Behind-the-scenes images have been released for the highly anticipated new production of Kay Mellor’s A Passionate Woman at Leeds Playhouse. The production, staged in memory of the leading British dramatist who passed away in May last year, returns to the Playhouse’s Courtyard theatre in her home city of Leeds from 20 May – 10 June – 30 years after it was first staged there to incredible acclaim.
The cast working with Director Tess Seddon and Assistant Director Xolani Crabtree, both from Leeds, work to create Kay Mellor’s award-winning drama. Protagonist Betty, played by television and stage actor Katherine Dow Blyton, is a passionate, doting mother who, on the day of her son’s wedding, locks herself in the loft. Neither her husband Donald, played by David Crellin, or her son Mark, played by Tom Lorcan, can coax her down as a ghost from her past, played by Michael Bijok, reminds her of the passion she once had.
“I feel so honoured to be directing the play in Kay’s home city,” said Tess who lives in Leeds, trained at Leeds Playhouse and runs her own company, TheatreState. “She was such an icon of northern writing and opened so many doors for so many people. To bring A Passionate Woman back in her memory, and in celebration of her work and legacy, feels like a huge honour.”
This Leeds Playhouse production of Kay Mellor’s award-winning drama is playing in the same theatre it was first staged in 30 years ago. The original production propelled the Leeds writer into the theatrical spotlight with a story crafted from a surprising disclosure by her mother years before. The play transferred to the West End and was adapted into a hit TV drama starring Theo James, Billie Piper and Sue Johnston, and was later restaged at Hull Truck Theatre in 2010 starring Kay herself in the lead role. The launch of the play three decades ago also marked the start of a long, fruitful relationship between the Playhouse and this extraordinary storyteller.
Katherine Dow Blyton is best known as Emmerdale’s popular police officer turned vicar Harriet Finch and as Chrissy in the multi award-winning hit TV series This is England. Tom Lorcan, who plays Mark, Betty’s son, will be familiar to Playhouse audiences from The Damned United. He also starred in the Old Vic’s A Monster Calls, and recently played Mike Hargrave in 30 episodes of ITV’s Coronation Street. Michael Bijok makes his Leeds Playhouse debut in the role of Craze and David Crellin (Wuthering Heights, West Side Story Royal Exchange) plays Donald.
A Leeds Playhouse production
A Passionate Woman
By Kay Mellor
Directed by Tess Seddon
Courtyard Theatre, Leeds Playhouse
20 May – 10 June
Box office 0113 213 7700. Book online leedsplayhouse.org.uk
Yorkshire Businesswoman will certainly be there supporting this fabulous production. We have met and interviewed Kay Mellor a number of times and Kay's daughter, actress and writer Gaynor Faye is a Yorkshire Businesswoman ambassador.