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Maggie May

  • Venue: Courtyard Theatre
  • Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes (including interval)
  • Age Guidance: 11+
  • Triggers & Advisories: Click here for details.
    Triggers & Advisories

    Please note this production contains a naturalistic portrayal of adapting to life with dementia in the first year after diagnosis. The piece has been created in consultation with people living with dementia and aims to be a safe, supportive production for people recently diagnosed, highlighting both challenges and successes. Includes occasional strong language.

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More Information on Maggie May

‘They say we’re like swans. Ruddy beautiful graceful things on the surface of a lake but underneath we’re paddling like mad.’ 

Maggie and Gordon first met in 1971 and have been dancing to the sounds of Cliff Richard, Chairmen of the Board, and Jackson 5 ever since. Now in their sixties, and still very much in love, they’ve been finishing each other’s songs all their marriage. But now Maggie is feeling foggy and some days the songs are all she can remember. Her son and new girlfriend are coming to dinner and her best friend is asking questions. 

An extraordinary play about an ordinary Leeds family, balancing the challenges of daily life whilst living with dementia. A heartfelt story of hope by award-winning playwright Frances Poet, Maggie May is an inspiring new play with love, laughter and music.  

All performances are dementia-friendly

Audience members with dementia can expect a warm welcome at every performance from our supportive, dementia-aware staff.

Maggie May has been created in collaboration with many people living with different types of dementia and their ideas have been crucial in making this play. This includes influencing the story, technical design elements, colour choices in the set and costumes, sound and music, and captioned reminders to guide people from scene to scene.

There is a comfortable space for reflection outside the auditorium – The Picture Booth – for anyone who needs it, designed by Leeds Playhouse Resident Designer Warda Abbasi, to amplify the experiences of people living with dementia and their relationship to music. There is also a dedicated Quiet Space in the Brooke Room on Floor 2, which is available to anyone who needs it during performances of Maggie May.


Cast & Credits

Writer Frances Poet / Director Jemima Levick / Set & Costume Designer Francis O'Connor / Lighting Designer Chris Davey / Composer & Sound Designer Claire McKenzie / Casting Director Kay Magson / Theatre & Dementia Advisor Dr Nicky Taylor / Movement Director Joseph Mercier / Associate Designer Alex Doidge-Green / Dialect Coach Eleanor Manners /

  • Cast Member Image
    Eithne Browne
    as Maggie
  • Cast Member Image
    Shireen Farkhoy
    as Claire
  • Cast Member Image
    Maxine Finch
    as Jo
  • Cast Member Image
    Mark Holgate
    as Michael
  • Cast Member Image
    Tony Timberlake
    as Gordon


“ Funny, furious and moving look at dementia's impact”

- The Stage

“ A truly beautiful, moving and uplifting piece of theatre”

- Yorkshire Post

“ Sensitive, hilarious and emotional”

- The Yorkshire Times

“ a powerful and poignant production, an intimate examination of the impact of dementia on a family told with honesty and humour”

- Culture Vulture

Book Tickets

Captioned Performance

Open captioning allows theatre goers with varying degrees of hearing to view the full text as it is spoken or sung, including sound effects and off stage noises. These appear on a scrolling screen, positioned on or at the side of the stage.

British Sign Language Interpreted

A signed performance is the usual full production using either the creative use of sign integrated into the performance or a British Sign Language Interpreter on stage interpreting the show for D/deaf attendees.

Audio Described

Audio Described performances are designed to improve the experience of visually impaired and blind attendees. As well as listening to the dialogue on stage the customer can wear a headset and listen to a live description of the action on stage.

Relaxed Performance

A relaxed performance is a specially selected show from our programme, with slight adaptations to make it suitable for an audience of young people or adults with learning disabilities. This may include extra lighting, additional wheelchair spaces and the freedom to move to alternative seating if required.

Dementia-Friendly Performance

Dementia friendly performances are for all audiences. The theatre experience is enhanced for people living with dementia and their supporters, with adaptations to front of house service, the show and pre-show information packs. Additional dementia-aware staff, quiet spaces, clear signage and visual markers, sound and lighting adjustments and flexible seating options all help to create a supportive, shared experience.

Sing Along

Singalong with the cast in this exclusive performance. Join in as loud as you like, fancy dress is optional but highly recommended.

Post Show Discussion

Parent & Baby Performance

A Parent and Baby performance enables parents to attend the theatre with their baby (under 12 months). We make small adaptations to the lighting and sound effects, including keeping the auditorium lights slightly raised. The seating is unallocated and there is a relaxed attitude to noise.

Socially Distanced

A guaranteed socially distanced performance provides seating with additional space between bubbles to allow appropriate social distancing.

Booking Fees:

*A transaction fee of £2.50 will be applied to all phone and internet bookings.


  • Captioned - Captioned
  • Signed - Signed
  • Audio Description - Audio Description
  • Relaxed Performance - Relaxed Performance
  • Dementia Friendly Performance - Dementia Friendly Performance
  • Post Show Discussion - Post Show Discussion
  • Sing Along - Sing Along
  • Socially Distanced - Socially Distanced
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Major funders
Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
Principal Capital and Families Partner
Caddick Developments
Principal Capital and Access Partner
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors