After its successful premiere last year as part of Paines Plough’s Roundabout Season, Midlands writer Frankie Meredith’s May Queen returns to Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre for a strictly limited season this summer. Time to get booking!
May Queen will have a strictly limited at Belgrade Theatre’s B2 from 25 June to 2 July 2022, newly restaged in-the-round with Yasmin Dawes reprising her acclaimed performance as Leigh and Balisha Karra, one of the Belgrade’s three co-artistic directors for the City of Culture Year, directing.
May Day in Coventry, 2022. Sixteen-year-old Leigh has been chosen as May Queen. She’s buzzin’, as is the rest of the city. The cider is flowing and St George’s flag is flying – but during Cov’s festivities, our Queen is inevitably toppled.
As the year moves on in the City of Peace and Reconciliation, Leigh must face up to the events of that hot May Day and dig deep within her past and our city’s history to ask – how did she get here? And how does she get out?
“Warm, dreamlike and tinged with a pervasive sense of gathering menace” – The Stage
Playwright Frankie Meredith is a Paines Plough Big Room Fellow, an alumna of the Soho Young Writers Lab 2015, and a graduate of the Lyric Young Writers Programme 2013, whose works include Turkey (The Hope Theatre, 2017), Finding Peter (Theatre N16, 2018), The Olive Trade (Southwark Playhouse, 2016) 17 (longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize 2019), Clementines (2019), Becoming Danish (web series developed through the BBC Writers Room /Ideas Tap, 2020), City Boys (Southwark Playhouse, 2015), The Ballad of Tab and Sal (Old Red Lion, 2015), Monkey (Waterloo East, 2016). Her focuses in her career include championing Midlands-based stories and creatives, combating elitism and inaccessibility in theatre.
Director Balisha Karra said:
“I hope for the new iteration of May Queen to continue to shed light on the micro and macro injustices womxn face in society today. I have a desire to heal and know May Queen is a story that many, like I, can relate to. I continue to heal from my own lived injustices and I am choosing to do so by sharing a story I feel I can no longer carry on my own. I hope to direct May Queen from a place of honouring and liberation.”
May Queen is presented by the Belgrade Theatre in co-production with Paines Plough, supported by Coventry City of Culture Trust.
Yasmin Dawes as Leigh in May Queen.