Rising to national prominence after being cast as Cilla Black in the critically acclaimed national tour of Cilla The Musical, actress Kara Lily Hayworth gives us a little sneak peek about her latest role in Maggie May. This is the first London revival of Lionel Bart and Alun Owen’s musical since it’s premiere in 1964 and is a show that celebrates the working classes in 1960s Liverpool. You can catch Maggie May at the Finborough Theatre until the 20th April. For tickets and more information please visit http://www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk/productions/2019/maggie-may.php
HS: What is Maggie May about and how does your character fit into the narrative?
KLH: It is mainly about the doomed love story of sex worker Maggie May and her childhood sweetheart Pat Casey (son of a union martyr), who went away to join the navy, and the rekindling of their relationship on his return. It is set against the backdrop of the Liverpool docks and the struggles of the workers and the union at the time; specifically Casey’s fight against corrupt bosses to prevent a shipment of guns and how torn he his between having a simple life with Maggie and fighting for what he believes in. I play Maggie May who is a sex worker. She has been in love with Pat Casey since she was a child and declares that she will never love another man. When she becomes a sex worker she actually calls all of clients Casey after him. She is a very feisty character and knows how to hold her own in any situation. She also has an amazing vulnerability which makes her such a joy to play.
HS: Were you aware of the musical before being offered the role?
KLH: Well I had a couple of rounds of auditions for it but I’d never heard of it before that. Everybody knows Lionel Bart and Oliver! and Maggie May seems to be this lost gem that people forgot about. It’s got some amazing songs and it’s a real working class story with a lot of heart.
HS: Having toured some of the biggest venues in the UK with Cilla The Musical, how does performing in intimate spaces like the Finborough compare?
KLH: It’s VERY different!! It only seats 50 people so it’s a very intimate space, but that is what makes it so amazing. There is no hiding behind a band or microphones, the audience can really see every emotion and it makes it quite a special experience. It feels quite liberating to perform in such a small space but at the same time it’s quite nerve wracking because you feel more vulnerable being so close.
HS: What do you hope audiences will take away from this production?
KLH: I think they will love the working class story and it’s packed full of amazing songs. It has been cleverly done for the tiny but gorgeous Finborough theatre. It has been beautifully directed with love and passion by Matthew Iliffe and the Musical direction by Henry Brennan is incredible and he truly fills the space with just a piano. The set design, lighting and sound is so cleverly done that you really believe your by the docks in Liverpool. It’s amazing what the whole team have achieved. Oh and the cast! They’re all pretty good too!! I hope the audience are moved by it!
Thanks so much to Kara for taking the time to answer my questions!
Until next time,