The play is the tale of a mother and her two sons, the stories they tell, their memories and the stories those memories belie. Singularly, their accounts uncover lives well-lived; together they become a captivating tale of the weave and weft of family life, revealing that a story says as much about the person who tells it.
Daniels, who will play the mother to Stocks and McKenna’s brothers in Held, is renowned for her role as a mother in the award-winning Unprotected, which began at the Everyman in 2006 before touring to the Edinburgh Fringe where it won the Amnesty International Award.
Daniels has taken to the Playhouse stage numerous times, including memorable performances in Shirley Valentine and Breezeblock Park. Her other theatre credits include A Saint She Ain’t (King’s Head/Apollo Theatre) And The Beat Goes On (Liverpool Everyman), Misery (The Brindley, Runcorn).
Pauline Daniels said: “I am delighted to be part of this beautifully written new piece of work which I know will stretch me once again as an actress, but I am most delighted about being ‘home’ at the Playhouse and am looking forward to the whole experience.”
Joining Daniels is Alan Stocks a RADA-trained actor was recently in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Tartuffe both at the Playhouse. Stocks played the lead protagonist in Robert Farquhar’s Dead Heavy Fantastic at the Everyman last year and is also well known for his regular appearances at Liverpool’s Royal Court. His other theatre credits include The Two Gentlemen of Verona (RSC) and Twelfth Night (Lyric Hammersmith).
Completing the cast is actor, writer and director Ged McKenna who has worked for companies such as the National Theatre, Shared Experience, Cheek by Jowl and The Royal Court. He last appeared on the Playhouse stage in 2011 in Hull Truck’s production of The Lady in the Van and was nominated as Best Actor in the 2008 MEN Awards for performance in Faith Healer at the Library Theatre, Manchester. McKenna’s film credits include Shirley Valentine, Vanity Fair and Away Days.
The Playhouse Studio continues to establish itself as a breeding ground for new work, and Held, written by Joe Ward Munrow, will be the first play by a graduate of the Young Everyman Playhouse (YEP) Young Writers scheme.
Munrow developed Held during his time with YEP, before it received a rehearsed reading at the annual Everyword Festival in 2011 - featuring McKenna in the role he will play in the full production. Held follows The Swallowing Dark and The Match Box in the Studio, a year after it reopened as part of the Playhouse Centenary celebrations in November 2011.
Held is at the Liverpool Playhouse Studio from 8 November to 1 December.