Susan has worked at the supermarket in Oldham most of her life. Busy with her job, her kids and her elderly mother she’s never given much thought to role-models until she’s training for promotion and is forced to adopt one. But her life changes dramatically when she starts to ask herself, ‘What would Helen Mirren do?’
Anita Parry plays Susan, her boss, her management trainer, her grown-up kids and a host of other characters in this funny and moving play written by Josie Melia. Peter Ellis, known for many years as Chief Inspector Brownlow in The Bill directs his wife Anita for the first time.
On opening night at the Brighton Festival Fringe last year, Helen Mirren sent the company a crate of champagne and a good luck message. The cast and crew look forward to cracking open the last bottle of ‘Helen’s champagne’ in Edinburgh this year. Beofre that the show arrives at the Lowry later this week.
Anita Parry is an actress/director whose recent work includes The Seagull at Northampton Theatre Royal directed by Simon Godwin and The Last King of Devonport, directed by Steve Marmion. Until 2002 Anita was joint artistic director of Theatre and Beyond, the Brighton-based theatre company dedicated to platforming new writing. Anita has also played Shirley Valentine in Willy Russell’s one-woman stage play, for which she received a best actress award.
Josie Melia (writer) is a Brighton-based playwright and screenwriter who has written plays commissioned for adult and young audiences, sketches and songs for live comedy review shows, and non-fiction publications. She also wrote the screenplay for the UK Film Council/ Screen South film Feis, starring Jean Boht.
Peter Ellis (director) was for many years known as Chief Superintendent Brownlow in The Bill. He recently toured with Theatre Royal Bath Productions as Mr. Bennett opposite Susan Hampshire in Pride and Prejudice. His other acting credits include Acorn Antiques, Victoria Wood’s Talent and numerous other television appearances including Coronation Street and Emmerdale Farm.
What Would Helen Mirren Do? is at the Lowry on 10 July.