Mother Courage and her Children at Southwark Playhouse

Thursday 27 July 2017

London Fringe - New shows

Multi award-winning Josie Lawrence is to star in a new production of Mother Courage and her Children at Southwark Playhouse from 2 November to 9 December.
Mother Courage and her Children at Southwark Playhouse

Josie Lawrence, photo by Scott Rylander

A new production of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children will run from 2 November to 9 December at Southwark Playhouse.

The work is translated by Pulitzer Prize-winning Tony Kushner, whose critically acclaimed, sold-out production of Angels in America at the National Theatre was broadcast live to cinemas around the UK this week.

And the show will star multi award-winning Josie Lawrence, one of the UK's best-loved actress and comedians.

In a land ravaged by war, Mother Courage pulls her cart with her three children in the wake of the army, trading with soldiers and attempting to make profit from the war.

Widely considered to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th century, Mother Courage And Her Children has been described as the greatest anti-war play of all time.

It remains a timely exploration of displacement, war weariness and invisible enemies.

It mirrors the growing fear at the ever-advancing threat of terror infiltrating our everyday lives and our desire to protect ourselves and what is ours at any cost.

Mother Courage And Her Children is directed by Hannah Chissick, returning to Southwark Playhouse after the success of the musical Side Show, and is produced by Danielle Tarento, whose recent successes at the same venue include the UK premieres of Grey Gardens (with Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell), Titanic, the world premiere of Gods and Monsters and Chekov's Three Sisters reworked for the 21st century by award-winning playwright Anya Reiss.

Speaking about her upcoming role, Josie Lawrence said:

"I first read Mother Courage when I was an 18-year-old drama student and immediately fell in love with the play.

Now I feel ready to play her.

It's a major tick on my theatrical bucket list."

Ms Lawrence's credits include:

For The Royal Shakespeare Company: Helen of Troy in Faust: Dunyasha in

The Cherry Orchard: Kate in The Taming of The Shrew (The Dame Peggy

Ashcroft Award for Best Actress).

For the National Theatre: Agnetha in Bryony Lavery's Frozen: Dora in Picasso's Women: Doll Common in The Alchemist.

West End: Mrs Anna in The King and I (London Palladium): Bonnie in Acorn Antiques The Musical (Haymarket): Alarms and Excursions (The Gielgud).

Other roles: Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Manchester Evening News Best Actress Award (Manchester Royal Exchange): Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare's Globe)

Television: Stella (Sky 1), Humans (BBC1), You Have Been Watching with Meera Syal (GOLD), The Kennedy's (BBC2), Jonathan Creek (BBC), Robin Hood (BBC), EastEnders (BBC), Minder (ITV), Skins (E4), Doctors (BBC), The Old

Curiosity Shop (ITV), Casualty (BBC), Holby City (BBC), Wizards and Aliens (BBC), Common Ground (BBC), The Last Detective (BBC), Josie (Channel 4),

A Many Splintered Thing (BBC), Keen Eddie (Channel 4), three series plus Christmas special of Outside Edge (ITV), Fat Friends (ITV), The Flint Street

Nativity (ITV), SWALK and Lunch In The Park with Paul Merton (BBC), Nine series of Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Channel 4), Downwardly Mobile (ITV), Bill's New Frock (BBC), Absolutely Fabulous (BBC), The Green Man (ITV), Miss

Marple (BBC), Poirot (BBC), Not With A Bang (ITV), Friday Night Live (Channel 4), Rachel and The Roarettes (BBC), Campaign (BBC), Norbet Smith, A Life (BBC), The Comic Strip Presents (Channel 4).

Film: Finding Your Feet, Enchanted April, The American Way, The Sin Eater, Married to Malcolm, Mam, Looking for Vi, Round Ireland with a Fridge, Bonobo.

Since 1985 Josie has been a member of The Comedy Store Players based at London's famous Comedy Store.

They are in The Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running comedy group.

About Hannah Chissick (Director)

Most recently Hannah directed Down the Dock Road by Alan Bleasdale

(Liverpool Royal Court), the UK professional premiere of the musical Side Show (Southwark Playhouse), Brass for NYMT (Hackney Empire), Rags and Amour (Royal Academy of Music), Marry Me a Little (St James Studio) and Teechers for the John Godber Theatre Company.

She was Assistant Director to Matthew Warchus on the play Art in London and New York and was Associate Director on Matthew's acclaimed production of Boeing Boeing, directing 4 casts in London, 2 on Broadway and 1 in Melbourne.

In 2003, Hannah became the youngest woman to become an Artistic Director in the UK, when Harrogate Theatre appointed her at the age of 25.

Other credits include the critically-acclaimed revival of Side by Side by Sondheim (The Venue, London), Abigail's Party (Northcott Theatre Exeter), Teechers (Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke), a tour of Grumpy Old Women Live, the world premiere of Horrid Henry - Live (tour and West End) and the world premiere of Pushing Up Poppies (Theatre 503).

About Danielle Tarento (Producer)

Danielle was named Best Producer at the 2012 Off West End Awards and won Best Off West End Production at the WhatsOnStage Awards for Titanic at

Southwark Playhouse.

She has also produced Grey Gardens, Allegro, Grand Hotel, Gods And Monsters, Dogfight, Three Sisters, Victor/Victoria, Mack & Mabel, Parade and Company at Southwark Playhouse; Death Takes A Holiday, Ragtime and Titanic (Charing Cross Theatre), Pure Imagination: The Songs of Leslie Bricusse (St James Theatre), Taboo (Brixton Clubhouse); The Pitchfork Disney (Arcola); Burlesque, Drowning On Dry Land (Jermyn Street); Noël And Gertie (Cockpit).

She is co-founder of the Menier Chocolate Factory and co-produced all in-house shows between 2004 and 2006, including Sunday In The Park With George, which received a West End transfer and 5 Olivier Awards.

Forthcoming productions include the world première of Le Grand Mort, starring Julian Clary and James Nelson-Joyce and a UK and Ireland tour of Titanic.


Josie Lawrence

(Further casting to be announced)


Author: Bertolt Brecht

Translator: Tony Kushner

Music: Duke Special

Director: Hannah Chissick

Set & Costume Designer: Barney George

Music arranger: David Randall

Producer: Danielle Tarento


The Large

Southwark Playhouse

77-85 Newington Causeway




2 November - 9 December 2017


Previews £12 (2 - 4 November)

Full price £20

Concessions £16

(Monday-Wednesday evenings and

Tuesday and Saturday matinees)

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Mother Courage and Her Children - Wikipedia

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