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.
Matthew Iliffe directs a sharp production, making the most of the minuscule traverse stage and managing not to overcrowd it with his 13-strong cast
Lionel Bart's musical knows how to show you a good time
A committed ensemble does its best to enliven a revival of Lionel Bart’s irredeemably glum musical
There’s a reason this show hasn’t been seen since 1964 — it’s a mess
Lionel Bart’s 1964 musical about the Liverpool docks is certainly eventful, but it’s no Oliver!
Marvellously sassy moves can't save problematic Sixties musical
Director Matthew Iliffe runs a tight ship on a minimalist stage and this well-drilled cast has no weaknesses