GRACIE

by Joan MacLeod

 
Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays
29, 30 April, 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 May 2018

The European premiere

"God doesn’t talk to girls. But He listens. I pray for God to tell Mr. Shelby to find me a husband who’s sweet and kind and not too old."

Gracie was born into a polygamous religious community, and brought across the US border to Canada at the age of eight, when her mother became the eighteenth wife of an elder there. A lively and irrepressible child, her world is full of faith and family, but by the time she is fifteen, and at marriageable age, she feels increasing pressure to conform…but will she ever dare to take the leap and step into the outside world? 


A gripping and tender story about growing up in a religious cult by Joan MacLeod, winner of Canada’s most prestigious literary award, the Governor General’s Award.

This play is a work of fiction, inspired by Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) communities in Canada and the U.S. Gracie, and all other characters and the events mentioned in the play, are works of fiction as well. 

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT JOAN MACLEOD

Playwright Joan MacLeod was born in 1954 and grew up in North Vancouver, British Columbia. MacLeod studied creative writing at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia, and later joined the playwrights unit at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, remaining with Tarragon for six years as a Playwright in Residence. Since 2004, she has been a professor at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She won the Governor General's Award for English-language drama at the 1991 Governor General's Awards for Amigo's Blue Guitar, and was shortlisted for the same award at the 1995 Governor General's Awards for The Hope Slide and Little Sister, and at the 2009 Governor General's Awards for Another Home Invasion. She won the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award in 1993 for The Hope Slide, was shortlisted for the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play in 1990 for Amigo's Blue Guitar, and won the Jessie Richardson Award and the Betty Mitchell Award in 2001 for The Shape of a Girl. She was named the winner of the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre in 2011.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR GEMMA AKED-PRIESTLEY

Director Gemma Aked-Priestley has directed The Narcissist (Hen and Chickens Theatre for Flux Theatre), Grimm: An Untold Tale (Underbelly at Edinburgh Festival) and Tender Napalm (Karamel Club). Assistant Direction includes assisting Sam Hodges on the world premiere of Howard Brenton’s The Shadow Factory (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), Daniel Goldman on Thebes Land (Arcola Theatre), David Mercatali on Tonight With Donny Stixx (Bunker Theatre) and Matt Cowart on Lockhart (Bernie Grant Arts Centre). Gemma is currently developing Passing with playwright Indigo Griffiths, with support from the Arts Council England, Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Bunker Theatre and Women@RADA. She is the Assistant Director for The Mono Box and founder of PLAYSTART. Gemma worked as a casting assistant on the National Theatre’s revival of War Horse and was subsequently invited to shadow rehearsals. She studied at the University of East Anglia and trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. She is the recipient of bursaries from the Mayflower Theatre, Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education, Barker-Mill Foundation and the JMK Trust.

ABOUT THE CAST

Carla Langley plays Gracie. Theatre includes The Ferryman (Royal Court Theatre and Gielgud Theatre), Orca (Southwark Playhouse), Future Conditional (The Old Vic), Cuddles for which she won the Manchester Theatre Award for Best Studio Performance (Studio at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 59E59 Theaters, New York City, Ovalhouse and National Tour), The Minotaur (Polka Theatre and Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Liola (National Theatre), Desolate Heaven (Theatre 503), The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol (Edinburgh Festival) and As You Like It (Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe). Television includes Witness For The Prosecution and Penny Dreadful. Radio includes Fury.

THE PRESS ON PLAYWRIGHT JOAN MACLEOD

“One of the most important playwrights working in Canada today” The Toronto Star

“The playwright shares with novelist Ian McEwan the ability to stretch tension out over everyday domestic scenes…piercingly accurate writing.” The Globe and Mail on Another Home Invasion

“A perfect evening of theatre... there isn't a false word in MacLeod's script” The Herald on Another Home Invasion

“A finely honed work of art.” Toronto Star on Another Home Invasion

“Ms. MacLeod writes dialogue that sounds like the way girls talk, without being a bit condescending.” The New York Times on The Shape of a Girl
“Joan MacLeod has written deeply, complex characters who pulse with life and humour…MacLeod has written a moving story of huge implications – what family, identity and personal history mean.” CBC Radio AM, National on Homechild

THE PRESS ON DIRECTOR GEMMA AKED-PRIESTLEY

★★★★

On The Narcissist

“Director Gemma Aked-Priestley must be mentioned, the slick, simple direction of The Narcissist makes it stand out from small venue productions, and has the feel of something bigger.” ★★★★ A Younger Theatre

“The Narcissist provides so many dimensions that it verges on surreal, but this is where it’s genius lies.” ★★★★ Plays To See

On Grimm: An Untold Tale

“Gemma Aked-Priestley brings the text to life with an absolute realness, full of imaginative riches.” Exeunt Magazine

“Delightfully playful" ★★★★★ ThreeWeeks

“The stage takes on a magical atmosphere… Such an original show deserves more credit, an imaginative step forward in helping the women of this world grow back their hands”. ★★★★ Broadway Baby

“A rare and powerful piece of storytelling” ★★★★ Fringe Biscuit

TICKETS AND TIMES

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 29, 30 April, 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 May

Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm.  

Tuesday matinees at 2.00pm

Performance Length: Approximately 90 mins with no interval. 

Tickets £18, £16 concessions

Full booking information

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PLEASE NOTE THAT LATECOMERS CANNOT BE ADMITTED AND TICKETS CANNOT BE EXCHANGED OR REFUNDED.

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Book Tickets for Gracie

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays
29, 30 April, 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 May 2018

Directed by Gemma Aked-Priestley

Set and Costume Design by Bex Kemp

Lighting by Ali Hunter

Sound by Sam Glossop

Presented by Tanzanite Theatre in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.

CARLA LANGLEY