and raucously rude production about singing, sex and sambuca.

Alan Warner wrote The Sopranos in 1998, followed by its sequel The Stars in the Bright Sky which 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.

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.

Lee Hall says: “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.”

Vicky Featherstone, director, says: “I am beyond thrilled that Alan Warner has trusted Lee Hall with his game-changing novel about the Soprano’s from Oban and am honoured that Laurie Sansom has programmed this anarchic, heart-breaking and life-filled show.

“It is everything that Scotland is – fearless, hopeful, musical, angry, unique and I cannot wait to be back telling this story with the National Theatre of Scotland.”

Alan Warner says: “I am flattered that The National Theatre of Scotland and talents like Lee and Vicky are taking on these young loonies, who are dear to my heart.

“Enjoy it, everyone.”

Max Roberts, artistic director, Live Theatre, says: “Live Theatre has enjoyed a long and fruitful creative relationship with Lee Hall so we are delighted to collaborate with National Theatre of Scotland in this co-production of his adaptation of The Sopranos by Alan Warner.

“I’m sure our audiences will be thrilled to see Lee’s latest work and will extend a warm Tyneside welcome to the company for the play’s English Premiere.”

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

Join the conversation: #OurLadies

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  1. The National Theatre of Scotland is dedicated to playing the great stages, arts centres, village halls, schools and site-specific locations of Scotland, the UK and internationally. As well creating ground-breaking productions and working with the most talented theatre-makers, the National Theatre of Scotland produces significant community engagement projects, innovates digitally and works constantly to develop new talent. Central to this is finding pioneering ways to reach current and new audiences and to encourage people’s full participation in the company’s work. With no performance building of its own, the company works with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theatre of the highest quality. Founded in 2006, the company, in its short life, has become a globally significant theatrical player, with an extensive repertoire of award-winning work. The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government.  nationaltheatrescotland.com
  1. Live Theatre is recognised as one of the great new writing theatres on the international stage. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne it is also deeply rooted in its local community. Live Theatre produces work as varied and diverse as the audiences it engages with. As well as championing the art of writing for stage by producing and presenting new plays, Live Theatre uses theatre to unlock the potential of young people and finds, nurtures and trains creative talent. Through its creative enterprises it is also developing new models of business sustainability and growth. Founded in 1973, the theatre was transformed in 2007. The result is a beautifully restored and refurbished complex of five Grade II listed buildings with state-of-the-art facilities in a unique historical setting, including a cabaret style theatre, a studio theatre, renovated rehearsal rooms, a series of dedicated writer’s rooms as well as a thriving café and bar. For more information see www.live.org.uk

Live Theatre is grateful for the support of Arts Council England and Newcastle City Council and our many other friends and supporters.


Vicky Featherstone – director of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Vicky is the artistic director at the Royal Court Theatre. In this role, her directing credits have included Dennis Kelly’s The Ritual Slaughter of George Mastromas, Abi Morgan’s The Mistress Contract and Molly Davies’ God Bless the Child, and Zinnie Harris’ How To Hold Your Breath.

She opened her first season at the Royal Court Theatre with Open Court – a festival of plays, ideas and events, chosen by over 140 writers.

At National Theatre of Scotland, her credits included Enquirer (co-directed with John Tiffany), Appointment With The Wicker Man and 27.

Vicky Featherstone was the inaugural artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland (2004 to 2013) and was previously artistic director of Paines Plough (1997 to 2004).

Lee Hall – adapter of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Lee was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1966. He studied English Literature at the University of Cambridge and has worked as a writer in theatre, TV, radio and film.

He has been writer in residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Live Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Previous theatre work includes Shakespeare In Love (2014), Noel Coward Theatre (West End); The Pitmen Painters (2007- 2013), Live Theatre/ Royal National Theatre, Broadway, West End, UK Tours (winner Evening Standard Best Play Award, TMA Best New Play Award); and Billy Elliot – the Musical, London 2004-, Australia 2006-7, Broadway, 2008- , Chicago, 2010 (Olivier Award – Best Musical, nine Tony Awards including Best Book).

Film and television credits include War Horse (2011), DreamWorks; Toast (2010); and  Billy Elliot (2000), Working Title Films (Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay).

Alan Warner – author of The Sopranos, adapted as Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Alan was born in Oban in 1964 and grew up there.

He is the author of eight novels including Morvern Callar which was made into a film starring Samantha Morton in 2002, These Demented Lands, The Man Who Walks, The Worms Can Carry Me To Heaven, The Stars in the Bright Sky which was longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and The Deadman’s Pedal which won the 2013 James Tait

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