by Aimée Stuart

Tuesday, 27 November – Saturday, 22 December 2018

The first professional production in 80 years

“What’s the use of romance if there’s no truth in it?”

It is 1936 in a “wee one-eyed” town in Scotland. Jeannie is a drudge for her mean controlling father, but dreams of a different life. When she receives a large inheritance, she seizes the opportunity to finally escape to the glamour and sophistication of European travel.

During her stay in Vienna, she encounters Stanley, a washing machine inventor from Yorkshire, and then a real Viennese Count. But Jeannie is no pushover. She knows her own mind, she is a stickler for the truth, and she hates scroungers…

A 1930s version of the Cinderella story from a rediscovered female playwright, Jeannie is a charming light romantic comedy, ideal for the Christmas season, and unseen in London since 1940.


Playwright Aimée Stuart (1886-1981) was born in Glasgow. She first came to prominence when she wrote the passionate memoir, An Airman’s Wife (1918). Two further novels were published before she began to write plays with Philip Stuart including Nine Till Six (1930). Jeannie (1936) was the first play she wrote after his early death, followed by a string of further hits including the almost-openly lesbian play Love of Women (1937) and Lace On Her Petticoat (1951). Many of her plays were made into films, and she also wrote additional dialogue for a number of acclaimed films including Leslie Howard’s The Gentle Sex (1943) and The Wicked Lady (1945).


Director Nicolette Kay returns to the Finborough Theatre where she directed Seed, Love Child and Hurried Steps. She is Artistic Director of New Shoes Theatre and has directed and toured work in venues as diverse as NIDA in Sydney, Battersea Arts Centre, Lancaster Playhouse, the MAC and the Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh. Her productions and co-translations of plays written by the highly respected feminist writer Dacia Maraini have been featured in publications and anthologies worldwide. She trained as an actress at the Drama Centre London and played leading roles for the Cambridge Theatre Company, in repertory, the Gate Theatre and The Young Vic.


Evelyn Adams | Maggie/The American Woman

Trained at Italia Conti.
Theatre includes Horrible Histories (National Tour), Where The Wild Things Are (Unicorn Theatre), The Ringer (Gaiety Theatre), Mother Goose (The Theatre, Chipping Norton), Institute of Impossibility (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), My Name is Hunger (Park Theatre), Father of the Bride (The Mill at Sonning), The Ghost Train (Brockley Jack Studio Theatre), Dry Rot (National Tour) and Count Oederland (Arcola Theatre).
Film includes Gravity, Meet Me on the Southbank, Deadinburgh and The Secret Life of Butterflies.
Television includes Seven and Me and Doctors.

Max Alexander-Taylor | Waiter/Porter/Ensemble

Trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Theatre while training includes London Road (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), Spring Awakening (Dundee Repertory Theatre) and Side Show (West Brewery).

Kim Durham | Father/Clerk/Herr Ober

Theatre includes The Faith Healer (Gate Theatre, Dublin), The Lady from the Sea and Beauty and the Beast (Birmingham Rep), A Christmas Carol (Library Theatre, Manchester), Sitting Pretty (Theatre of Comedy), The Wind in the Willows, Othello, Our Country’s Good, The Rivals and Man of the Moment (Swan Theatre, Worcester).
Film includes Mike Bassett: England Manager.
Television includes Inspector Morse, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and New Tricks.
Radio includes over one hundred radio dramas, including twenty years in The Archers.
Kim recently completed a long full-time position as a Senior Acting Tutor and Course Leader for the MA in Professional Acting at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Mairi Hawthorn | Jeannie

Trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes Macbeth (Stafford Festival Shakespeare) and Wishbone (The Bunker). Theatre while training includes Balm in Gilead, As You Like It, The Same Deep Water As Me, Crazy For You, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, The Merchant of Venice, Medea and Uncle Vanya.
Television includes Game of Thrones.

Carol Holt | Bessie/Mistress

Trained at Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes Billy Liar (Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon), Great Pretenders (New End Theatre, Hampstead), How The Other Half Loves (Coliseum Theatre, Oldham), The Shell Seekers (Nick Brooke Productions), Mixed Feelings (TEG Productions), What The Butler Saw and Two (Dukes Playhouse, Lancaster), Norman Conquests (Harrogate Theatre), Blithe Spirit (Harrogate Theatre) and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Library Theatre, Manchester).
Film includes The Bris and Small Time Revolutionary.
Television includes Doctors, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Pearly Gates, The Royal Today, The Royal, Is Harry on the Boat, Surprising Stars, Baddiel’s Syndrome and Bob Martin.

Madeleine Hutchins | Mrs.Whitelaw/The Blonde

Trained at East 15 Acting School.
Theatre includes Mrs.Warren’s Profession (McCarter Theatre, Princeton), Hay Fever, As You Like It and You Never Can Tell (National Tour), Stone Cold Murder, Reasons to Be Pretty, Boeing Boeing, Don’t Misunderstand Me and Don’t Lose the Place (English Theatre, Hamburg), Unnatural Tragedy which was nominated for an OffWestEnd Award (White Bear Theatre), Before I Sleep which won the Peter Brook Award (dreamthinkspeak), Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (TourdeForce), Shaw’s Women (Jane Nightwork Productions) and Confessions Off Broadway (Grand Theatre, Swansea). Film includes Nasty which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival and for which Madeleine won the Award of Merit at The IndieFEST Film Awards and Best Actress at Fly Film Festival.
Television includes Fright Bites, Thanks For the Memories and Candice Renoir.
Radio includes Seal Longing.

Matthew Mellalieu | Stanley

Trained at Drama Centre, London.
Theatre includes After the Dance (Theatre by the Lake, Keswick), As You Like It (Shared Experience and Theatre by the Lake, Keswick), Henry V and Macbeth (Globe Education), Julius Caesar, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Wind in the Willows, Romeo and Juliet and The Nativity (Iris Theatre) and The Tempest (Rosemary Branch Theatre). Film includes Remora, Dark Show, The Rise of the Krays, The Brother and Made of Honour.
Television includes Casualty, Love, Lies and Records, Still Open All Hours, Doctors, Rovers and Hollyoaks.

Patrick Pearson | The Count

Trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre includes The Madness of George III (National Theatre), When We Are Married (Whitehall Theatre), A Piece of My Mind (Apollo Theatre), Great Balls of Fire (Cambridge Theatre), The Mousetrap (St Martin’s Theatre), Eastern Star (Tara Arts Theatre), A Perfect Retreat (Bush Theatre), Take a Chance on Me (New End Theatre, Hampstead), An Inspector Calls and Mary Rose (Greenwich Theatre), Point Valaine (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Duchess of Malfi and Time and the Conways (Bristol Old Vic), What the Butler Saw (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh), The School for Wives and Tom Jones (Leeds Playhouse) and The Writing Game (Birmingham Rep).
Film includes The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Nutcracker and Privates on Parade.
Television includes The Government Inspector, Closing Numbers, EastEnders, New Tricks, Hostages, A Dangerous Man, Bad Girls, Casualty, The Bill, Lovejoy, Poldark, Too Good to be True, The Worst Witch, When We Are Married, Dangerfield, Goodnight Sweetheart, Pie in the Sky, Hetty Wainthrop Investigates, Brass, Nice Work, The Contractor, Frederick Forsyth Presents, Vote for Them, The Death of the Heart and We’ll Meet Again.


“What an Aladdin’s cave of theatrical rediscoveries the Finborough is. This festive-season jewel is an interwar spin on the Cinderella story from Scottish playwright Aimée Stuart” Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard

“Jeannie feels more like a classic Hollywood movie than a forgotten relic.” Harriet Corke, The Spy in the Stalls

“A near masterpiece.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“It proves a delight.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Jeannie is witty and spirited, with a kind of nostalgic charm that makes it an ideal form of escapism.” Harriet Corke, The Spy in the Stalls

“Jeannie premiered in the West End in 1940 yet the story, about a dour, naive Scots lassie set loose with an inheritance, is years ahead of its time.” Anne Cox, Stage Review

“One more instance of the Finborough rescuing a playwright from oblivion, which the theatre is particularly good at doing.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Very charming.” Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard

“Charming, light and romantic.” Evangeline Cronchey, KCW Today

“Jeannie is a hearty play.” Hilary Webb, A Younger Theatre

“A superb play.” Theatre and Arts Review

“A light, consistently entertaining evening.” Partially Obstructed View

“Perfectly formed and performed.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Utterly charming.” George Althaus, London-Olios

“Jeannie feels like a classic Sunday afternoon black and white film with a mug of hot cocoa- just the thing for chilly winter evening.” Siân Rowland, London Pub Theatres

“Certainly compared with Austerity Britain, Jeannie’s weariness at her frugal existence and her joy at revelling in guilt-free spending will resonate today.” Breaking the Fourth Wall, Michael Davis

“Plenty of caustic wit on offer.” Rachel Halliburton, The Arts Desk

“Enchanting and whimsical.” Anne Cox, Stage Review

“This revival succeeds, not only in celebrating her work, but in creating a refined production of her sweet and enchanting play.” Harriet Corke, The Spy in the Stalls

“Hawthorn, onstage almost throughout, is a strong and believably wide-eyed lead, well matched by Matthew Mellalieu as the no-nonsense Stanley Smith.” Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard

“The role of Jeanie demands an actress who can charm and in Mairi Hawthorn director Kay has found one.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Mairi Hawthorn catches all Jeanie’s bloody mindedness, her determination not to owe anybody anything, and her innocent abroad qualities. It is a performance to beguile.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Mairi Hawthorn brings Jeannie to life with subtly and humour: her nuanced performance reveals Jeannie’s hidden depths and endears her to the audience from the very beginning. Her chemistry with Matthew Mellalieu (whose down-to-earth Stanley Smith perfectly balances our Jeannie’s innocence) ensures that their scenes together are the most enjoyable of the show.” Harriet Corke, The Spy in the Stalls

“Mairi Hawthorn, who does a brilliant job at bringing this complicated character to life.” Hilary Webb, A Younger Theatre

“The ever optimistic and strictly principled Jeannie is a real heroine to root for, played with pure unaffected charm by Mairi Hawthorn.” Julia Rank, The Stage

“Hawthorn also captures exactly Jeannie’s mix of inbred puritanism and latent hedonism.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“This rediscovered gem is wonderfully written and sparkles with Hawthorn’s captivating performance.” Anne Cox, Stage Review

“Mairi Hawthorn asserts herself doughtily as Jeannie.” Rachel Halliburton, The Arts Desk

“Mairi Hawthorn is perfect.” Siân Rowland, London Pub Theatres

“Hawthorn’s chemistry with Matthew Mellalieu, who plays Stanley Smith, is perfect, as they bounce off of each other’s banter with snappy ease.” Hilary Webb, A Younger Theatre

“A winning turn by relative newcomer Mairi Hawthorn. She’s a delight.” Anne Cox, Stage Review

“It’s a peach of a part into which Mairi Hawthorn, only recently out of drama school, gratefully sinks her teeth.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“The evening is most definitely Hawthorn and Mellalieu’s, and the resolution is genuinely delightful.” Rachel Halliburton, The Arts Desk

“Marvellous Mairi Hawthorn.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Hawthorn is the play’s star. She shines brightly throughout, capturing perfectly Jeannie’s naivety and her temporary joie de vivre at escaping the shackles of her father.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“The dialogue is light and witty and handled skilfully by the cast.” Harriet Corke, The Spy in the Stalls

“Terrific support from Matthew Mellalieu and Patrick Pearson.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“An outstanding and beautifully restrained performance by Matthew Mellalieu.” Anne Cox, Stage Review

“Good support from Matthew Mellalieu who lends the Yorkshireman a Priestley-like stolidity, Patrick Pearson as the silver-haired count and Madeleine Hutchins as the silky fashion model.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Matthew Mellalieu is charming.” Siân Rowland, London Pub Theatres

“Kim Durham also stands out.” Harriet Corke, The Spy in the Stalls

“Kim Durham is particularly good.” Siân Rowland, London Pub Theatres

“A gifted cast.” Hilary Webb, A Younger Theatre

“The show benefits from an excellent cast.” Harriet Corke, The Spy in the Stalls

“A strong supporting cast.” Anne Cox, Stage Review

“The play is well-cast and the principal characters have a natural chemistry.” Breaking the Fourth Wall, Michael Davis

“There are lovely moments for all the cast members to get their teeth into.” Siân Rowland, London P

ub Theatres “Nicolette Kay’s warm-hearted production conjures a credible selection of locations from a streamlined range of stage furniture and props.” Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard

“Director Nicolette Kay has done a splendid job.” Anne Cox, Stage Review

“Elegantly staged by Nicolette Kay with a set by James Helps that shifts easily from a Scottish stone kitchen to a luxurious continental hotel.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Jeannie is a light-hearted romance that has you rooting for the heroine and while the story jogs along nicely under Nicolette Kay’s deft direction, there’s no great moral or message in the script making for an enjoyable and light couple of hours.” Siân Rowland, London Pub Theatres

“This is a wonderful production, directed with great skill by Nicolette Kay. The costumes (James Helps) are super, transforming dowdy Jeannie at one stage into a Scottish princess.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“The set and costumes from James Helps are immaculate.” Siân Rowland, London Pub Theatres

“James Helps’ set design cleverly uses a single large backdrop that unfolds and turns into the various locations.” Partially Obstructed View “James Help’s nifty box-like set – in which a fireplace is spun round to become alternately a ferry, a train carriage, and a restaurant – keeps the pace moving nicely.” Rachel Halliburton, The Arts Desk

“The Finborough continues to champion long-forgotten gems with this revival of Jeannie.” Siân Rowland, London Pub Theatres

Previous Reviews for Jeannie

“One of the easiest, sweetest of light comedies.” James Agee

“As enchanting a bit of rue and nonsense as we’ve succumbed to in many a month…. Jeannie is pure comedy of 
character. And what refreshing comedy it is!” The New York Times


★★★★ “This sensitively handled, beautifully calibrated chamber piece…Highly recommended…Nicolette Kay’s gripping but measured production.” Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard

“Nicolette Kay’s production is sensitive and well paced…The performances are faultless.” Sam Marlowe, The Times


“Nicolette Kay directs the often exhilarating proceedings…a production of character” Brendan O’Keeffe, The Guardian

“Excellent performances and some stunning moments of violence.” Owen Slot, The Independent

“Meticulous acting” Andrew St George, Financial Times


Tuesday, 27 November – Saturday, 22 December 2018

Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Saturday and Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm.

Performance Length: Approximately two hours with one interval of fifteen minutes.

Prices until 9 December 2018

Tickets £18, £16 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Previews (27 and 28 November) £14 all seats.

£10 tickets for Under 30's for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.

£14 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 1 December 2018 when booked online only.

Prices from 11 December 2018

Tickets £20, £18 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £18 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £20 all seats. 

For details of our Returns Policy for sold out performances, please click here



Book Tickets for Jeannie

Tuesday, 27 November – Saturday, 22 December 2018

Please note that if a show is marked as Sold Out, there are no more tickets available. Please do NOT contact the theatre as we have no more tickets left for these shows. Please see our returns and exchanges policy for more information.

Directed by Nicolette Kay

Set and Costume Design by James Helps

Sound Design by Rachael Murray

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

Jeannie is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd.