"The play is an intriguing and illuminating look at four generations of women from the same family and their interactions with each other, over a 70 year period. It also has the benefits of being produced by London Classic Theatre - an established touring company of a very high standard. The set is cool and edgy - a clever and detailed junkyard scene that intelligently forms notable other locations. A company of just four actors perform this play - delightfully switching through the decades. You meet each character in different stages of their life and come to understand how they have made the decisions they did. The resentment that simmers under the surface between mother and daughter is identifiable and raw. It is the perfect storm for this thought provoking series of events. Endearing performances by a talented cast makes this one to watch. London Classic Theatre have delivered another outstanding offering. A highly recommended four stars."

Rob Stanway - At The Theatre

"Spanning the late twenties to the 1980s, the changes in the lives of women and girls is examined, in particular the expectations placed upon them by others, principally by their mothers, and then the men who are part of their adult lives. The play is rightly highly regarded, being both powerful and moving, and this production was wonderfully acted. Carole Dance as Doris, the eventual great-grandmother, gives an emotionally affecting study of a great arc of experience, from motivated adolescence, to blissful falling in love, through duty, disappointment and resentment, to something much nearer contentment in the company of the youngest of the family. The youngest, Rosie, is played by Felicity Houlbrooke with a bubbling excitement that truly communicates a passionate, almost wild optimism, such that you hope she will carry it through, undimmed, for all of her adult life. Connie Walker as Margaret, and Kathryn Ritchie as her daughter Jackie, are the pair in the middle, who find it so hard to tell each other what they really think, a theme that is explored throughout, and the climactic scene between them is played out with considerable force. This is a beautifully acted, absorbing and very thought-provoking evening that succeeds in landing quite an emotional impact."

Matthew Lenton - Theatre News

My Mother Said I Never Should


Playwright: Charlotte Keatley
Directed by Michael Cabot
Designed by Bek Palmer
Lighting by Andy Grange
Costume Supervisor: Kate Lyons
Production Managers: Jenny Wheeler & Andy Grange
Assistant Director: Charlie Rogers
Photography: Sheila Burnett

CAST (Autumn 2018): Carole Dance, Felicity Houlbrooke, Kathryn Ritchie, Connie Walker.

CAST (Spring 2019): Rebecca Birch, Lisa Burrows, Judith Paris, Kathryn Ritchie.

Richmond Theatre, Theatre Royal Bath, Derby Theatre, Yvonne Arnaud Guildford, Devonshire Park Theatre Eastbourne, Blackpool Grand, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Malvern Festival Theatre, Theatr Clwyd, York Theatre Royal.

My Mother Said I Never Should is a poignant, bittersweet story about love, jealousy and the price of freedom. Using a kaleidoscopic time structure, Charlotte Keatley examines the lives of four women through the immense social changes of the twentieth century. The play focuses on four generations of one family as they confront the most significant moments of their lives.

In 1940, Doris, a former teacher, encourages her nine-year-old daughter, Margaret, to mind her manners and practice the piano. In 1969, Margaret’s relationship with her own daughter is strained, as art student Jackie experiments with her new found sexual freedom. When Jackie becomes pregnant at 18 and has baby Rosie, a decision is made that will affect all their lives irrevocably.

Written in 1985 and first staged at the Contact Theatre, Manchester, Charlotte Keatley’s award-winning play is the most commonly performed work by a female playwright worldwide. My Mother Said I Never Should has been translated into 22 languages and has earned Keatley the George Devine Award, as well as the Manchester Evening News Award for Best New Play. In 1990, Keatley was also nominated for an Olivier Award as Most Promising Newcomer.

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