Originallt entitled The Beauty Game at the Library Theatre in Manchester in 1986, the play was later revived a number of times in the early 1990s starring actors including Minnie Driver, Jan Graveson, Sarah Lancashire, John McArdle, Seamus O’Neill, and Diane Whitley.
This new production is presented by Broken Echo Theatre Company, and will be directed by Helen Parry. Raving Beauties recalls a time when hundreds of millions of TV viewers world-wide tuned in every year to watch Miss World. It’s 1985, and in Salford, the girls competing for the title of Miss Golden Gate Club 1985 are eyeing each other in a cockpit of tension and jealousy.
As they prepare to run the gauntlet of the catwalk and the press interviews, they’ve all have one eye on the roving hands of contest organiser Jack Bailey. As the contest unfolds, so too do the hopes, fears, and preconceptions of the competing girls. Is the long-term cost of body beautiful too high?
Parry is a former acting tutor at The Arden School of Theatre before recently returning to freelance directing. Her professional work includes productions in Germany, Switzerland and America. In the UK her productions have been staged locally at The Library Theatre, Contact Theatre, The Dancehouse, The Royal Exchange Studio, The Kings Arms in Salford, and The Green Room Theatre.
Some of this work went on to tour nationally and included venues such as the I.C.A and the Cochrane Theatre London, Birmingham Rep Studio. Leicester Haymarket Studio, and at the Edinburgh Festival.
The cast features Josh Moran, who recently appeared in The Good Soul Of Szechuan at The Library Theatre, Pub Show at the Royal Exchange, Coronation Street, Doctors, The Royal Today, The Miss Bollywood Show with Shilpa Shetty, and Casualty. Also appearing are Ryan Greaves, a graduate of the Manchester School of Acting who most recently provided voicework for the animated film The Moss Witch, shown at this year's Cannes Film Festival; and Jennifer Jordan-O’Neill, who will be appearing in Twirlies and Girlies by Cathy Crabb for Moving Pictures Theatre Company at the Lowry in July July and daughter of Seamus O’Neill, who played Jack Bailey in the Oldham Coliseum’s production in 1991.
The cast also includes Penny McDonald, Katie McArdle, Eve Burley, and Eleanor Samson.
Raving Beauties is at the Dancehouse Theatre in Manchester from 29 - 31 July and tickets are £9.